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Is the Caregiver Liable for Your Child’s Accident?

Dan Brian   |  August 3, 2015   |  

Many parents use daycares, babysitters, and other caregivers, to care for their children while at work or away from the home. When you hire a caregiver, you put a great deal of trust in that individual or facility to keep your child safe. Unfortunately, more than 14 million child injuries occur every year in the United States. Many could have been prevented If your child sustains an injury while in their care, it can leave you feeling devastated and betrayed, as well as left with many questions.

Was the caregiver keeping a close eye on my child? How did the accident happen when a caregiver was supposed to be present at all times? Who is liable for my child’s accident?

These and many other questions are common after an accident involving your children but ultimately, someone is responsible. If your child was under the care of an individual or facility, they may be both legally and financially liable for your child’s injuries.

How Do Injuries Happen When a Caregiver is Present?

Carelessness on the part of the caregiver can lead to accidents and injuries among children under their care. If a babysitter spends more time talking or texting with friends instead of watching your child, his or her well-being may be put at risk. It only takes a few seconds of distraction for a serious injury to occur.

Understaffed daycares often lead to poorly maintained property and a lack of supervision for the children that are present.  North Carolina has strict laws and regulations that require facilities to be properly maintained and for the student to staff ratio to be met at all times.

Curiosity is natural amongst kids. At times though, their curiosity can involve dangerous activities such as trying to scale a bookshelf, sliding down a banister or jumping from a significant height. These all can lead to injuries if a child sneaks away from a supervised adult.

How Does a Caregiver Become Liable Under the Law?

Caregivers, whether a daycare or a private babysitter, all have a duty to protect the children in their care and keep them safe. Failure to fulfill this duty means the caregiver can be held liable for injuries which occur as a result. Essentially, when an injury could have been easily avoided, had it not been for the negligent actions of the caregiver, it is the caregiver who must be held accountable.

Examples of negligence which could make a caregiver liable under the law include:

  • Leaving children unattended
  • Failing to secure bookshelves or other heavy objects to the wall
  • Failing to clean up spills
  • Leaving chemicals within the reach of children
  • Leaving gates or doors open or unlocked
  • Neglecting to lock cabinets or drawers that have sharp objects
  • Allowing dangerous or defective toys to remain in a play area
  • Allowing children to play on unsafe playground equipment

Which Caregivers Can Be Held Responsible?

Caregivers can be held liable for your child’s injuries when the negligent individual or facility accepted responsibility for supervising your child and providing him or her with care. If the caregiver did, in fact, accept this responsibility, then you must be able to prove he or she acted negligently in providing your child with the proper care. If your child’s injuries could have been prevented, and the caregiver was aware or should have been aware, that caregiver can be held responsible.

The following types of caregivers can be liable for child injuries:

  • Teachers
  • Daycare staff
  • Babysitters
  • Camp counselors
  • Nannies
  • Church staff
  • Schools
  • Camps
  • Daycare facilities
  • Parents

Was Your Child Injured? Contact Our Attorneys Today.

Proving negligence after your child sustains an injury isn’t always an easy task. Depending on who’s care your child was under at the time of the accident determines which set of rules and regulations must be followed. While schools and daycares follow one set of rules, private nannies may not be required to do so.

Understanding what North Carolina requires as a caregiver can be difficult for the average parent. With the help from an experienced child injury attorney, parents can rest assure that their families rights will be protected and focus on their child’s recovery. A lawyer can also help gather critical evidence that could help prove negligence and get maximum compensation.

If your child suffered an injury while under the supervision of another, speak with an attorney at Riddle & Brantley today. With representatives available and offices throughout North Carolina, we’re always ready to answer your questions and help your family seek justice. Our initial consultations are always free and you won’t pay any fees unless we win your case. Don’t wait  — contact us today — call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the form below for a FREE consultation.