Minnesota daycares are required to keep your children safe.
Finding a trustworthy daycare provider to protect your child’s wellbeing is a difficult process, even in the best of cases. Unfortunately, even a carefully chosen and properly licensed providers can violate this trust. There are many moving parts in a daycare injury or abuse case. Dealing with legal standards in the court system as well as fighting the insurance company are at the forefront of most of these matters. The following is an overview of those subjects.
Insurance Requirements for Daycares
Childcare providers are advised by the state to carry liability insurance. State law requires that providers notify their clients in writing every year when the insurance policy is renewed. If the provider does not have insurance, he or she must annually notify the parents and guardians of children in care that there is no insurance coverage. See Minnesota Statute § 245A.152.
It is important to be aware of the insurance coverage available to your child through your daycare provider. The reason this is important is because your daycare may not have the financial means to compensate you and your child for the child’s medical bills, your lost wages, and the child’s pain and suffering if they do not have insurance coverage.
Accidents and Negligence by Daycare Staff
State law requires that childcare providers be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In addition, many counties, including Hennepin and Ramsey, also license childcare providers and conduct background studies. The requirements for licensure imposed by State law and county regulation clearly establish the responsibilities and duties that daycare providers owe to the children in their care. It is important to know that these regulations apply to both larger child care centers and “family child care” provided in the caregiver’s home.
These regulations often form the basis of a lawsuit against the provider for negligence if a child is hurt in an accident caused by unsafe conditions. If the accident was caused by the provider’s failure to comply with state licensing requirements, there may be a claim for negligence per se. The requirements are extensive and include keeping toxic materials inaccessible to children, maintaining sanitary procedures for diaper changes, and using gates on stairways where young children are being cared for. Through a careful and thorough discovery process, our attorneys will determine if the injury resulted from a licensing violation. If so, Sand Law LLC will skillfully bring a claim for negligence per se.
Despite the background checks and other licensing requirements, children in daycare can still be hurt by abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect can take many different forms. A provider may use inappropriate forms of discipline such as physical assault or locking a child in a room or outdoors. Through neglect, a child may be deprived of food or water. Sometimes, childcare providers do not adequately regulate who has access to the children in their care. This primarily occurs in family child care settings, where children are cared for in the caregiver’s home. In these situations, there may be relatives of the caregiver or other people who have access to the home. Unfortunately, sometimes these individuals have not been screened as part of the licensing requirements.
Daycare abuse happens more than most people think. When a child suffers abuse or neglect from a caregiver, it often harms the child’s relationships with other adults and presents developmental difficulties. In addition to medical costs, parents often incur wage loss and other economic damages related to finding new care for their child. Children may need therapy or psychological care to recover fully.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If the unfortunate horror of daycare abuse happens to your child, you need to evaluate your options. Sand Law’s personal injury attorneys are experienced in securing compensation that will cover the full cost of treatment and recovery. If your child has been hurt at daycare, whether by an accident or caregiver abuse or neglect, our daycare abuse lawyers have the expertise you need. Our attorneys have earned a reputation in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota for providing tough and zealous advocacy for children and their parents. Contact Sand Law online or by phone at 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.