The Stanley Law team has dealt with many cases in which children are injured because of inadequate supervision. Parents have a legal responsibility to keep their children safe, but unfortunately, kids are sometimes hurt when no one is around. Understanding the nuances of the law when it comes to parental responsibilities can help you protect your children as well as your rights.

Reasonable Standard Of Care

All adults responsible for the care of children must act with a reasonable standard of care. If you fail to take reasonable safety precautions as a parent and your child is harmed, you may face consequences for your inaction or negligence. In some states — even if another party injures a child — when a parent’s carelessness or negligence contributes to a child’s physical trauma, they may not be entitled to recover damages for injury or wrongful death.

What Is Considered Reasonable?

When a child is unsupervised and an injury occurs, it can raise complex questions about what is considered reasonable conduct under the law. There are a few factors involved when determining whether a parent acted sensibly, and a child’s capacity to behave reasonably largely depends on their age and maturity level. For example, if a five-year-old is out wandering alone in a neighborhood and gets hit by a car, a parent who was supposed to supervise them may be charged with child endangerment for failing to protect his or her child. But if an accident affects a 17-year-old who is taking a stroll, parents would most likely not be held legally responsible for their injuries.

Parental Responsibility

Legal responsibilities of a parent can be specific, depending on the law that applies in their jurisdiction. Personal injury law varies by state, so whether someone else can be held liable for an unsupervised child’s injuries is an open question that may have a different answer depending on the circumstances and location. However, if a child is in the care of a friend’s parent, caregiver, daycare, or school that was negligent in providing adequate supervision, that person, or institution, may be liable for the child’s injuries, even if no one else was present to witness what happened.

Negligent Supervision

On the flip side, under the theory of negligent supervision, parents may be held liable if their child’s actions cause damage, injury, or death. In some situations, the person who was hurt or suffered losses can bring a civil action against an unsupervised child’s parents and may be able to recover compensation for damages, such as medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other compensation.

Seeking Legal Counsel Can Protect Your Child And Your Rights

Regardless of whether you’re the parent of a child who was injured or your child was the one who caused an injury, dealing with the complex legal issues surrounding this area of the law is difficult, if not impossible, to do on your own. It’s critical to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. A lawyer can also advise you of your options and the most prudent course of action for your specific situation.  

Contact An Experienced Attorney To Learn More About Unsupervised Child Injury

Joe Knows how stressful and heartbreaking it can be when an unsupervised child injury occurs. If your child’s been hurt and you’re thinking of seeking legal recourse, don’t go it alone. Our team at Stanley Law is here for you. We can assess your circumstances and guide you through the complicated and confusing legal system. Contact us online or call us at 866-553-7125 or 800-372-3760. We serve clients in both New York and Pennsylvania — our offices are conveniently located in Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, and Watertown, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.