Anytime anyone suffers a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is a stressful and often traumatic circumstance — particularly if the injured victim is a child. When we leave our children in the care of a provider such as a daycare, we trust that our children will be protected just as if we were there ourselves, and when child negligence leads to daycare injuries in Atlanta, Georgia, an often difficult and painful legal battle can be set into motion. The laws regarding child personal injury in Georgia include some special safeguards for those younger and more innocent than ourselves, so if your child has suffered personal injuries at daycare due to negligence, you should begin by familiarizing yourself with the child’s legal rights.
The best way to ensure that you and your child see the best possible outcome from these terrible circumstances is with a strong legal representative at your side, helping you to understand just how the laws in Georgia and our judicial system works to protect children from personal injury.
What Does Child Negligence Mean for Daycare Injuries in Atlanta, Georgia?
There are some common threads that run through any kind of personal injury claim,whether the victim is a child or an adult. The basic legal requirement of showing negligence is essentially the same for everyone. In order to show that your child’s personal injuries at daycare are the fault of someone else, it is necessary to prove four elements: Duty, Breach, Causation, and Damages.
First of all, the question of duty involves proving that the responsible party had a duty to protect the safety of your child. In the case of a daycare, this is generally a straightforward matter. Anyone who operates a day care clearly has a duty to protect the welfare of those children left in their care.
Second, it is necessary to show that this duty was breached. Usually this means showing that some action, or inaction, on the part of the responsible party placed the children at risk, and that the responsible party either knew, or reasonably should have known, that this risk existed. In other words, a sudden, unforeseen accident may not constitute a breach of the provider’s duty. On the other hand, something like leaving the gate to a pool open, or providing access to dangerous items like tools or knives, while children are unsupervised, would most likely constitute a breach.
Third, it must be shown that this particular breach of duty caused the child personal injury in question. In other words, leaving the pool gate open may create an unsafe environment, but if an injured child falls down inside the house and nowhere near the pool, this negligent act fails the cause test.
Finally, proving damages is among the most complex parts of the process, and includes medical bills and other costs on the part of the child, and lost wages and other damages, like pain and suffering, on the part of the parents.
How are Child Personal Injury Cases Different?
One of the key differences in child personal injury cases, including day care injuries due to child negligence in Atlanta, Georgia, is how comparative negligence is applied. For adults, if one adult is injured due to the negligence of another, but is partially responsible for the injury himself or herself, comparative negligence may apply. In other words, a person who slips on an unmarked wet floor is probably the victim of negligence. If that wet floor is in an area where the victim should not have been, such as an area marked “employees only,” they may bear some of the responsibility for the injury due to comparative negligence.
The Georgia legal system does not hold children responsible for not recognizing dangerous situations like broken playground equipment or an open pool gate. As such, they are not held to this standard of comparative negligence. This is laid out in Georgia’s “Tender Years Doctrine.” In general a child who is four or less is exempt from comparative negligence entirely, and children from the ages of 5-13 are considered on a case by case basis depending upon the child’s capacity.
Reach Out to a Lawyer If Your Child Suffers from Personal Injuries at Daycare in Atlanta, GA
If your child suffered personal injuries at daycare due to the fault of someone else, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson right away. You can schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys at no charge to you, and we will advise you as to whether you have a case. Call today.