On February 27th, 2020, dozens of parents received a phone call that no parent ever expects or wants to get. An accident had occurred at their child’s daycare center, sending several children to the hospital.
Woman Crashes Car Into Daycare Center
At around 1:30 p.m. in Upper Southampton Township, 17 children were taking their afternoon nap in a classroom at the Children of America daycare center. Then the unthinkable happened. A car, being driven by a woman in her 50’s, smashed through the front of the building, into the classroom, traveling until it hit a back wall.
Five of the children were taken to the hospital, one in serious condition. Although specific details regarding the injuries sustained have not been released, one of the children was hospitalized for an extended period of time.
The woman whose car hit the building was also taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries. Local authorities have reported that she was at the daycare center to make a delivery. An investigation into the crash is ongoing and criminal charges have not yet been filed.
Can Parents Take Legal Action If Their Child Has Been Hurt?
Yes. If a child is hurt because of negligence their parents can take legal action against the responsible party.
For example, if a family is driving on the highway and their car is hit by a drunk driver, causing the children in the car to be injured, the parents can file a car accident lawsuit against the drunk driver. This lawsuit is not related to any criminal charges and is known as a civil lawsuit.
Civil lawsuits give the plaintiffs the chance to recover compensation for the losses they have sustained. Losses could be monetary such as medical expenses and lost wages or non-monetary, such as physical and emotional trauma. The total amount that can be recovered does vary in each case and depends upon the actual losses sustained by the plaintiffs.
Do Criminal Charges Need To Be Filed In Order To File A Civil Lawsuit?
No, criminal charges do not need to be filed in order for plaintiffs to file a civil lawsuit. Criminal and civil cases are totally separate.
An Overview Of The Legal Process
Here is a brief description of the legal process:
- The Pleadings: During this stage, the plaintiffs file paperwork known as the complaint. This paperwork begins the court case and is provided to the defendant, who is given the opportunity to file a response to the complaint.
- Discovery: During discovery, both sides seek information that could be used for their argument.
- Negotiations: Often, both sides will meet to try and see if a settlement can be agreed upon. If a settlement can be reached, then a trial will be avoided.
- Trial: If a settlement can’t be arranged, the case will go to court and all arguments will be presented to a judge and jury.
At Schuster Law, our personal injury attorneys have provided the legal support that thousands of clients have needed. We prepare each case from the beginning as though it will end up in court, including preparing our clients for the courtroom experience.
That being said, the majority of cases do settle out of court.
Settlements Or Verdict: Which Is The Better Option?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. If a settlement offer is made, our lawyers review it with the client and discuss the pros and cons of accepting that offer. In some cases, the offer is appropriate and an agreement can be reached. However, offers to settle aren’t always made and often the offer made isn’t enough to cover the client’s losses. In those cases, it may be a better option to fight for maximum compensation in court.
The bottom line is that each client is different and each client will have to decide what they feel is right. Our lawyers are happy to answer any questions that you and your loved ones may have when the time comes.
Schuster Law: Protecting The Rights Of Children And Their Families
After an accident that hurts your child, you may feel like you are unable to even consider taking legal action as you focus on providing your child with the care they need. Our legal team can help by handling all of the legal paperwork, hunting down the evidence, and then fighting for justice on your behalf.