Parents expect that their children will be safe when they are in a daycare facility, but unfortunately, daycare injuries do happen. When the unimaginable occurs, and a child dies because of injuries they suffered due to a daycare’s negligence or abuse, their parents should pursue a wrongful death case.
No amount of money can ever fully compensate for a child’s death, but there are important benefits to pursuing a wrongful death case. If your child has suffered an injury or lost their life while under the supervision of a daycare provider, an experienced daycare injury lawyer can help you get compensation for your child’s injuries. Not only can parents recover the costs of medical bills and funeral expenses with such a case, but it also holds the daycare facility accountable and helps prevent other families from experiencing a similar tragedy.
Criminal Charges Are Separate From a Civil Complaint
Ultimately, it will be up to the state whether criminal charges are pursued in cases of daycare abuse or neglect. A criminal case will not provide damages to your family to cover expenses associated with your child’s daycare injury or death. While the state might file a criminal case, it is up to surviving family members to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages.
Criminal cases are more challenging to prove because the party charged must be shown to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, they must only be found guilty by a preponderance of the evidence—which means it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the act in question. Even if a criminal case is filed but the party is found not guilty, you can still file—and win—a civil case.
Proving the Daycare Is at Fault
Many daycares ask you to sign a waiver of liability that says they cannot be held accountable for injuries that occur on their premises. In most cases, courts will find these documents to be invalid, but this does not stop daycare centers from using them as a deterrent to try to keep parents from filing lawsuits.
To be successful in taking legal action against a daycare provider, you will have to prove the following four elements:
- The daycare center was obligated to you and your child to provide a certain duty of care while your child was under their supervision.
- The daycare center breached that duty of care owed to you and your child, which resulted in an injury.
- The breach of reasonable care is the cause of your child’s death.
- Your family has suffered economic and non-economic damages because of your child’s death.
When an adult loses their life in an accident, it is fairly easy for a court to quantify the financial losses. In addition to economic losses, the court will also consider non-economic losses such as loss of companionship.
When a child dies, family members are eligible for non-economic damages. Financial recovery is based on the costs of the child’s death, including medical expenses, funeral, and burial expenses. The court may grant additional damages based on a few different factors:
- The age and gender of the child as well as their life expectancy
- The child’s earning potential if they had gone on to pursue a career
- The relationship of the parents and the child
- The circumstances that led to a wrongful death lawsuit
In daycare wrongful death cases, the child is usually quite young, so the court can only speculate on life and work expectancy. No one can say with certainty what kind of a career the child might have grown up to have or what they might have earned.
Why You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney
A wrongful death lawsuit against a daycare center can be challenging to prove, so you need an experienced attorney on your side. When daycare centers fail to protect the children in their care, they need to be held accountable. At The Button Law Firm, we will work hard to investigate your case so you can get the compensation you deserve—and to bring attention to daycare abuse and neglect so other families do not have to suffer the same consequences. Contact us today.