Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers
Civil Claims for Sexual Abuse in Daycare Centers
With issues involving sexual abuse and sexual harassment front and center in today’s news, some of the most horrific stories involve sexual abuse in daycare centers. Sexual abuse in daycare centers can take many forms. Cases often involve teachers or volunteers abusing small children. Or, perhaps older children abuse younger and smaller children.
Sexual abuse can occur in daycare centers for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, a facility fails to utilize proper hiring guidelines and procedures to prevent dangerous individuals from working for the daycare facility. Or, a facility may learn or should know that an individual is a danger to children but the management or owners do nothing to terminate that dangerous individual’s employment. There may be a lack of supervision due to an insufficient number of staff members, or perhaps the daycare facility is set up or operated in a manner that gives a predator access to innocent children.
Regardless of the reason for the abuse, one step that can be taken in the event of sexual abuse at a daycare center is to bring a civil claim. Pursuing a civil claim is about so much more than just obtaining money. A civil claim, even if not made public, will force a daycare center to change its operations. The daycare center will oftentimes change its management, its hiring, firing, and supervision procedures, and create a new set of policies to ensure that another child is never abused. It may be the case that a civil claim for sexual abuse in daycare centers forces the facility to shut down.
A civil claim may also provide a family with the resources to pay for therapy for their injured child. Children who have experienced sexual abuse can overcome and thrive after the sexual abuse they experienced, but they need a great deal of support from their family, knowledgeable psychiatrists and therapists, and potentially life coaches. Forming a team to provide this care requires a knowledgeable attorney and team, and it also requires money. For most families, the required money resources are available only through a civil claim against the daycare center.
It is certainly possible to obtain money damages against a daycare center for child sexual abuse without bringing a civil lawsuit. For that to occur, it is best to hire a knowledgeable attorney to present a comprehensive demand package that will highlight all of the child’s past and future out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment, individual therapy and counseling, family therapy and counseling, possible medications, an education plan, and a number of other items. A demand package should also include claims for non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
It may be the case that the daycare center’s insurance company is not willing to settle out of court, however. If that occurs, it is possible under Virginia law to bring a lawsuit using only the child’s initials to make sure the child’s identity remains anonymous. All court filings and paperwork will shield the child’s and parents’ identity, and that ensures that any civil lawsuit that has to occur can be done in as privately as possible.
As with any legal claim, a claim for child sexual abuse involves complex issues of when the statute of limitations will apply to bar a claim. This article is for informational purposes only, but if you might have a claim for child sexual abuse it is imperative that you reach out to a licensed Virginia attorney as soon as you can to determine when your statute of limitations may expire.
If you are seeking legal counsel due to sexual abuse that happened to your child at a daycare center, please call experienced injury attorney Robert E. Byrne, Jr. Bob is experienced with the legal issues involving child sexual abuse claims, and he has experience pursuing claims on behalf of child sex abuse survivors. To reach Bob for a confidential consultation, feel free to call him at (434) 817-3100 or send him an email at [email protected].