What Injuries Do Daycares Need to Report

What Injuries Do Daycares Need to Report?

One of the worst calls a parent can ever receive is when their child is injured while under the supervision of a daycare. These events often leave parents feeling helpless because it forces them to make the decision as to whether their child is safe at their current daycare or needs to be transferred to a new one. While minor scrapes and bruises may happen on occasion, there are certain instances that daycare operators must report within two days, and these are the instances parents should be aware of.

Unsafe or Unsanitary Conditions

If the operator of a daycare notices anything that may make their structure unsafe or unsanitary for children they must report this immediately. This information must be reported to the governing body that licenses daycare facilities so an investigation can take place. Whether or not children will be allowed into the daycare is dependent upon the severity of the reported condition and is up to the licensing agency.

Injuries

If a child is injured while in the care of the daycare the staff must notify the licensing agency if the injury requires medical treatment. The licensing agency will also likely perform an investigation in this instance to ensure the child was not injured due to the negligence of the daycare staff.

Communicable Diseases

Children who are discovered to have a communicable disease must be removed from the daycare facility immediately and the licensing agency must be notified. If this event occurs the children exposed to the ill child will often have to undergo a medical examination and the daycare will be required to sanitize their facility before children will be allowed to return.

Criminal Actions by Staff

Any person who is required to undergo a background check during the hiring process is expected to maintain a clean criminal record. If one of these individuals is arrested or charged with a crime this must be reported to the licensing agency. This individual will likely be placed under investigation to ensure it is safe for them to be working with children.

Negligent Behavior

When daycare staff display any form of negligence while supervising children this must be reported to the licensing agency. Examples of negligence range from a child being left unsupervised to a child leaving the facility without adult supervision. If this occurs the licensing agency will likely conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Daycare Injures are taken very serious in the state of Texas. If your child has been injured at daycare, then you could be entitled to compensation. Get a free legal consultation session today by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Bounce House Injuries Take Legal Action before It's Too Late!

Bounce House Injuries: Take Legal Action before It’s Too Late!

Bounce houses are often viewed as the embodiment of childhood fun, but these devices were the cause of 4,900 injuries between 2002 and 2005, making them equal parts fun and dangerous. Those who themselves are injured or have a child who is injured in a bounce house may face expensive medical bills that are difficult to pay, and this is why victims should consider taking legal action as a way to obtain compensation.

Statute of Limitations for Inflatables

Those who suffer an injury while using a bounce house only have a set number of years to file their lawsuit with the courts. The statute of limitations for injury cases is two years, and this means individuals who are injured should speak with an attorney as soon as possible after their injury occurs.

Accountable Parties for Bounce House Injuries

There are a number of individuals and entities that can be held responsible in the event of a bounce house injury, and the most common include:

  • Operators – Those who operate the bounce house have an obligation to make sure users are safe when in the bounce house. If an operator is aware of a safety hazard and fails to take action to correct it, this makes them responsible for any injuries that occur.
  • Renters – If an individual rents a bounce house for their party they are responsible for making sure the product is safe for guests to use. If a host is unsure as to whether a bounce house is safe or not they shouldn’t allow guests to use it.
  • Manufacturers – Those who manufacturer bounce houses must ensure their product is free from defects and isn’t designed in a way that puts users at unnecessary risk. If any aspect of the bounce house is defective this can cause injuries and open the manufacturer up to a lawsuit.

Bouncy Castle Injury Evidence

If a person is injured while using a bounce house they should begin the process of gathering evidence as soon as any medical examinations are complete. Some of the most important steps victims can take include:

  • Obtaining contact information for any operators, renters, or witnesses who were at the scene where the injury occurred.
  • Taking photographs of any injuries that were sustained or noticeable hazards that may have caused the injury.
  • Obtaining medical records that pertain to the injury and submitting them to an attorney who can utilize them to help establish a case and assist the victim in receiving compensation.

Moon Jump Personal Injury Attorneys

Most parents assume their child will be safe when they play in a bounce house. Sometimes this assumption isn’t true and it’s important that the individuals responsible for this accident are brought to court. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Above Ground Swimming Pools Negligence Can Lead to Death

Above Ground Swimming Pools: Negligence Can Lead to Death

Above ground swimming pools are places of fun where people can escape the summer heat even if only for a while, and this is why it is often shocking when someone reports they were injured while enjoying swimming activities. Those who plan to visit an above ground swimming pool should ensure they know what the common causes of injury are and what legal actions they can take should an injury happen.

Causes of Swimming Pool Injuries

Collapse – Since above ground swimming pools are supported by a series of retaining walls there is always a chance that these structures could collapse. When a collapse occurs individuals inside the pool may find themselves quickly swept towards the site of the break without warning. Those swept away often don’t have time to react and this means they may impact with dislodged parts or skid across rough surfaces.

Drowning – An above ground pool poses a greater risk of drowning to swimmers because the elevated walls make it difficult for those within the pool to get out quickly in the case of an emergency. This danger is also increased because if a person attempts to get out without using a pool ladder there is the added risk of collapse from the added weight of the person on the retaining walls.

Responsibility

When a person is injured there are often questions as to who is responsible for any injuries that occur. The person most likely to be held responsible is the pool owner, and this is because they are the person tasked with making sure the structure is safe for those who are using it.

Additional Structures

Individuals may also suffer injuries on structures that surround above ground swimming pool such as a deck. If the deck doesn’t provide enough stable footing an injury can occur, and in this case the pool owner is often responsible for any injuries their guests sustain.

Another structure that is the site of injuries every year are the ladders used to enter and exit the pool. When these aren’t assembled properly injuries may occur, and those who are victims of this negligence should consider legal action as a means to recover damages.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have been injured from an above ground swimming pool, you should consider taking legal action. There is no reason to tolerate negligence. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Trampoline Accidents

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Trampoline Accidents?

Those who own a trampoline often purchase this product because of the hours of entertainment that it can bring to both children and adults. The risks associated with this device are commonly known, and this is a primary reason why homeowners often have trouble getting a trampoline covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy. Before a homeowner tries to get their trampoline covered under their policy there are a few key facts they should know.

Number of Injuries

Homeowner’s insurance policy providers are wary of trampolines because of the number of injuries attributed to this device every year. In 2011 there were over 83,000 trampoline injuries that occurred that resulted in the victim being sent to the emergency room. The amount of insurance claims this would generate would place a severe burden both logistically and financially for insurance providers, which is something many would rather avoid.

Obtaining Coverage

While it may be difficult, there are some insurance companies that do offer insurance in the event that a person is injured while using a trampoline. Those considering this option should know that this often raises their insurance premium considerably and may come with a number of stipulations, including:

  • A requirement that all safety details included with the trampoline instructions be followed exactly
  • Additional requirements from the insurance company itself detailing how the product can be used and any additional safety equipment such as nets that may be required.

If a homeowner or their guests fail to follow any of these stipulations it may result in the injury not being covered by the policy and the homeowner unable to receive compensation.

If a Policy Fails to Provide Coverage

When a homeowner is unable to obtain coverage for their trampoline there are other options they can explore in the event that a person is injured. Most important of these is determining whether or not the manufacturer of the trampoline can be sued for damages.

Homeowners will want to first determine if the injury was caused by a defect in the product or its design, or if the actions of the user are at fault. If the trampoline is assembled correctly and parts such as the net or springs fail this can show negligence on the part of the manufacturer.

If an injury occurs due to manufacturer negligence victims should contact a personal injury attorney to begin the legal process of obtaining compensation for injuries.

Get Compensation for Your Injuries

Trampolines have harmed far too many innocent people over the last decade. These who have been injured on trampolines should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Schedule your free case review by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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What Is the Pay Structure If I Want to Sue for an Injury

What Is the Pay Structure If I Want to Sue for an Injury?

One of the greatest fears for those who are injured is the uncertainty that comes from the costs associated with hiring an attorney. Most injured persons are pleased when they learn that in many instances hiring a personal injury attorney will cost them nothing until their case has been finished. This method of payment is known as a “contingency fee” structure and there are a few facts victims should know when seeking an attorney that offers this type of payment structure.

Prevalence

Contingency fees have become increasingly common payment structures for injury attorney over the past few decades. This is because many individuals who are injured are already suffering from financial difficulties and contingency fees ensure anyone who is injured can still obtain professional legal representation.

This type of payment structure has also seen an increase in popularity because those who don’t receive compensation for their damages often don’t have any outstanding bills due to their attorney. This allows victims to still take care of their financial obligations in the event that they don’t win their case.

Percentages

The main aspect of any contingency fee is the amount that the attorney will take as payment once the case has been settled. Some of the more common percentages include:

  • 25% – This is generally the lowest amount that an attorney will accept before they agree to accept a case.
  • 33% – This is considered to be the most common percentage that victims can expect to pay out of their award. This amount ensures the attorney is fairly compensated without placing an unnecessary burden on the victim.
  • 40%+ – Percentages of 40% or higher are usually for the most serious of injury cases and are often charged by attorneys that have a proven track record of winning cases for their clients. Victims should still be wary of firms charging high percentages since awards are often needed for expensive medical bills and lost wages.

Additional Fees

Victims should also read all documentation to determine if there are any additional fees along with the contingency fee. Additional fees may be included for services such as the initial consultation or for tasks such as case management.

Victims should pose any questions regarding the contingency fee to their attorney before the agreement is signed. This will ensure that future financial complications are avoided and the victim and attorney can focus on ensuring the case is a success.

Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation

Injured victims shouldn’t be concerned with their financial situation when deciding whether to go to court. If they lose their case with a contingency lawyer, they won’t have lost one penny. Even their case review is free. Schedule your case review today by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Can I Sue If I Signed a Pre-Injury Waiver, Liability Waiver or a Liability Release

Can I Sue If I Signed a Pre-Injury Waiver, Liability Waiver or a Liability Release?

Individuals may face multiple instances in their lifetime where they’re compelled to sign a liability waiver before taking part in an activity or using a product. People who sign these releases often assume that this document legally releases the creator from any liabilities in the event that the signer is injured, but this is not always the case and enforcement is often dependent on a number of factors.

Age

Those under the age of 18 cannot be held to the terms of a liability waiver because minors cannot legally be a party to a contract. If a child is injured, he or she has until two years after his or her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit in the state of Texas.

A general rule for those who are over the age of 18 is that liability waivers don’t eliminate the possibility of the victim filing a lawsuit in an attempt to seek damages. This depends on the language of the document. Even if a person has signed one of these waivers they should consult an attorney as soon as possible since there is only a two year window when a lawsuit can be filed. If you are in doubt, contact us. We offer a free case evaluation, so it does not hurt to ask if you have a case.

Language

The language of the liability waiver is also something the courts take into consideration when determining its validity. Most states require that the language of waivers be plain and easily readable by the common person. If the language is difficult to understand or purposefully ambiguous, this may result in the document being void and unenforceable.

The text of the document must also be easily visible by any person who attempts to read it. This prevents document creators from adding small text that contains additional provisions to the waiver that are against the signer’s best interests.

Reason for Signing a Pre-Injury Waiver

The circumstances surrounding the signing are also of importance because the courts consider whether or not a person was unfairly compelled to sign the liability waiver. If a person chooses to sign the document in order to gain some nonessential benefit this may make the waiver more enforceable, but this doesn’t mean a lawsuit can’t still be filed.

Defendant Negligence

Individuals who sign liability waivers should also be aware that these documents do not exclude defendants from negligence. Just because a person signs a liability waiver doesn’t mean defendants can then place the signer at risk of bodily injury. Defendants must still take all the necessary steps to ensure signers are safe and that the activity or product requiring the waiver is safe within reason.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Legal documents are difficult for most people to understand. If you have signed a pre-injury waiver and have been hurt, then you should contact a personal injury attorney today. Schedule your free case review by calling 713-222-1222.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
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Child Injury Affects Millions Every Year

One of the most heartbreaking things a parent can endure is having a child become injured. The parents of 9.2 million children experience this firsthand every year when their child is treated at an emergency room for an injury. Some of these injuries can have life-altering effects on their victims, and an estimated 12,175 children will even die from them. Some of the most common causes of accidents among children include:

Injured Child
david hurt by Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería / CC BY-SA 2.0

Causes of Child Accidents

Accidents can occur for a number of reasons, with some of the more common ones being:

  • Negligence on the part of a caregiver
  • Faulty equipment
  • Poisonous substances being left out
  • Improper supervision
  • Children who engage in activities that are inappropriate for their age
  • Lack of safety equipment

When accidents happen at school or day care, they could be the result of negligent hiring practices, distracted workers or the organization supervising too many children. Employers are typically held responsible for the actions of their employees in these situations.

Most Common Types of Child Injuries

Child Hurt
Learning the hard way by Ludovic Bertron / CC BY 2.0

By far, the biggest category of accidents involves motor vehicles, with an estimated 8% of all car accident victims nationwide being under the age of 14. In 2011, motor vehicle accidents caused the death of 895 children under the age of four. This accounted for around 55% of all accident deaths among this age group. Approximately 17,000 children are injured annually in school bus accidents. More than 40% of those injuries happen when a bus collides with another vehicle, while 24% happen when getting on or off the bus. The most common type of injury varies according to age group. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four. The leading cause of nonfatal accidents for children of all age groups is being struck by or against an object. Falls are another common category, with around 2.8 million children being seen in an emergency room annually as a result of them. Falls in general account for over half of all injuries to children less than one year of age.

Possible Child Injuries

Childhood injuries can encompass a number of things ranging from mild bruising to traumatic head injuries. Approximately 435,000 children visit the emergency room each year for suspected cases of traumatic brain injury, and these visits result in around 37,000 extended hospital stays. Other common injuries include:

  • Concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Sprains and strains
  • Severed limbs

Some children may suffer from more than one type of injury from the same accident. These injuries could require them to miss school or other activities while they attend physical therapy, have surgery, or are bedridden as part of their recovery.

Duty of Care for Young Kids

Crying Little Girl
No Drama Here by Philip Dean / CC BY 2.0

Those who deal with children on a regular basis are required to take necessary precautions to prevent injuries. The exact requirements will vary according to the nature of the business or relationship; however, a few of the things that must commonly be done are:

  • Warning others of the risks involved
  • Giving ample training and/or supervision before engaging in risky activities
  • Performing safety inspections
  • Using safe hiring practices to ensure the right employees are chosen to supervise children
  • Ensuring the right safety precautions are in place

When an establishment fails to take the necessary precautions, it could be liable for any damages that might occur. Manufacturers of faulty equipment can also be held liable for damages if a child is injured. There are typically more than 100 recalls on child products annually, with only around 10% of them ever being fixed or returned. That is likely due to the fact that parents do not know about the recall, since advertising dollars are not often spent to promote them. In determining negligence, the courts will look at what a reasonable person would have done under the same set of circumstances.

If they determine that an individual’s actions (or lack thereof) led directly to the injury, he or she could then be held liable for damages. The fact that a child acted recklessly or trespassed on another person’s property does not preclude parents from recovering damages. Homeowners are required to take reasonable precautions against “attractive nuisances” such as swimming pools and trampolines, since children are often intrigued by them and may access them without the owner’s knowledge. Parents can be entitled to recover damages for medical care, both now and in the future, in addition to damages for emotional pain and suffering.

Damages for loss of consortium, which is the loss of the child’s affection, may also be awarded in certain circumstances. For many parents, the only thing more difficult than dealing with their child’s injury is attempting to recover damages from the responsible party. Unfortunately, many people attempt to sidestep responsibility, even when children are injured. A good number of victims find themselves having no other alternative but to speak with an attorney.

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Should I Call Emergency Services If My Child Is Injured

Should I Call Emergency Services If My Child Is Injured?

Assessing the extent of a child’s injuries can often be difficult for parents and this can lead to hesitation when it comes to the decision of whether or not to contact emergency services. While avoiding this initial hesitation may be almost impossible, there are steps parents can take to determine whether or not their child is in need of immediate medical attention.

Child Injury Personal Observations

Immediately after a child is injured, adults should examine the child and their wounds to determine the severity of the injury. The primary thing to remember in this instance is that not all wounds will be visible on the surface. Some factors to consider include:

  • The Child’s Behavior – Are they slurring their speech or appear to be confused? This can be a sign of a concussion and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Complaints of Internal Pains – Any complaints of pain should be addressed immediately since there is no immediate way of determining whether internal injuries are minor or severe.
  • Numbness – Numbness in any extremities can be a sign of spinal damage and should be treated at a medical facility immediately.

Events Requiring Emergency Services

There are a number of events that require the presence of emergency services regardless of whether a child has apparent injuries or not, and these include:

  • Fires – If a fire occurs, emergency services should be alerted immediately because this will not only alert the fire department but medical services as well. Many times children inhale large amounts of smoke if they are exposed to an environment that is burning for any extended amount of time. Emergency services can ensure the child hasn’t inhaled excessive amounts of smoke and can take steps to treat them if they have.
  • Being Rendered Unconscious – If a child is injured and is unconscious for any period of time emergency services should be contacted immediately. Doing so will allow the medical professionals to examine the child for any further signs of injury that aren’t visible on the surface.

Creating a Medical Record

Calling emergency services in the event that a child is injured also ensures that medical documentation can be obtained in the event that a lawsuit is filed. Having injuries examined and treated as quickly as possible shows the true severity of the injury and makes it more likely that those responsible will be required to pay damages for the harm they have caused.

Get Legal Assistance Today

Child injuries are both stressful and scary. No parents want their loved one to get hurt. If your child has sustained an injury, then you may need legal assistance just to cover the cost of medical bills. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling 713.766.5400.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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4 Most Common Child Playground Injuries

4 Most Common Child Playground Injuries

It is reported that every year more than 200,000 children under the age of 15 are injured while using playground equipment. There have been efforts over the years to make playground equipment safer. However there are still many common dangers that playgrounds pose. Parents can begin this effort in safety by arming themselves with knowledge about playground injuries and under what circumstances they are the most common.

Age Range

Children of any age are exposed to the risk of injury while using playground equipment, but there is one age range that accounts for most of the injuries that occur.

  • 2-9 Years Old – This is the age group that where a lot of injuries happen since children are so little and weak. An examination can reveal child injuries even if none are reported, as children may fear they will be in trouble or no longer able to use the playground equipment if they report an injury.
  • 6 Years and Younger – Children under six years of age don’t have the same muscle development or motor control skills of older children, and this means much of the playground equipment such as monkey bars can easily become a hazard.

Types of Playground Injuries

The running, jumping, and twisting that all take place on playground equipment means there are an unlimited number of potential injuries that could occur. The most common injuries include:

  1. Severe Fractures – Fractures often occur when because children are elevated high above the ground and expected to maintain their coordination during this time. Since a child’s bones may not be fully developed yet there is a greater risk of a fracture occurring.
  2. Concussions – Height or loss of coordination is also a key aspect when concussions occur. If a child hits their head hard enough against any surface there is a chance that their brain may impact with the side of their skull and cause a concussion.
  3. Internal Injuries – These types of injuries are often the most scariest for parents because there is often no way for parents to know they’ve occurred until the child complains of pain or another unrelated symptom.
  4. Amputations – Playground equipment often has many gaps and moving parts that pose a serious risk to children whose arms or legs get caught in these areas. This equipment could easily cause a child’s arm or leg to get caught and severed.

Hire a Child Injury Attorney

Child injuries are very emotionally tough on loving parents. One of the best ways to alleviate the pain is to hire a personal injury attorney to fight for you. Get your free case evaluation today by calling 713.766.5400.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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A'Niah Davila-Torres

3 Toddlers Died in Separate Unlicensed Daycare Incidents This Week: 2 Were in Houston

It has been a sad week with the deaths of three small children who died in unrelated daycare incidents. Two of these incidents happened in Houston.

The first of these incidents was the death of a 2-year-old girl that was scalded in a bath in Houston at about 9:30pm on Thursday. The caretaker did not call 911 or realize how bad the toddler’s burns were until a few hours after the incident. She was flown to the hospital, where she died. She had second and third degree burns in over 60% of her body. Residents of the Oaks at Greenview apartment say that the mother’s screams could be heard throughout the entire complex.

The woman caring for the little girl was not registered as a childcare provider. This prompted police to start an investigation to determine if this was an illegal daycare operation. The law states that someone who is receiving regular payment for caring for a child that is not related to that person must be registered with the state.

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The second incident was a 2-year-old boy, Leon St. Rose, who was found dead in his crib at his babysitter’s house, also in Houston. Leon was found face down in his crib. Police found no signs of foul play, but they are awaiting the results of the autopsy to confirm the cause of death. The caretakers in this incident were also not licensed, so police are investigating the possibility of it being an illegal daycare. You can visit chron.com/houston/article/Girl-2-dies-after-found-burned-in-east-Harris-5662762.php to read more about these two incidents.

The third incident was A’Niah Davila-Torres (pictured above), an 18-month-old girl who died on Friday night after being kept alive though life-support systems for a couple of days at St. Francis Hospital. She was taken to the hospital by a daycare provider and her boyfriend with traumatic injuries. The family blames the childcare provider, which was also unlicensed. Authorities are investigating. Read more about this tory at delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2014/08/02/wilmington-police-investigating-toddlers-death/13531801/.

If you or a loved one experienced a traumatic loss, Mukerji Law Firm can help. The experts at Mukerji Law Firm know how difficult a time of loss is, and while nothing they do will fix the situation, they can help ease the process and bring justice. Call Mukerji Law Firm for a free case evaluation today!