WHEN AN INJURY HAPPENS AT CAMP, HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The call you never want to hear is made to your home...
"Your son was injured in the dining room...he fell through a window..."
"Your daughter was burned with hot coffee in the dining area..."
"Your child was hit in the head with a baseball..."
"Some kids were horsing around and your son broke his leg..."
Where do you turn? What do you do? Here's a checklist of what you need to do immediately:
1. Find out exactly where your child is now. Make sure he or she is receiving the appropriate emergency medical care. This is no time for accusations or recriminations...that's for later. DO NOT YELL, KICK OR SCREAM AT THE JUNIOR COUNSELLORS who may have been involved in your child's injury. This will get you nowhere. They will become defensive as they are young and inexperienced, and most often do not yet know how to accept responsibility for bad outcomes while on their watch.
2. Find out what happened from the Head Counsellor, not the junior counselor who should have been watching the kids. Make notes of your conversation with whomever you speak to.
3. Demand that this incident be investigated immediately, and that an incident report and witness statements be obtained right away.
4. Demand that you receive a call back later that day from the head of the camp or the Head Counsellor with all the details of the incident.
5. If your child is at sleep-away camp, find out if your child is being admitted to a hospital; if so, make arrangements to get there as soon as possible. Ask for the name of the specialist who will treat him.
6. Make sure you keep all medical and hospital bills. In many cases, depending on the facts, you will be submitting them to the camp later for reimbursement.
7. Once your child's health is stabilized, then start to focus on why this accident happened; why the counselors were not paying attention; why the kids were permitted to horse around; why there was loose glass in the dining area; and importantly, could this have been prevented?
As parents we know that accidents do happen. However, there are many times where the accident was foreseeable and steps should have been taken to prevent these accidents from happening. We send our children to camp to have an enjoyable, safe, friendly environment where their memories will last a lifetime. We don't want them to have nightmares about something that should never have happened.
When an accident happens, you need to ask lots of questions. Then you need to speak to an attorney with experience handling accident cases in order to protect your child's rights.
Attorney Oginski has been in practice for over 16 years as a trial lawyer practicing exclusively in New York. He welcomes inquiries about injury and medical malpractice cases.
Having his own law firm, he is able to provide the utmost in personalized, individualized attention to each and every client. In our office, a client is not a file number. Client's are always treated with the respect they deserve and expect from a professional. Mr. Oginski is always aware of every aspect of a client's case from start to finish. You can reach him at www.oginski-law.com, or 516-487-8207.