Caregivers have a special duty of care to their charges, whether these charges are children or adults. For instance, nursing home caregivers are typically responsible for making sure that residents eat nutritious food on an ongoing basis and get around safely.
Similarly, the nanny or babysitter of a child has the responsibility of taking appropriate safety precautions and asking for parents’ permission when deviating from the norm. Unfortunately, these rules sometimes go out of the window when the caregiver is driving the child around. It is easy for people to have a different mindset in their car than in a home.
If your child’s caregiver was in a wreck and your child suffered an injury, it is possible that the caregiver is somewhat or largely at fault. For instance, if the caregiver was driving and texting, that is distracted driving. Excessive speeding could mean reckless driving, and not properly buckling in a child who uses a car seat could be negligence. So could failing to check whether an older child properly buckled himself or herself in.
Caregivers who drive children have a responsibility to maintain their driver’s licenses and to promptly notify parents if that changes. Always check that the people driving your children have some kind of car insurance. Ideally, your children’s caregivers would have purchased the right kinds of auto insurance to protect themselves since they use their car for business purposes.
Safety at home
Of course, caregiver negligence can happen at home as well. For instance, maybe you have a rule that only one of your children jumps on the trampoline at a time (a recommended safety practice), but your babysitter let all three jump together. They collided in midair, and one child suffered serious injuries. It is possible that your sitter could be responsible, although the particulars could depend on the sitter’s age. For instance, a 12-year-old sitter might not have the keen judgment that people would expect a 25-year-old to have.