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Pursuing Justice For Accident Victims In Indiana

Can you sue the babysitter if your child gets injured?

Your babysitters owe a duty of care to their charges. Sitters should not act negligently, but sometimes they do, and your child gets injured.

In such cases, can you sue? Anyone can sue, so yes--but should you? What are your chances of success?

Age of the babysitter and the circumstances surrounding the case

In some cases, negligence can be tricky to prove. Making a case or deciding whether to sue may depend in part on the age of the babysitter, what happened and why the babysitting occurred. For instance, if you choose someone from online to watch your child and do not take careful steps yourself to vet this person, you might have a shaky case and could even face criminal charges. The same idea applies if you leave your child with someone you knew had to be intoxicated or otherwise unable to care well for your child.

Similarly, there can be different duty of care expectations with an 11-year-old babysitter compared with a 21-year-old babysitter. You could reasonably expect the older babysitter to know more about safety practices for caring for children and to be more mature in general.

When a case may be clearer

Some situations lend themselves to more clear-cut cases of babysitter negligence than others. For example, if a 21-year-old babysitter allows your child to play outside during icy weather, especially without proper gear, and your child slips and falls, the sitter should probably have known better. The same idea applies if the babysitter, unbeknownst to you, brought a gun to your house, the child accessed it and shot himself or herself.

Another example is if you drop your child off at the sitter's house and you think your child will be the only charge. An hour later, another parent drops four children off, and now the babysitter is watching five children, some/all of whom may be quite young, have disabilities or have violent tendencies. Similarly, if the babysitting was at your house but then the sitter, without your permission, took your child to his house where a dog attacks your child, you could have a case.

In a situation such as your 10-year-old breaking an arm falling from the monkey bars on a public playground, negligence might be harder to prove.

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