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Taking Legal Action Following the Wrongful Death of a Child at a South Carolina Daycare Facility

The inconceivable pain of losing your child is compounded when it happens within a daycare center. Sadly, some cases of daycare neglect and abuse can lead to the untimely demise of infants, toddlers, and young children. In South Carolina, parents grappling with this situation can feel overwhelmed with grief and a myriad of questions. What legal recourse do they have?

In certain situations, parents may be able to file a claim against the parties responsible for the child’s unfortunate death at daycare. The compassionate South Carolina wrongful death team at Pracht Injury Lawyers will investigate whether there was negligence at play and advocate for fair compensation. 

The Legal Right to Sue for Wrongful Death at Daycare

If your child suffers a fatal accident while at daycare, you may wonder whether you have the grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It depends. If your child died because of the negligent or intentional actions of the facility or its staff, then your family may be eligible to make a wrongful death claim.

However, not all accidental deaths are necessarily wrongful deaths under state law. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-51-10 describes wrongful death as when the death occurs as the result of “the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Additionally, it states that it’s only a wrongful death if the injured party could have filed a personal injury lawsuit had they survived the incident. 

Fatal Daycare Injuries That May Qualify for Wrongful Death Claims

Parents reasonably assume that daycares provide a safe space for their children and that trustworthy staff are responsible for their care. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Injuries may occur because of negligence or intentional acts. Inadequate care or a lack of safety precautions may be to blame. 

Here are some examples of cases that may be eligible for wrongful death lawsuits:

  • Unsecured furniture falls on the child.
  • Unsafe playground equipment causes traumatic brain injuries.
  • A child chokes on food or small toys because of inadequate supervision. 
  • Shaken baby syndrome can prove fatal. 
  • Unsafe sleeping conditions cause a baby to suffocate. 
  • Ingestion of unsecured household chemicals leads to accidental poisoning. 
  • Fatal drowning accidents can occur in swimming pools.
  • The child is left unsupervised in an overheated vehicle. 
  • A child suffers a deadly allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis from peanuts.
  • Lack of supervision at outdoor playgrounds may contribute to fatal accidents. 

Proof Required to Make a Successful Wrongful Death Claim

Several parties could be liable in a daycare death. Depending on the circumstances, you might file a lawsuit against the daycare, a specific employee, the management, or a relevant government agency. Discuss the particulars of your claim with one of our South Carolina wrongful death attorneys to identify possible liable parties

To win your wrongful death case, you and your lawyer must prove four key elements:

  1. The daycare center owed your child a duty of care.
  2. The daycare center breached this duty of care.
  3. This breach in duty of care caused your child’s death.
  4. Your family suffered damages as a result of their death.

Proving the first point is the most straightforward, as you entrusted the daycare with your child’s wellbeing. To prove the second and third points, you must provide evidence of the daycare’s negligence or intentional acts and how they caused the death of your child. 

Reasons to File a Wrongful Death Case Against the Daycare

A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil action. It’s separate from any criminal charges that the government may lay against the daycare or other liable parties. The reasons for filing a wrongful death case are separate from any criminal proceedings—here’s why.

Hold Liable Parties Accountable for Their Actions

Even if they’re never convicted of any criminal offenses, holding at-fault parties responsible is vital. This is equally true for daycare negligence and abuse as it is for nursing home neglect and abuse. We entrusted these facilities to care for our beloved family members, and they betrayed that trust. Justice must be served. 

Prevent Future Negligence and Intentional Acts

Left unchecked, negligent daycare facilities may continue with their unsafe practices. This could lead to further injury and more deaths of other children enrolled at these centers. Like medical malpractice lawsuits, successful daycare wrongful death claims can help to prevent and reduce further harm to the community. Punitive damages issued by a judge also aim to serve this goal. 

Recover Economic and Non-Economic Damages

No amount of money can ever compensate you for the tragic loss of a young child. Even so, the economic reality of the situation is that your family may endure undue financial hardship without fair compensation for your losses. An experienced attorney can help you calculate wrongful death damages, including medical expenses, funeral costs, and pain and suffering. 

Seek Guidance From Our South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers

During this difficult and painful time, turn to the experience and knowledge of a South Carolina wrongful death lawyer who can guide your family through this process. Wrongful death lawsuits, particularly those involving daycare neglect or negligence, can be complicated and nuanced. Lean on the support of Pracht Injury Lawyers for the help you need to find closure and secure justice for your little one.