With Georgia's ongoing improvements to its daycare standards and quality ratings programs you would think that daycare abuse is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, children still suffer abuse and neglect at daycare centers due to negligent or unfit staff members, even though there are good programs in place such as Quality Care for Children, Bright from the Start, and Quality Rated.
When your child suffers injuries or trauma while attending a daycare center, you deserve answers as to who is responsible and how the situation will be rectified. If your child is, in fact, the victim of daycare abuse, liability may be apportioned to the caregiver and/or the owner of the company.
Determining Daycare Abuse Liability
One of the common responses of a parent learning his or her child is the victim of abuse at daycare is to point blame immediately at the teacher or other caregiver. Before you accuse anyone of misconduct at the daycare, it's important to understand that more than just teachers or caretakers work at your child's daycare.
Janitors, maintenance personnel, nutrition specialists, IT workers, managers, and many other people may be in the daycare on a daily basis. Since all of these people typically have some degree of access to the children, it may not be the teacher who is responsible for your child's injuries.
Even if your child's teacher or caretaker is responsible for the abuse, it may not solely be that person who can be liable for your child's injuries. The manager or owner of the daycare who hired that abusive teacher may also be liable in circumstances where the teacher had a known criminal or abusive history, or if it failed to perform the necessary background and employment checks.
Gathering the Necessary Evidence to Prove Liability
To begin the process of filing a claim for daycare abuse or neglect (such as failing to monitor a child or overmedicating the child), you will need evidence that proves two things.
- The abuse or neglect occurred at the daycare while your child was enrolled and under supervision of a staff member.
- Your child suffered serious physical or mental trauma due to the abuse that could have been prevented with due care.
The evidence for these matters can come in many forms. You can start by gathering the basic details such as the name of the supervisor at the daycare at the time the abuse occurred and the name(s) of the staff member(s) in charge of monitoring your child. Keep detailed notes about dates and times when you noticed injuries or instances in which your child complained.
If your child is old enough, she may be able to provide her own testimony about what happened to her at daycare. In many cases, facilities will have video surveillance set up to capture potential incidents. This footage may prove abusive or negligent behavior.
Testimony can be gathered from other staff members, parents, or children who bore witness to the abusive acts. Also, a doctor's examination of your child's injuries may help prove that the injuries came from intentional abuse and not typical childhood roughhousing or injuries.
If a daycare has prior complaints or records of failed or poor inspections, these documents could highlight past misconduct that the facility may not have corrected. In the case of a single abusive staff member, his or her employment record and background check may be called into question during an investigation for your daycare neglect liability claim.
To gather this evidence, work with an attorney, as daycare centers are unlikely to give parents access to employee records or surveillance videos.
Let an Attorney Help You Prove Liability
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help Georgia parents seek justice when a negligent daycare allows abuse or neglect to take place that injures their child. Our attorneys leave no stone unturned when it comes to identifying all daycare personnel liable for the abuse your child suffered. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation regarding your legal options against a negligent and abusive daycare center or daycare worker. Call 404-474-0804.