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What Is Negligent Supervision?

Posted in Personal Injury on May 7, 2018

Care providers – whether for our children, elders, or disabled loved ones – must use reasonable care with regard to their supervision. If they fail to do so and your loved one suffers harm as a result, you may be able to file a claim on the grounds of negligent supervision. Learn what it is, how it pertains to personal injury, and when to contact a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer for further guidance.

Negligent Supervision of Children

The negligent supervision of children may occur in a variety of settings. The rules regarding supervision apply to daycares, schools, recreational sporting leagues, churches, day camps, and more. The following individuals and entities may be responsible for failing to provide adequate supervision of a child:

  • Schoolteachers
  • Supervisory faculty and staff, such as coaches
  • Daycare providers and babysitters
  • Camp counselors
  • Nannies
  • Foster parents
  • Youth group leaders
  • Other parents

There are two main types of negligent supervision: first, that the caregiver failed to monitor a child, leading to injury. Secondly, provider inattention resulting in injury can provide the basis for a negligent supervision claim. These two seem similar, but there are subtle differences. A failure to provide adequate supervision of a child, for example, may stem from an inappropriate ratio of caregivers to children, or even a failure to provide adequate fencing around the facility itself.

Caregiver inattention, on the other hand, applies when a facility may have proper supervision, but a caregiver simply does not monitor the children. Examples of caregiver inattention may include allowing a child to ingest dangerous chemicals, parents allowing teens to drink alcohol at a supervised party, or a child playing with matches and starting a fire.

Negligent Supervision of the Disabled and Elderly

Caregivers of our disabled and elderly loved ones can similarly be liable for any injuries they suffer under the caregiver’s watch. Like the negligent supervision of children, there are two main forms of these claims: caregiver inattention and failure to supervise. Some common examples affecting this population include:

  • Development of infection or bedsores resulting from lack of basic care or hygiene. When negligent supervision causes actual physical harm to a patient, it rises to the level of physical abuse.
  • Failing to prevent vulnerable patients from injuries outside the premises, such as failing to prevent someone with dementia from wandering off the property.
  • Failure to prevent falls and associated injuries.
  • Ignoring signs of abuse of a patient, whether physical, emotional, sexual, or financial.
  • Failing to follow special dietary restrictions leading to injury.

Elements of a Negligent Supervision Case

Wondering if you have a case for a negligent supervision claim? Each claim requires the following elements:

  • That the party owes you a duty of care. This applies when you arrange supervision for pay, but even your child’s friend’s parents owe a duty of care to your family and have a responsibility to keep them safe.
  • That party violated a duty of care, or committed negligence. We outlined some examples of negligence above, but others apply.
  • The party’s negligence led to your loved one’s injuries.
  • You suffered harm as a result. Examples of harm include medical bills, any work you had to miss to care for your loved one, and any pain and suffering your loved one experienced.

If you believe that you have a claim for negligent supervision based on the criteria and examples outlined above, the next step is to contact an attorney. Negligent caregivers can be civilly liable for any damages they cause to your family, so you can file a claim to compensate for all your expenses. A negligent supervision attorney can help identify negligent supervision and provide guidance throughout the claims process.