St. Louis Daycare Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
The St. Louis Daycare Abuse Lawyers at Padberg Appelbaum Knepper are dedicated to helping the families of children who have been injured due to abuse or neglect while in the care and custody of others.
We are not only some of the best attorneys for daycare neglect, but also parents ourselves. We understand your fears and worries. These situations cause a great deal of anger and pain. You trusted these facilities to keep your child safe, and that trust was broken. You want answers, but ongoing criminal investigations may be limiting how much information you’re receiving.
The attorneys at Padberg Appelbaum Knepper will help your family throughout every step of the process. We will advocate for you and your child. While no amount of money will ever remedy what happened, our goal is to help your family heal by recovering financial compensation.
It is important to note that not all injuries are abuse or neglect.
Child abuse is any physical injury, sexual abuse or emotional abuse purposely inflicted on a child by those responsible for the child’s care, custody and control.
Child neglect is the failure to provide the proper or necessary support, nutrition, medical care or other forms of care needed for the child’s well-being by those responsible for the care, custody and control of the child.
Common types of daycare abuse and neglect include, but are not limited to:
- Injuries or broken bones caused by physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Playground injuries caused by defective equipment
- Injuries or death caused by unsafe sleeping conditions and weighted blankets
- Unexplained Death
Notable St. Louis Daycare Abuse & Neglect Attorneys Cases
$300,000 Policy Limit Settlement
For the parents of a three month old infant who died due to the negligence of a daycare provider. A daycare provider placed a three-month old infant on a sofa and then left her unattended for at least 30 minutes. While unattended on the soft, unsecured surface, the infant rolled onto her stomach and suffocated. On the day of the infant’s death, the daycare provider had also violated Missouri law by having too many children in her care.
FAQs: Questions to ask a daycare abuse attorney
Click to jump to a question and answer:
- What should I do if I think my child is being abused?
- Can I file a claim?
- What if I was using an unlicensed daycare provider?
- What is the difference between a criminal and civil case?
- What is the difference between daycare abuse and school abuse?
- What events will the victim of an abuse or neglect case be required to attend?
- How much does an abuse or neglect lawsuit cost?
What should I do if I think my child is being abused?
If you believe your child is being abused, you should immediately remove your child from that environment and contact local agencies or hotlines to report abuse. Once these steps have been taken, we advise contacting a childcare abuse lawyer. You can reach local abuse hotlines at the following numbers:
- Missouri Department of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 392-3738
- Illinois Child Abuse Hotline: (800) 252-2873
- Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline: (800) 252-4343
Can I file a claim?
Any claim must be filed by a parent or legal guardian on a child’s behalf for childcare neglect. Parents and legal guardians can use a lawyer and may also pursue claims to recover personal losses suffered while dealing with an ongoing criminal investigation.
It is important to note that abuse cases will have to contend with the statute of limitations of the state in which the abuse occurred. In Missouri, the statute of limitations is generally 5 years for neglect and 2 years for abuse, while in Illinois the statute of limitations is 2 years for both. We advise seeking the advice of an attorney for daycare neglect to better understand the varying elements that affect these deadlines.
Liable parties may include, but are not limited to:
- Individual daycare provider
- Large daycare company
- Daycare property owner
- Insurer of the daycare property’s owner
What if I was using an unlicensed daycare provider?
When suing a daycare for negligence, procedures will differ depending on whether the liable party is a licensed daycare provider or an unlicensed daycare provider.
Licensed providers have certain regulations that they are required to follow, such as the ratio of care providers to children in the daycare and mandatory reporting to state agencies. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in criminal investigations.
Unlicensed daycare providers — such as a daycare run out of a neighbor’s home — do not have to follow the same regulations, and therefore neglect or wrongdoing can be harder to quantify.
With a licensed daycare provider, the liable party may be the individual responsible for wrongdoing, or the daycare company which employs that person. With an unlicensed daycare provider, individuals may be liable, as well as the insurer of the property where the daycare services are held.
What is the difference between a criminal and civil case?
In short, a criminal case focuses on investigating criminal charges, while a civil case focuses on compensating a victim or their family for damages. A criminal case will be investigated by regulatory agencies, and any potential criminal proceedings will be pursued by police and prosecuting attorneys on behalf of the state. A civil case will be pursued by the victim or their family. Any civil proceedings will be represented by an experienced daycare negligence attorney or a childcare neglect lawyer.
Many abuse cases will result in both criminal and civil trials. It is important to note that a civil claim can take place concurrent to a criminal trial. A parent or legal guardian does not have to wait for a criminal trial to conclude in order to file a civil claim and sue a daycare provider.
Are daycare abuse cases handled differently than school abuse cases?
While there are different regulations surrounding daycares and schools, civil cases can still be brought forward in circumstances of abuse or neglect occurring at a school. Typically, the major difference is the liable party. While a daycare organization can be sued, public entities like schools or school districts cannot be held liable due to sovereign immunity. One exception to this is in the case of dangerous physical conditions on school property.
Private schools are not subject to sovereign immunity and therefore can be liable in a wider breadth of abuse or neglect cases. Additionally, in the case of both private and public school abuse, the individual educator responsible for the wrongdoing can be held liable in court.
What events will the victim of an abuse or neglect case be required to attend?
A victim’s safety will be prioritized during all legal proceedings. The identity of victims under the age of 18 is always protected from public disclosure. A child victim is not required to be present in a courtroom for a trial. In certain cases, depending on age, a victim’s testimony may be given through an out-of-court deposition. A court can limit this questioning through use of a protective order.
How much does an abuse or neglect lawsuit cost?
Padberg Appelbaum Knepper is a neglect and abuse law firm in St. Louis advocating for children throughout Missouri and Illinois. We fight on the behalf of victims as if they were our own children, and we seek justice to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions. Our experienced daycare attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients do not pay us fees until or unless we recover compensation for their cases. If you suspect that a child has been the victim of daycare abuse or neglect, contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation from the best childcare lawyers in St. Louis.
Hiring St. Louis childcare abuse lawyers
These cases can be incredibly complex and Padberg Appelbaum Knepper is here to support you through the process. We have some of the best daycare neglect lawyers in Missouri and Illinois to assist you in navigating the legal side of these incidents so your family can focus on healing.