A Florida daycare’s carelessness may cause a child’s injury. If so, the child may have a case. The same is true if a community center’s negligence caused a child’s injury. The accident case belongs to the child. It is not the parents’ case.
However, it is the parents’ decision to settle if the total recovery is under $15,000. When I use the word “daycare” in this article, I am also referring to a community center. In Florida, a daycare owes a duty to provide adequate and appropriate supervision for a minor child.
The daycare also owes a duty to provide security and to protect the minor child from:
- Dangerous conditions; or
- Actions which the daycare created or about which they knew or should have known through the exercise of reasonable care.
In order for the child to have an injury case, the daycare must breach its duty to the minor child. At times, I use the word “infant” below. For purposes of this article, the word “infant” also applies to minors.
The following acts or omissions may constitute negligence:
- A daycare agent or employee fail to adequately monitor and supervise the infants in its care;
- Failure to adopt and implement appropriate policies and procedures for the care of infants;
- Failure to supervise the activities of its agent/employee caregivers.
Failure to have proper staffing levels
A daycare may be negligent for failing to:
- Maintain appropriate staffing levels to ensure adequate care of infants;
- Take reasonable measures to keep the infant child safe and secure;
- Properly secure the premises so that a minor child would not be injured;
- Secure the facility so that the minor child would be protected from foreseeable injury;
- Take proactive action to protect the minor Plaintiff from foreseeable injury;
- Protect the minor Plaintiff from physical harm caused by reasonably foreseeable negligent acts of the daycare’s employees;
- Take action by investigation, discharge or reassignment;
- Remove all employees incapable of performing the necessary supervision and protection functions.
A daycare may be negligent by allowing a minor child to be supervised by an unfit individual. Unfit individuals do not have the required skill and knowledge necessary to adequately and properly supervise infant children.
A Florida daycare must comply with Florida statutes, regulations, and ordinances governing the operation of child care facilities. They may be negligent if they fail to do so.
Negligence Per Se
A Florida daycare may have a Florida daycare may be negligent per se. Florida Statutes, Sections 402.301–.319 and the Florida Administrative Code Chapter 65C-22.001 state the minimum standards to protect the health, safety, and well-being of children in the State of Florida. This includes children while in the care and custody of daycare facilities.
It also includes community centers. A daycare may be negligent per se by violating one or more of the following statutes and/or administrative rules:
Florida Statute §402.305(4)(a) and Fla. Admin. Code R. 65C-22.001(4)(a-c) by negligently failing to properly staff the childcare facility to meet the required staff-to-children ratio. Failing to monitor the required and reasonable ratios of staff to children;
Florida Administrative Code 65C-22.001(5) by failing to adequately supervise infants in its care which resulted in serious harm to their health, safety and well-being;
Florida Administrative Code 65C-22.003(2), 65C-22.003(4)(a), 65C-22.006(4) by failing to have a complete record on file for the childcare personnel alleged to be present at the daycare at the time of the injury and by allowing untrained staff to supervise children.
Florida Statutes, Sections 402.301-.319 and the Florida Administrative Code Chapter 65C-22.001 were designed to protect children in child care facilities. Florida Statutes, Sections 402.301-.319 and the Florida Administrative Code Chapter 65C-22.001 create a duty to take precautions to protect a particular class of persons from a particular injury or type of injury. The particular class of people is children.
A child care facility is required to comply with Florida Statutes, Sections 402.301-.319 and the Florida Administrative Code Chapter 65C-22. They create a duty to prevent and take precautions to protect minor children from injuries occurring from a violation of these standards.
In Florida, a child to recover damages. To do so, the daycare’s negligence must have caused the injury. The parent’s may claim that the child would not have been injured but for the failure of Defendant to provide adequate supervision and care to the infant child.
What Damages Can a Child Recover in a Florida Injury Case?
If the daycare’s negligence caused a child’s injury, he or she may recover damages for:
- bodily injury and resulting pain and suffering
- impairment, disability, disfigurement
- mental anguish and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life
- expense of hospitalization
- medical care
- nursing care and treatment
- aggravation of a previously existing condition.
A daycare’s carelessness may cause a minor’s injury in Florida. If it does, the child generally does not have to have a permanent injury in order to recover damages. This is true in most cases.
How Long Does a Child Have to Sue a Florida Daycare for Personal Injury?
Find out how long a child has to sue a Florida daycare for negligence. It is usually four (4) years, but there may be exceptions.
Waiver and Release, In Advance, of Claims against a Day Care or Camp
There are two (2) types of language in a waiver and release that a day care may require a parent may sign. They are:
1. A waiver and release of negligence.
2. A waiver and release of an “inherent risk.”
The parent or natural guardian may refuse to sign a release. However, the day care will not allow the child to be enrolled.
Waiver of Negligence and Release
Day Spa or Destination Spas
Some day spas or destination spas provide on-site child care for customers and employees. Most Florida general liability insurance policies do not cover on-site child care at a day spa or destination spa.
For example, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, the Florida’s largest business liability insurer in Florida, does not include day care coverage in its day spa liability policy.
Find out about injury claims against day spas and destinations spas in Florida.
Which companies insure Florida child care centers, day care, and preschools?
Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company
Philadelphia Insurance Company has an A++ A.M. Best rating. But, they are below average at paying injury claims.
Philadelphia Insurance Company child care center policies have abuse and molestation coverage with separate limits of liability available. It is separate and complete from the General Liability limits.
Philadelphia policies have premises liability coverage including personal injury liability. This may pay for the injured child’s slip or trip and fall. It covers other types of accident as well.
Philadelphia Insurance offers up to $10 Million dollars in umbrella coverage.
A daycare can elect to purchase Owned Business Automobile Insurance. A daycare bus or van driver’s carelessness may cause someone’s injury.
If so, the daycare’s owned business auto insurance may pay for the victim’s damages.
Travelers insures licensed, non-residential child care facilities for infants to kindergarten-aged children, pre-schools, and after-school care through grade 8. Its coverages include:
- General liability
- Abuse and molestation liability
- Child care services acts, errors or omissions
- Corporal punishment liability
- Automobile liability
- Workers compensation
- Umbrella liability
Other Florida day care insurers include, but are not limited to:
Scottsdale Insurance Company
Scottsdale is Florida’s 7th largest business liability insurer.
United States Liability Insurance
Riverport Insurance Company (A Berkeley Company)
American Federation Of Daily-Care Services Inc (A Markel Company)
Markel Insurance Company
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney if Your Child Is Hurt at a Daycare or Somewhere else?
Yes, if your child was seriously injured and you think the daycare or someone else is at fault. There are over 11 benefits to hiring a Florida personal injury lawyer.
Certain Florida minor child injury cases require court approval. A Florida daycare’s insurance company will not pay you $15,000 or more without court approval.
In order to get court approval, you need to file documents with the court. This usually costs at least $400 or so. Many parents are unwilling or unable to afford the filing fee.
In addition, you need to know which documents to file. This is often be confusing. Different Florida courts may follow different procedures.
If you hire a Florida accident lawyer, he or she can pay this cost. If, and when, the case settles, the attorney is paid back from the settlement.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your child’s injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
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