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Report: Special Needs Child Suffers Head Injury

According to a news report from the Waco Tribune, a young child identified as having special needs reportedly suffered a serious head injury, and local police suspect the injury may have occurred at his elementary school. The child is 8-years-old.

doctor5The police first became aware of the incident when hospital personnel called them.  When the child first got off the school bus earlier that day, he said he was nauseous. The bus driver told the parents their son had vomited several times and was not behaving typically.

His mother said she looked at her son and saw bruises on his face and that his pupils appeared to be dilated. Fortunately, his mother was able to recognize the symptoms were more consistent with a head injury such as a concussion, rather than just an upset stomach, and took him to the hospital immediately.  The doctors agreed that the throwing up is consistent with a concussion following a head trauma.

Due to the fact they are mandated reporters, they called the police, because there was an unexplained injury consistent with possible child abuse or neglect.  As our Boston daycare and child injury attorneys have seen in various cases, there are certain types of injuries that are consistent with an accident, and there are certain types of injury more consistent with abuse.  For example, a posteromedial rib fracture is considered highly indicative of an intentional act of trauma to a child as opposed to an accident. This can all be used as evidence to show intent or extreme recklessness in a child injury case, such as one where a child is injured at a daycare facility.

In this case, the police interviewed school personnel, and the nurse said he examined a child fitting the victim’s description (it was stated this way to follow child abuse privacy laws) but did not notice any injuries consistent with abuse. The child was throwing up, but that was all he reported seeing.  School officials are not sure what happened and said they are going to fully cooperate with police during their investigation.  It should be noted that there has been no proof of abuse, and there have been no allegations of any kind made against the school either in terms of a criminal case or a civil negligence matter.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you take your child to daycare and he or she comes home with a head injury, we can be fairly certain the injury happened there.  If the daycare facility claims they have no idea that an injury occurred, this can often be used as the basis for a case that the school was negligent in the supervision of a child.  It might even be possible to use what is known as Res ipsa loquitur, which is anglicized Latin meaning the facts speak for themselves. In other words, where there was clearly an injury caused, the jury can be permitted to infer negligence without proof, because the facts speak for themselves.

If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Special-needs student admitted to hospital with head injury, December 4, 2016, By Kristin Hoppa, Waco Tribune

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