Birmingham Daycare Abuse Lawyers
Any injury to a child is distressing, but one caused by an abusive or neglectful daycare worker is disturbing and gut-wrenching. If your child has suffered abuse from a Birmingham daycare, contact the Birmingham child injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP immediately. We may be able to get you financial compensation.
The decision to put a child in daycare is one of the most important and difficult decisions a parent can make. Many parents in Birmingham who do so simply have no choice, as they have to work to support their children. Others want to give their children social experiences and learning stimulation, and still other parents may need someone trusted and responsible to watch their children while they go to medical appointments and on job interviews.
Regardless of the reason, you rely on daycare workers to be properly vetted with background checks and to supervise your child appropriately in safe and clean facilities. Every daycare must be properly licensed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources, except some affiliated with religious institutions, and those daycares must still provide you with staff qualifications and child-staff ratios.
Even with state licensing and oversight, daycare abuse in Birmingham occurs, and it could traumatize our children for life or worse, it could cost them their life. If anyone at the daycare knows the abuse is occurring, they have a legal obligation to report it to local law enforcement or to the proper county Human Resources office under Alabama law.
Set up a free consultation through our website, or call us at (205) 324-1212 today. Don’t bear this terrible tragedy alone. Let us review the facts of your case and see how we can help you and your child.
Why Do I Need a Birmingham Daycare Abuse Lawyer?
When your child suffers abuse at the hands of a daycare employee, you are understandably focused on the needs of your child. It can be difficult to accept that it happened or to talk to anyone about it, particularly if the abuse is sexual abuse.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we help families every day in Birmingham and across Alabama deal with the difficult topic of daycare abuse with both compassion and legal expertise. It is one of our most grueling practice areas but also one of our most important. We have been fighting for Birmingham children for years, and we grieve when something as distressing as daycare abuse threatens their innocence.
Child abuse is a criminal offense in Alabama. Once the offense is reported, local authorities will investigate. Daycare abuse doesn’t always involve physical or sexual abuse, however. If the daycare doesn’t hire a sufficient number of staff to properly supervise your child, that could lead to neglect and put your child at risk. A distracted or overworked daycare worker can create a danger for your child.
In addition to any criminal charges that local authorities may file, as a parent or guardian, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the daycare. If successful, you may be able to get compensation for medical expenses you incurred on behalf of your child, which you cannot get in a criminal case.
An experienced Birmingham daycare abuse lawyer may also decide to pursue compensation for counseling expenses for your child and for your family and any other expenses you incurred due to this abuse or neglect.
Birmingham daycares must follow and maintain specific care guidelines under Alabama daycare licensing laws, such as serving nutritious meals and securing high-risk areas such as swimming pools. They must also allow parents access at any time. State licensing staff can’t continuously monitor daycares on a daily basis, so it is up to the integrity of the daycare operators and staff to rigorously abide by these rules. Unfortunately, many of them do not, and it’s Birmingham children and their families who pay for their violations.
An experienced Birmingham daycare abuse attorney knows how to handle daycare abuse investigations. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, the attorney assigned to your case can work with any criminal authorities, if appropriate, to ensure your case is handled properly. We know how to access state inspection reports to see if the daycare has had any violations that indicate a pattern of carelessness and neglect.
The work that we at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP do in Birmingham daycare abuse cases is performed in the best interests of the child. Partner Kirby Farris established this law firm in 1997 to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. He and partner Ken Riley are proud to call Birmingham home, and in their home city and state, children deserve justice.
Types of Birmingham Daycare Abuse
In addition to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, many Birmingham children suffer daycare abuse due to overworked staff not being able to supervise them properly, from faulty equipment, or from the staff’s inability to keep children away from dangerous substances that can poison them. Some examples include:
- Playground accidents from inadequate supervision, faulty equipment, or an unsafe or inadequate play surface
- Not securing children properly in the daycare vehicle during transport, having a motor vehicle accident, or the driver not seeing a child outside of the vehicle
- Forgetting a child in a hot vehicle
- Crib injuries
- Choking on toys or food
- Swimming accidents and drownings
- Electrical accidents
- Unsanitary facility conditions
Daycare staff should also be trained in basic lifesaving procedures, such as CPR and the Heimlich maneuver to save a child from choking. Vehicles that transport children must be adequately maintained.
While it’s true that some daycare accidents occur through no fault of daycare staff, purposely understaffing to save money, overworking staff, or not following proper, state-mandated procedures is neglect.
The Alabama Department of Public Health defines child abuse as “harm or a threat of harm to a child’s health or welfare,” and child neglect as “negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequately for a child.”
Even if the daycare acts in a manner not considered criminal, if their actions put your child in harm’s way, the daycare needs to be held accountable. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we can help you determine if the best way to do this is to file a civil lawsuit that could possibly help you and your child with the expenses you incurred as a result of the abuse or negligence.
If your child suffered criminal daycare abuse under Alabama law, the daycare may also be held accountable for not conducting adequate background checks, not training and supervising employees properly, or for being negligent about their safety practices and equipment maintenance.
As unbelievable as it seems, some daycare operators may even know about the abuse and don’t report it because they don’t want to get shut down or get into legal trouble. Even worse, some participate in the abuse.
It’s important to remember that every employee at the daycare has a responsibility to look for signs of abuse and to report it to the state or to law enforcement. Alabama state officials admit that all forms of child abuse are likely underreported across our state. That’s why these cases are important to us. It’s up to all of us in Birmingham to keep our children safe from daycare abuse, and that’s a promise that we at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP make sincerely and take seriously.
What Should You Do if Your Child Suffers from Daycare Abuse?
If your child has suffered daycare abuse, you need to get them medical attention and notify law enforcement. You also need to let the medical team examining and treating your child know where the abuse happened. They will cooperate with law enforcement as necessary in any investigation.
If the daycare abuse becomes a criminal investigation, interviewing the daycare staff and operators becomes the job of law enforcement. However, you should seek advice from an experienced Birmingham daycare abuse attorney to preserve your and your child’s rights. Give Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP a call at (205) 324-1212 to set up a free consultation to review your case.
When you have an experienced, compassionate attorney on your case, you can turn your full attention to the needs of your child and to your family’s recovery. The legal team at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP wants to help you help your family and to send a message to those committing daycare abuse that people in Birmingham are serious about holding them accountable and making them stop.
Don’t Wait Another Day to Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP
It’s never easy for a parent to leave their child at a daycare. When you drop that child off, you do so because you believed a lot of people’s promises, and you believed they were doing their jobs. From training to supervision, to meeting licensing requirements, you relied on that daycare to meet the basic needs of your child, keep them from harm, and do their jobs with the patience and kindness that our Birmingham children deserve.
That violation of trust is one of the worse experiences that a parent can have, and abuse or neglect can forever change your child’s life. Don’t sit back and let the daycare get away with it. Give us a call at (205) 324-1212 or set up your free consultation through our contact form today.