It’s not uncommon for daycare centers to take children on field trips. Often, these types of outings can be a positive experience as they provide children with educational benefits. Yet, managing these trips in a safe manner is critical, and sometimes accidents happen.
If your child goes on a field trip to the zoo, a splash park, museum, or other location and suffers an injury, you may be unsure of your legal recourse and if you have an option for getting help with medical bills and other losses. Often, many factors contribute to a daycare field trip accident, so it’s important to hire legal representation to investigate if the accident was a case of daycare negligence.
What Led to This Texas Child Injury?
The underlying cause of the injury matters when determining who is at fault. A Texas daycare injury attorney can help make this determination.
Determining What Happened
- Understaffing. On a daycare field trip, it may be necessary to have additional people supervising to ensure that children don’t wander off or put themselves in harm’s way, especially younger children. If more people were needed to adequately supervise the group, and the lack of workers directly led to a child’s injury, that could be a key factor to consider.
- Unsafe conditions. If the daycare center took the child to a location where the conditions were unsafe, such as an area with access to a lake or pond, and did not provide information regarding that risk or provide solutions to keep children safe, that could indicate some level of negligence.
- Lack of educated, experienced staff. If there is a field trip to a local splash park without a lifeguard, and the water is deep enough for a child to drown, that can be concerning if the daycare staff does not know CPR or how to swim. Additionally, if there is no information provided to the parents prior to the event about the types of activities their child will be exposed to, that could be considered negligent.
Daycare Field Trip Injuries and What to Do
Injuries of all types can happen on a daycare field trip. While it’s always possible that children will suffer some minor scrapes or bruises during play, it’s important that the daycare center provide adequate safety measures and guidance when taking children off-site on a field trip.
- Drowning. Any field trip involving water could pose a drowning risk.
- Broken bones. A child could be hit by a car or collide with a heavy object, causing broken bones that might lead to long-term problems.
- Lacerations. Some children may suffer significant injuries from sharp objects or equipment they touch during a field trip.
- Falls. Significant falls, such as those from a high elevation, can lead to a number of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage.
- Death. In some cases, a child may die as a result of an accident that occurs on a field trip.
What to Do If Your Child Suffers an Injury
- Take the child to an emergency room for care.
- Document the injuries. Take pictures, if possible.
- Report the injury to the daycare center and request information about what occurred, including who was involved.
- Notify the state of the incident.
- Call a personal injury attorney to discuss what occurred if the injuries are significant.
What Impact Does a Signed Permission Slip Have?
Often, daycare centers will have parents sign a general consent waiver or an informed consent waiver prior to a field trip. These documents often imply that the school or daycare center or others involved cannot be held responsible after an accident or injury occurs. While this may be the case for many incidents, there are limits to that protection for the daycare center.
It may still be possible to prove that an employee of the daycare, a bus driver, a supervisor, or another party involved in the field trip was negligent and caused or otherwise contributed to the child’s injuries. However, it’s important to hire a daycare injury attorney who can determine if you have a case even when you signed a waiver. Remember, a daycare center must keep a child safe.
Possible Damages in a Daycare Negligence Lawsuit
When a child suffers an injury at a daycare center, you may face unexpected medical bills and other damages. A daycare injury attorney can help determine your losses and possible compensation if there was negligence.
- Medical bills from the emergency room and all care services provided up to that point
- Surgical procedures
- Long-term hospital stays
- Rehabilitation needs
- Missed time at work to care for your child
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term medical and restorative care for the child