Accidents are a part of life for parents and their children, whether they happen on the playground or in the backyard. Although many mishaps result in nothing more than relatively minor bumps and bruises, others can cause more significant and lasting injuries. That includes accidents that are avoidable and the result of negligence.
At Searcy Denney, our West Palm Beach child injury lawyer team has been helping the parents of children injured in accidents across Florida for decades. We understand the pain, stress, and uncertainty that can come with child injuries. Our lawyers also know that these situations can result in a pile of medical bills. That is why we work tirelessly to identify those responsible and help clients get compensation for their children’s injuries.
If your child has been injured in an accident – whether it is a car crash, a slip, and fall, or a result of daycare negligence – you do not have to go it alone. A West Palm Beach child injury lawyer at Searcy Denney will guide you through the legal process for seeking compensation with experience and personal attention.
Do not just take our word for it. Our client testimonials speak for themselves. We also have a proud track record of successful results for the people and families that we represent, including a number of six- and seven-figure awards in the courtroom and through a negotiated settlement.
Our West Palm Beach Child Injury Attorneys Understand the Nuances of Daycare Negligence Claims
Many children spend long stretches of time each day at daycare facilities or under the supervision of professional care providers while their parents are at work.
Although daycare operators provide an essential service, in some situations they are understaffed and overwhelmed, do not properly train employees or simply cut corners to save a few bucks. That is a recipe for disaster that puts children’s safety at risk.
Fortunately, state law imposes some basic legal obligations on daycare providers. The law imposes a staff-to-children ratio that is designed to ensure that kids are properly supervised at all times. The ratio varies, depending on the age of the children.
- Ages 0 to 1: One child care staff member for every four children.
- Ages 1 to 2: One child care staff member for every six children.
- Ages 2 to 3: One child care staff member for every 11 children.
- Ages 3 to 4: One child care staff member for every 15 children.
- Ages 4 to 5: One child care staff member for every 20 children.
- Ages 5 and older: One child care staff member for every 25 children.
When a group of children is over the age of two, the required ratio is based on the age of the most number of children in the group.
It is important to understand that these ratios simply provide a minimum legal standard. In many situations, lower ratios may be required to adequately ensure children’s safety. That includes situations involving inexperienced staff, dangerous conditions or particularly vulnerable kids.
Other legal standards also govern fire safety, staff background checks, sanitation, transportation, and general safety for daycare providers.
A childcare provider may be considered negligent, even if it meets staff ratio and other legal requirements. Providers are obligated under the law to meet a certain basic standard of care, based on the circumstances. The primary question in these situations is whether the provider acted in a way that would have been expected from a reasonable provider in similar circumstances.
A West Palm Beach child injury attorney at our firm can help you understand how an accident happened and determine legal liability. We will take the time to understand your specific situation and develop a strategy to meet your unique goals.
Negligent Supervision of Children
Daycare providers and others tasked with caring for children are also required to offer a certain basic level of supervision. This obligation extends to teachers, tutors, coaches, counselors, babysitters, and even friends and family.
A wide range of accidents can happen when kids are not adequately supervised, from a trip and fall to choking on a pen cap. A person or entity who does not properly supervise a child is likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.
The standard of care for supervision is how a reasonable daycare provider or other person or entity would be expected to act in a similar situation. That includes warning kids about certain hazards – like a broken slide at a playground – and physically preventing them from getting near those hazards, in many cases. The law takes into account that children are naturally curious and often engage in risky activity. Anyone supervising a child in Florida is expected to understand that, too.
We Can Help After a Playground Accident in West Palm Beach
Although playgrounds are a source of fun and entertainment for kids at a variety of ages, they are also often the site of accidents and injuries. An experienced West Palm Beach child injury attorney will tell you that these accidents – as well as others that occur on property owned by another person or entity – can raise some complicated legal questions.
Playground owners are legally obligated to ensure that the property is safe for children to play. They must regularly inspect, maintain and repair the playground and warn kids and others of dangers that the owner knows or should know about.
Playground equipment manufacturers also have a responsibility to make products that are safe to use. That means that the equipment is designed and manufactured in a way that is safe for both its intended use and other uses that are reasonably foreseeable. Manufacturers are likely to be legally liable when defective equipment causes an accident at a playground.
Playground accidents also often raise questions about supervision. Daycare providers, teachers, and others owe children the same general responsibility to adequately supervise them at playgrounds as in other settings.
Contact a West Palm Beach Child Injury Lawyer After an Accident on Someone Else’s Property
Property owners owe a certain duty of care to others on the premises, which varies based on the circumstances. Generally, they are required to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn others of hazards that the owner knows about or should know about through reasonable inspection.
Trespassers do not usually get the same right to protection and warnings as business and social visitors. In some situations, however, property owners may be considered to have “constructive knowledge” that a trespasser is on the premises. If local kids regularly sneak onto the property to hit the pool, hop on the trampoline or saddle up on the riding lawn mower, the homeowner may be found to have constructive knowledge.
These and other property features may also be deemed an “attractive nuisance,” which comes with heightened responsibilities when it comes to warning children of dangers.
Has your child been injured in a public place or on another person’s property? A West Palm Beach child injury lawyer at Searcy Denney can help you investigate the accident and pursue compensation.
Get Help After the Wrongful Death of a Child in Palm Beach County
There is no way to fully describe the pain and distress that comes with losing a child. In the unthinkable situation in which a child dies in an accident, money is not likely to provide much comfort to grieving parents. Compensation can, however, help ease much of the financial burden that can come with losing a loved one.
Parents have the right to sue those responsible for the accident for wrongful death. These cases are often based on claims for negligence, similar to those that come into play when a child suffers injuries that are not fatal. The available compensation includes money for medical and burial costs, as well as for the child’s expected earnings over the years.
These lawsuits are subject to strict deadlines and other filing requirements. A West Palm Beach child injury attorney at Searcy Denney can help you explore legal action.
Our firm has a clear track record of helping grieving parents hold those responsible for an accident fully accountable by maximizing their compensation. That includes a $57 million settlement for a family whose daughter was killed and sons were injured in a car accident, as well as a $20 million settlement for a Florida woman who lost both her husband and children in a crash.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Child Injury Lawyer
If your child has been injured in an accident in Florida, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible. An experienced West Palm Beach child injury attorney at Searcy Denney can help you build the strongest possible claim.
Our accident attorneys help injured people fight back in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. We are pleased to be able to offer contingency fee arrangements in which we do not get paid unless we successfully resolve your case.
Our offices are conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, and Tampa. Call us at 800-780-8607 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach child injury attorney today.