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  #1  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:39 AM
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Default Who Would Be Responsible?

I have this new little boy who is having a hard time listening to me and he gets into everything like a toddler would. But when I tell him no he continues on like I was talking to the wall. So while I start lunch for the children, I put up a gate as it's cooking I get them one by one and put then in their seat and color while we wait since I am afraid this kid is going to reach up and burn himself.

Well last week I went to go get one of the children from behind the gate and I tripped and pinned one of the kids that was attached to the gate crying because she wanted out. She hit her head and had a cut on her head. Naturally I called 911. They came and told me that they were going to transport us to the ER. Everything ended up being fine thank goodness.


But this morning her father dropped off and asked if his wife gave me the bill for the ambulance. It's only a 100 he said. But am I wrong to think I should not be responsible for that. A few people seem to think not. I will pay it if I have to, but I am also peeved at the fact that I have been walked all over by this family. They owe me over 1200, so how are they going to give me a bill for this.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:48 AM
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How in the world did they get that far behind? And you still watch their children? I'd tell them "I'll pay the ambulance bill as soon as you pay the total amount that you owe me"!!

If they didn't owe you any money and they insisted on you paying the bill, I'd probably try to compromise - you both pay half. Although, don't you have insurance for this type of thing?
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMommy1228 View Post
I have this new little boy who is having a hard time listening to me and he gets into everything like a toddler would. But when I tell him no he continues on like I was talking to the wall. So while I start lunch for the children, I put up a gate as it's cooking I get them one by one and put then in their seat and color while we wait since I am afraid this kid is going to reach up and burn himself.

Well last week I went to go get one of the children from behind the gate and I tripped and pinned one of the kids that was attached to the gate crying because she wanted out. She hit her head and had a cut on her head. Naturally I called 911. They came and told me that they were going to transport us to the ER. Everything ended up being fine thank goodness.


But this morning her father dropped off and asked if his wife gave me the bill for the ambulance. It's only a 100 he said. But am I wrong to think I should not be responsible for that. A few people seem to think not. I will pay it if I have to, but I am also peeved at the fact that I have been walked all over by this family. They owe me over 1200, so how are they going to give me a bill for this.
In the interest of good business, I would offer to pay half. In this case, if you have attempted to collect over $1200 from them and they have not paid, I would apply it to the debt, give the family notice, and terminate care. If they haven't paid for care and you have a contract, you should assert yourself. If you have no contract, you know where to find us as the pesky legal problems spring up.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:52 AM
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Do you have anything in your contract/handbook that states parents are responsible for any and call medical treatment and costs and that you are not held liable for it? If you don't have anything signed by the parents, then I'd say you are responsible. I do have a release signed by my parents, but if I was the one to cause the incident and I was the one to call 911, then I would pay the cost of the ambulance, even with the signed release.

Another question, did you call the parents before calling 911? If you called the parents first and they said call 911, then I'd say you shouldn't have to pay the ambulance bill since you were doing as they instructed. However, if you called 911 before calling the parents, then I'd say you are responsible.

Bottom line, the girl was hurt in your care when you tripped. Even if you hadn't called 911, I'd still think you should be responsible for paying any medical expenses. If it were me, I'd offer to pay.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:01 AM
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This is what I have in my contract/handbook regarding this topic:
In the case of a serious accident or injury, I will make every effort to contact you immediately. If I can not contact either parent, I will call the emergency contact numbers supplied to me to make the medical decisions for the child. If I feel the injury is life threatening I will call "911" or take your child to the nearest hospital. Parents are responsible for any medical and/or ambulance bills.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:07 AM
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First, I understand it was an accident on your part. However, the child was hurt by you and you opted to call 911 so therefore financial responsibility would fall on you. I think without a contract stating otherwise if it were to go to court the judge would rule the same.

I would have called the parents and let them make that decision. If they over reacted and called 911 then it would be on them and you should just pay for the treatment of the wound and not the transport. If you fight it they could potentially sue for a lot more than the $100 as well.

IMHO I would deduct the $100 from the bill they owe.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:18 AM
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I agree with missnikki.

My guess is that teir insurance probably covered any treatment the boy received so since the bill was only $100 this was their emergency room co-pay. If they are behind on payments with you then they probably can't afford this copay and that's why they gave it to you. Under normal circumstances I would pay it but you have a special case. I would do exactly what pp suggested and give them a letter stating you will subtract the $100.00 from the bill that they owe. How did they get so far behind in payments?

I have in my contract that are responsible for any and all medical costs associated with injuries or illnesses while at daycare. I have them fill in their insurance information as well.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:22 AM
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If you have a contract or handbook of policies I would do whatever you stipulated because that's what they signed up for. If you don't mention anything about this at all then I would add something now. If you don't have a contract or policies then I would start now. If you called 9-1-1 before calling the parents and it was your choice to do so and you feel it was your fault you could pay it. If you feel that you aren't obligated to so then don't. If they asked you to call, then don't. The worse thing that could happen is that they take you to court for it and since they owe you $1,200 you'd at least get $1,100. If they ditch you because you refuse to pay you can still take them to court at also if worse comes to worse you'll get at least $1,100.

But in all honesty if it were me in your shoes and they owed me $1,200 and they asked me for $100 I would just deduct it from what they owed and hand them an invoice with the amount of the balance that is owed. I am wondering how it got to the point that they owe you $1,200.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for your reply ladies. I do have a contract, and it does say that if there is a medical emergency I contact them first unless I feel it is medically necessary to call 911 first. I felt that the child was seriously injured so I called 911 and them right after. They have been saying they are very happy that I took the initiative and called. I did think I should pay it, but others were saying no.

As far as how much they owe. Last year they were having money troubles and they applied for state aid. It took longer than normal and I let it go until they got their notice. In retrospect I should have had them pay something each week and if the balance was higher than what the state paid then I would take if off the following weeks. They were supposed to have it all paid by this summer, but then instead of taking the summer off like she normally does (she's a teacher), she brought both children 2x a week, the state only paid one of them and not the other and then instead of paying me every 2 weeks like she normally did, she would make it 3 weeks, then a month. Then right before she came back she gave me 500 towards the balance. But one of the checks bounced about 2 weeks ago. She paid me the check fee, and then her regular weekly pay, but not the bounced check and nothing toward the balance. I've already had plans to talk to her because I get calls daily for a child under 2 which is one of the spaces her child has. This is getting to be too much.

I guess I am too nice.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2010, 10:55 AM
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Yes I have to agree with you. You are too nice . I would give her a notice/invoice of what is owed to you (and deduct the $100 if it's what you feel you should do) and then have a sit-down with her and talk to her about the money issue, talk about how she was supposed to have it paid by the summer and it still hasn't been paid. Negotiate a payment plan for this to get paid off. Start by you telling her you want her to pay an extra $X amount of dollars a week and see what she says. If she doesn't want to cooperate with you tell her that you have received multiple calls for a spot that her child has and that if you don't worl out a solution to have the balance paid that you will be forced to replace her child. Reassure her that you don't want to do that (if you really don't want to terminate her) and would rather work with her instead but you need a commitement from her to pay what is owed to you for services that you have given them. Hand her the written notice/invoice which says exactly what you have covered with her verbally and then take out a pad of paper and a pen and draw up a payment plan contract and have her sign it. Don't give her more than a day to think about it as it will only postpone you getting your money.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:15 AM
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I would deduct the $100 from the $1200 they owe you.
I would discontinue services to this family until they are caught up and switch them to a program where they pay you before you watch their youngsters.
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  #12  
Old 09-15-2010, 11:47 AM
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Why is it different with a home provider than with a center. My son was injured in a daycare center when he was 3, and we were called, took him in and was charged an emergency visit, and there was never any question about who paid....I did. The center never brought it up, never asked a question, nothing. They obviously did not hold themself accountable for any of the expenses.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:08 PM
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It is definitely on the parent to pay in full, but as I suggested earlier, in the interest of good business, why not offer half?

If a parent leaves their child with person X non-parent, the odds of something happening are the same as if they were SAH parents. Why should they get out of the responsibility of financial liability for their child because they hire someone to watch the kid? That is crap.
I think that falls under the category of 'it sucks when it happens on our watch', but that's part of the job you signed up for when you became a parent.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Why is it different with a home provider than with a center. My son was injured in a daycare center when he was 3, and we were called, took him in and was charged an emergency visit, and there was never any question about who paid....I did. The center never brought it up, never asked a question, nothing. They obviously did not hold themself accountable for any of the expenses.
The center probably had it written in their contract that parents were responsible for medical bills. If you had questioned it they may have worked with you and offered to pay some of the expense. It's probably their policy not to mention it unless the parent says something first. Daycares would probably go out of business if they had to pay for the medical expenses of every child that got hurt or sick while in their care.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:58 PM
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I don't recall reading anything in the contract. Still, why would it be different for a home daycare vs a center?
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMommy1228 View Post
I have this new little boy who is having a hard time listening to me and he gets into everything like a toddler would. But when I tell him no he continues on like I was talking to the wall. So while I start lunch for the children, I put up a gate as it's cooking I get them one by one and put then in their seat and color while we wait since I am afraid this kid is going to reach up and burn himself.

Well last week I went to go get one of the children from behind the gate and I tripped and pinned one of the kids that was attached to the gate crying because she wanted out. She hit her head and had a cut on her head. Naturally I called 911. They came and told me that they were going to transport us to the ER. Everything ended up being fine thank goodness.


But this morning her father dropped off and asked if his wife gave me the bill for the ambulance. It's only a 100 he said. But am I wrong to think I should not be responsible for that. A few people seem to think not. I will pay it if I have to, but I am also peeved at the fact that I have been walked all over by this family. They owe me over 1200, so how are they going to give me a bill for this.

I would tell the family you will deduct the $100 bill from their bill that they owe you. You need to set this family straight & I would immediately tell them they need to be caught up by X date or you will not be able to care for their child any longer.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
Yes I have to agree with you. You are too nice . I would give her a notice/invoice of what is owed to you (and deduct the $100 if it's what you feel you should do) and then have a sit-down with her and talk to her about the money issue, talk about how she was supposed to have it paid by the summer and it still hasn't been paid. Negotiate a payment plan for this to get paid off. Start by you telling her you want her to pay an extra $X amount of dollars a week and see what she says. If she doesn't want to cooperate with you tell her that you have received multiple calls for a spot that her child has and that if you don't worl out a solution to have the balance paid that you will be forced to replace her child. Reassure her that you don't want to do that (if you really don't want to terminate her) and would rather work with her instead but you need a commitement from her to pay what is owed to you for services that you have given them. Hand her the written notice/invoice which says exactly what you have covered with her verbally and then take out a pad of paper and a pen and draw up a payment plan contract and have her sign it. Don't give her more than a day to think about it as it will only postpone you getting your money.

This is about what my husband said to do since we have a standing relationship. Our daughters go to the same school, and they are also in Girl Scouts together. I didn't know her before I started watching her middle child, but our children have grown close. I am going to draw up an invoice today and tell her I need it paid by the end of the year so we can start with a clean slate for the new year.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac60 View Post
Why is it different with a home provider than with a center. My son was injured in a daycare center when he was 3, and we were called, took him in and was charged an emergency visit, and there was never any question about who paid....I did. The center never brought it up, never asked a question, nothing. They obviously did not hold themself accountable for any of the expenses.
Every contract, and every situation, is a little different, and results in different outcomes/degrees of liability.

In this case, she (the provider) tripped and fell on the child/gate. If I stumble or trip and put a big dent in your car with my noggin, would you willingly pick up the tab, or expect me to?

Now, had the child fallen down on their own accord, that would be an entirely different thing.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:35 AM
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There are several issues raised in this thread I'd like to address.

First - Regardless of what you put in your contract about a provider not being liable for injuries to a child, this won't hold up in court. A parent can't give up her right to sue you. Besides, the child could always sue you. So, I would take out all such liability waivers from your contract.

Second - If a child is injured in your program, you are going to be held liable for the injury because you were the responsible adult. So, if the parent sued you for the ambulance fee you would be held liable. If the parent or the parent's health insurance company sued you for the child's medical expenses you would be held liable. Someone made a comment in this thread about a center not paying for an emergency visit by a child. Just because the center didn't offer to pay doesn't mean they were liable for the child's injury. If you had sued them you would have won. The center didn't speak up because they were hoping you would pay without complaining.

Third - Calling a parent before calling 911 can be a problem. We had a recent case in Minnesota where a 4 year old choked on a whole grape at a child care center and died. The center staff first called the parent and then 2 minutes later called 911. The center was sued and found liable for not calling 911 first. In this situation the child was obviously in peril whereas your situation was not life threatening. If there is anything approaching a life threatening situation you should not hesitate to call 911 first.

Fourth - All providers should have business liability insurance to protect themselves in this situation. You should not pay a parent voluntarily without checking first with your liability insurance agent. Paying the $100 ambulance bill could create a problem later if the parent decided to sue you for a lot of money because of health complications later on. Your payment would be considered a sign of admission of responsibility. (Yes, you are responsible, but paying voluntarily just complicates the issue against you later.) Whenever there is an injury in your program you should always contact your liability insurance agent to report it. They may want to do their own investigation. This can be extremely important later on if there is a lawsuit since this investigation can be helpful in reducing your liability risk.

I would treat the $100 ambulance bill as separate from what the parent owes you. In other words, I wouldn't reduce their bill by $100. The reason is that you don't want to do anything that might make the parent mad after their child was injured. It could lead to them making complaints against you to your licensor or try to sue you for medical expenses and more. I know that the parent owes you a lot. You should take them to court for this, if they refuse to pay. I would be somewhat careful about enforcing this until this injury issue is resolved.

So - if you have liability insurance, contact the insurance company and follow their advice about paying the ambulance bill. If you don't have insurance, pay the bill.

Tom
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