A child accident at nursery is not as uncommon as you would hope. Although most accidents result in minor cuts and bruises, unsafe environments and staff negligence may lead to severe injuries and even fatal accidents.
If your child suffered an injury at nursery, the priority is to ensure they receive immediate medical care. You should then file an accident report with the nursery and gather as much evidence to support a future nursery accident claim.
You are entitled to claim compensation whenever another party’s negligence is the cause of a nursery accident. The compensation award will cover the physical pain and suffering of the child, psychological trauma and any related financial expenses.
To find out if you have a valid claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser. If your case seems solid, they will offer you a no win no fee agreement, which safeguards you from any financial risks.
Can I claim if my child was injured at nursery school?
If your child suffered an injury at nursery school, it was undoubtedly very distressing to them and you. You will probably want to know who is liable for the accident and might want to make a nursery accident claim.
According to the Childcare Act 2006, all children at nursery school are owed a legal duty of care by teachers and staff. That means their physical and mental health and well-being should be protected at all times while in attendance.
Therefore, you could make a nursery injury claim if:
- your child was owed a duty of care
- the nursery staff acted negligently in their duty
- your child suffered an injury as a result
The most common reasons for making a nursery accident claim are related to:
- Unsafe environments: examples of this would include exposed sharp edges, damaged play equipment, unrestricted access to streets or deep waters.
- Inadequate staffing: nurseries are required to respect a precise child to staff ratio to ensure correct supervision of all children. The staff should have adequate training, and at least one member should know first aid. Failure to respect these conditions is a valid reason to claim nursery accident compensation.
- Staff negligence: if employees fail to conduct their duties with competence or act negligently, they could be held liable in a child accident claim.
If your child suffered an injury in a nursery accident, you should contact a solicitor as soon as possible. They will know if you have valid grounds to claim compensation and which party holds liability. For more information, call free on 0800 678 1410 or fill out our online claim form to receive a call back.
What are common causes of nursery accidents?
A child accident at nursery is not an uncommon occurrence. The playful and unpredictable behaviour of children may lead to falls and bumps, which might result in minor scrapes and bruises.
Sometimes, however, poor supervision, faulty equipment or other hazards can lead to more severe injuries. You might be able to make a nursery accident claim following:
- falls due to faulty playground equipment
- injuries caused by defective furniture
- a slip, trip and fall caused by wet floors, poor flooring or other tripping hazards
- any accidents that happen inside and outside the classroom due to lack of supervision
- any injuries sustained if a child was allowed to run freely
- allergic reactions due to negligence
- food poisoning due to poor hygiene or inadequate food preparation
- scalds and burns caused by negligence
Common injuries suffered by children in a nursery include:
- cuts, bruises and lacerations
- sprains and strains
- bone fractures
- head and back injuries
Nurseries owe a duty of care to all children, and parents deserve to feel their children are safe and properly looked after. If your child suffered an accident while at nursery, you may be entitled to claim nursery accident compensation.
A compensation claim can help you with pressing financial matters regarding your child’s health and education. Furthermore, it might lead to improved health and safety standards at the nursery to prevent future accidents.
What should I do if my child is injured at nursery?
If your child suffered an accident at nursery or an accident at school, the primary concern is to get them immediate medical assistance. Once they are out of danger, the first step you need to take is to file an accident report with the nursery.
Before starting a claim, you should try to understand how the events unfolded by calmly asking questions to your child. Try to get a complete picture of the accident circumstances by asking questions like:
- Were you alone when you got injured?
- Where did the accident happen?
- Who was supposed to be taking care of you?
- Where were they when the accident took place?
- What were you doing at that time?
- Were any other children present?
- Did somebody tell you to stop what you were doing?
Keep the questions simple and try to ask them casually, over some time. Once you understand what happened, you could contact a solicitor and start a nursery accident claim.
In any injury claim, strong evidence is key to success. Your solicitor will advise you and help you gather relevant proof like:
- Photographs of the accident scene: if your child’s injury was caused by defective furniture, faulty playing equipment or a tripping hazard, make sure to get that on camera if possible.
- Pictures of your child’s injuries and the recovery process
- Medical records: if you took your child to the hospital after their injury, which is highly recommended, ask for a copy of their medical records. This will state the extent of their injury and recovery prospects, which are fundamental to calculating a suitable compensation award.
- Accident reports: you are allowed to ask for a signed copy of the accident report you filed with the nursery. This will confirm the date, time and location of the accident.
- CCTV footage: for safety reasons, many nurseries have CCTV surveillance. If your child’s accident was caught on camera, you have the right to ask for a copy of the video footage.
- Proof of financial losses: keep a record of any expenses related to the accident, including lost wages if you had to take time off work to care for your child. Expenditures might also include travel and prescription costs, mobility aids, adaptations to your car or home.
- Witness reports: get an official statement from anyone who could have witnessed the accident.
Can I claim for an accident while working at a nursery?
Employees of nursery schools are also entitled to make a nursery accident claim if they suffer an injury at the workplace without being at fault. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 applies in nurseries just like it does in other workplaces.
According to the act, all employers, managers and owners have the legal obligation to protect the health and safety of nursery employees. According to Health and Safety Executive statistics, 55% of all accidents in nurseries are caused by a slip, trip and fall. Accidents could be easily avoided by:
- maintaining the flooring in good condition
- providing sufficient lighting in all areas
- cleaning any spillages promptly
- keeping walkways clear
- keeping storage areas and staff rooms tidy
Furthermore, owners and employers should make sure that:
- permanent fixtures are in good condition
- the furniture is suitable and in good repair
- all the equipment is safe to use and clean
- all electrical equipment and services are safe and in good repair
- there are no trailing cables
This is not an exhaustive list of measures, and risk assessments are needed in a nursery to ensure the safety of children and employees. If you suffered an injury while working at a nursery, an experienced solicitor can determine who is liable for your accident and let you know if you have a valid compensation claim.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and answer any questions you may have.
How much compensation can I claim for an accident at nursery?
If you want to claim nursery accident compensation, besides claiming for the child, you have valid grounds to also claim for damages that concern yourself. A nursery accident claim might cover:
- Special damages to the child: this is a pretty uncommon reason to claim compensation and only applies in specific situations; for example, if the child is a young actor and will miss an acting job because of the accident.
- General damages to the child: compensation for the physical pain and suffering they endured, as well as for psychological trauma. General damages also cover physical scarring or disability, loss of enjoyment and social interactions, impaired development and other non-pecuniary changes related to the accident.
- Special damages to the parent or guardian: this covers compensation for financial hardships such as lost earnings if you have to take time off work to care for your child. You can also claim compensation for travel expenses to and from the hospital or costs of ongoing care in case of a severe accident.
- Medical expenses: this includes compensation for medication, hospitalisation, surgery, costs of rehabilitation and physiotherapy, trauma counselling and psychiatric care, mobility aids.
Your solicitor will consider all the special and general damages that apply to your unique case and calculate a suitable compensation amount. According to estimates based on usual settlements in nursery accident claims, you could receive:
- Up to £235,630 for severe eye injuries
- £11,110 – £264,650 for leg injuries
- Up to £85,340 for lacerations and abrasions
- £4,461 – £189,110 for hand injuries
- £2,300 – £139,210 for neck injuries
- £1,700 – £73,200 for face injuries
- Up to £354,260 for severe head trauma
- £2,300 – £151,070 for back injuries
- £375 – £69,330 for finger injuries
These amounts cover only the general damages related to the injury. They do not include any special damages or psychological problems the accident might have caused.
Although you can claim on your child’s behalf, you do not usually have access to the compensation award. The money will be transferred into a court bank account and gain interest until the child turns 18, and the amount will be released to them by cheque.
How long do I have to start a nursery accident claim?
In personal injury claims involving adults, the time limit to claim compensation is usually three years from the day of the accident. This limitation date applies if you were injured while working at a nursery but not when the victim is a child.
A litigation friend, usually one of the parents, a legal guardian or a close family member, can make a nursery accident claim at any time before the child turns 18. Afterwards, they will have another three years, until their 21st birthday, to start a claim themselves.
The three-year countdown will not begin on the child’s 18th birthday if they lack the mental or physical ability to start a claim on their own. In this case, a litigation friend can still claim on their behalf at any point, without a time limit.
In the unfortunate case of a fatal accident, a close family member can make a claim within three years from the day of their death.
It is always a good idea to start a claim as soon as possible to increase your chances of success. Nonetheless, when the victim is a child, the full implications of their injuries like long term pain, psychological trauma or related health problems may become apparent only later in time.
What are the benefits of making a no win no fee claim?
If your child suffered an injury in an accident at nursery, you might dedicate all your time and energy to taking care of them. Going through the legal process of claiming compensation might seem too demanding and exhausting.
Hiring an experienced solicitor can save you a lot of time and effort. They will take care of all the paperwork, help gather relevant evidence and ensure you receive the compensation amount you deserve. Nonetheless, you might worry about the high costs of being represented by a professional.
Fortunately, you can make a no win no fee arrangement with your solicitor. If they decide you have a valid nursery accident claim with fair chances of success, they will work on a conditional fee agreement, meaning:
- they will take out After the Event insurance on your behalf, which covers all the legal costs for you and the defendant, even if you end up losing the claim
- they will arrange a free medical examination with a registered doctor to assess the extent of your child’s injuries and the recovery prospects; this is essential for calculating a suitable compensation amount
- you will get free advice and support throughout the claiming process
- you will only have to pay them a success fee if you receive compensation; this cannot exceed 25% of the compensation amount, and you will agree on it before starting the claim
Claiming on a no win no fee basis doesn’t involve any financial risks and provides all the benefits and advantages of being represented by an expert solicitor. If you feel you may have a valid compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with a legal adviser.