If your child has been hurt while under someone else’s supervision, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any resulting physical or emotional injuries.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may attempt to prove that your child was injured in part due to a “general neglect” on behalf of their caretaker’s actions, or lack thereof. California state law defines “general neglect” as when “a person having the care or custody of a child”fails to adequately provide“supervision where no physical injury to the child has occurred.” In other words, you must prove that the severity of your child’s injuries could have been reasonably prevented.
A child is not expected to have the same level of foresight or preventative thinking skills as an adult, especially an adult in a supervisory role or authoritative position.Even if your child was partially at-fault for their injuries, you may still win a child injury case so long as you are able to prove the caretaker negligent in their actions.
A family child car home is when a person provides care for the children of multiple families“for periods of less than 24 hours per day” out of their own house. A child care center, on the other hand, “means any child care facility of any capacity” other than somebody’s home.
Both types of child care must first obtain a special community licensing offered through the state before they are legally allowed to operate.Although family child care homes and child care centers each have their own respective rules and procedures as outlined by the California Department of Social Services, both types of providers are still equally accountable for any instance of child injury through neglect.
In California, a child has the right to “safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations” while under the supervision of a child care provider. This includes a right to safe furnishings and equipment at all times.
As a parent, you have the right to enter a child care center whenever children are in care, a right to inquire about the criminal background of all child service providers, and the right to file a complaint with the licensing office about a child care provider.
If you think your child has been physically or emotionally injured while under the custody of a licensed care provider, you may choose to contact the appropriate community licensing division with jurisdiction over your area to file a complaint. It is important to gather as much documentation as quickly as possible to potentially use as evidence in the event of any future legal proceedings – their response could help substantiate your claims. The community licensing division for Sacramento is the River City Regional Office, and they can be reached by phone at (916) 263-5744.
After your complaint is received, investigators will conduct an “onsite inspection within 10 days”. They will keep you informed of any conclusions they may reach after the review process is over, and any further actions that they may choose to take against the child care provider in the future. It is always up to you, however, to seek a monetary claim for any damages.
The licensing agency, aside from investigating complaints about child care providers, also makes sure to visit each home and center before issuing a license, occasionally makes surprise visits, conducts criminal background checks and immunity record searches on child care providers, reviews licensing applications, and revokes licenses when needed.
A child injury lawyer can help you determine if you want to pursue legal action against a child care facility by first reviewing circumstantial evidence surrounding the incident to determine if the injury may have been brought on by negligence. Professional child injury lawyers like Hendrick Crowell understand the importance of these delicate cases, and will work tirelessly to help you reclaim any expenses you have incurred through the injury of your beloved child through negligence. Call Crowell Law Offices at (916) 303-2800 for a free consultation today!