When parents drop their little ones off at daycare, they trust the people employed by the facility will care for them and protect them from harm. Unfortunately, not all daycare and childcare workers are equally committed to the care and safety of their young charges.
Sadly, it's not uncommon for children in daycare to suffer horrific abuse.
If you recently discovered your child was abused at daycare, you may be hoping prosecutors will throw the book at the perpetrators, resulting in jail time or other serious penalties. However, it's important to note that you aren't limited to seeking justice in criminal court. Holding an abusive childcare worker or negligent daycare responsible in civil court can offer something the criminal court system can't: compensation for your child's injuries and suffering.
If you're considering taking legal action for daycare abuse, here's what you need to know.
Signs of Abuse in Young Children
Child abuse reported at daycare facilities often includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Experiencing this trauma at such a young age can have devastating long-term consequences.
Predators often prey on children because they're helpless, pliable and maybe too young to articulate their abuse. While your 3- or 4-year-old may be too little to verbally disclose their abuse, there are a number of signs parents should watch for that may prompt concern. Pay special attention to the following:
- Sudden changes in behavior, such as extreme mood swings, becoming withdrawn, or expressing feelings of shame.
- Demonstrating an unusual and age-inappropriate interest in sexual activity.
- Sudden fear or anxiety about going to daycare or of a specific facility employee.
- Difficulty sleeping, recurrent nightmares, or night terrors.
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or other marks on the child's body.
- Regression to behaviors they've long outgrown.
- Frequent urinary tract infections or yeast infections.
- Sexually-transmitted infections or diseases.
What to Do If Your Child Was Abused at Daycare
If you have reason to believe your child was the victim of daycare abuse or neglect, it's important to act quickly. Remove your child from the daycare in question and report the suspected or disclosed abuse to local law enforcement.
Next, contact an attorney with extensive experience handling child abuse and daycare abuse cases. This expert can help you understand your rights and explore options for compensation. In addition to a complaint against the actual perpetrator, you may also have grounds for a civil claim against the daycare based on the negligent hiring or supervision of the predatory employee.
Victims of daycare abuse may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages including, but not limited to:
- Medical expenses for related physical and psychological injuries
- Lost wages or other non-medical expenses incurred by the parents as a result of their child's abuse
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
Additionally, a fair settlement will consider more than the child's immediate physical injuries. It should also include damages for reasonable future treatment they may need because of the abuse.
Consult a Knowledgeable Child Abuse Attorney
Finding out your child was abused at daycare can be absolutely devastating. At DRZ Law, we offer compassionate yet swift action to help you attain justice. Our firm has extensive experience representing daycare abuse victims in Kansas City, the Midwest, and across the country.
Was your child a victim of daycare abuse? Do you have questions about your legal options? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.