Babysitters are supposed to take care of the children they watch, and most do just fine on this task. Unfortunately, negligence may happen from time to time that puts your child's health at risk. Therefore, it is critical to know how to spot and prosecute this type of situation. Single mothers like you are particularly at risk because you may have no one else to take care of your child.
A Babysitter Has Implied Legal Care Of A Child
When you leave your child in the care of a babysitter, they have taken legal responsibility for their well being. Even if they didn't sign a contract with you, they are an adult or a teenager who has taken direct care of your child. As a single mother, you may find it hard to put your child in such a situation, but it may be necessary.
Most of the time, a babysitter isn't going to break the implied legal trust and will take good care of your child. However, even one negligent behavior can be harmful and negatively impact the life of you and your child. Even a trusted babysitter who has worked with you for years may slip up, perform a negligent action, and hurt your child. That's because negligence is a complex situation.
Symptoms A Babysitter Has Neglected A Child
Negligence occurs when your babysitter fails to do something important for the health of your child. They may fail to change their diaper enough, forget to feed them, or ignore symptoms of a cold or flu. These behaviors may not be deliberate but can be very harmful. Symptoms that your child may be neglected by a babysitter include:
- Strange bruises or scars appear on your child's body
- The child seems afraid or concerned about you leaving
- The babysitter seems unaware or unconcerned about your child
- Your child ever ends up "lost" while with the babysitter
- The child refuses to talk about their day or their babysitter
- Your child says something is wrong and details what happened
Even if your babysitter didn't mean to do harm to your child through negligence, it is still a crime. Failure to act and prevent a bad situation is just as damaging as taking aggressively bad actions towards a child. Therefore, it is critical to get your day in court and prosecute this negligent babysitter.
The Four Elements Vital To A Negligent Case
If you believe that your child has been neglected by a babysitter while you were at work, it is important to take steps to prove it. You must also ensure that your case falls under the four elements of a negligence case. If it does not, your babysitters actions may not be considered negligent. These include duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty and breach are related because the babysitter had a legal duty to protect your child (albeit an implied one) and breached that duty by not protecting them from harm. Their direct or indirect actions or inaction (causation) must also have caused harm to your child or you (damages). Proving all of these elements requires showcasing evidence, including photographs of the child and eyewitness testimony, showcasing a babysitter's negligence.
Before starting a case like this, it is critical to talk to an attorney who specializes in negligence. A negligence attorney can break down the case for you in a way that makes it easier to understand. Then, they can address the negligence in a way that helps improve your chances of winning.