When Is A Babysitter Liable For A Child’s Injuries?

When you hire a babysitter, you're hiring them to make sure nothing bad happens to your child. Unfortunately, countless children are injured each year while under the care of a babysitter. Here's what determines whether a babysitter is liable for the medical costs of those injuries.

Age of the Babysitter

One of the most important tests in a personal injury claim is whether the person being sued acted reasonably. If they took reasonable steps to avoid the harm they are being sued for, they generally won't be found liable. If they failed to take reasonable steps, they will be held liable.

What counts as reasonable steps depends on the age of the babysitter. If you hired an experienced adult nanny, the judge will consider what a reasonable experienced babysitter would have done in the situation. If you hire a teenager, the judge will consider what a reasonable teenager should have been done.

Obviously, the professional will be held to a higher standard than the teenager.

How the Injury Happened

How the injury happened will also play a big role in determining liability. Children have minds of their own, and babysitters aren't expected to prevent 100% of all injuries.

If the injury happened because the child fell off of playground equipment, the babysitter won't be liable unless they saw the child was acting dangerously before the fall and didn't step in. If the child puts on a cape, climbs on top of the roof of the house, and tries to fly, the babysitter will probably be found liable for not watching the child closely enough.

Were Any Special Instructions Violated?

Whether or not the parent left the babysitter any special instructions is also important. If the parent said no going to the playground, the babysitter will probably be liable for even normal playground injuries if they take the child to the playground anyway.

If they make the child a snack that the child is allergic to, they'd only be liable for any medical care needed if the parent warned them about allergies or said no snacks.

Was the Babysitter Paid?

The law also sees a difference between paid professionals and volunteers. A friend or family member just helping out is held to a much lower standard than a professional babysitting service is.

To learn more about making a personal injury claim against a babysitter, contact a personal injury lawyer, like Kiernan Personal Injury Attorneys PA, today.