Don’t Take Supervision Lightly: It Can Get You in Trouble
If you are watching over people—say, a group of kids—you may think it’s just a ministerial job. But people who are charged with the duties to watch over other people, actually do have some responsibility, and they can end up being liable, if they aren’t doing their job properly, and if that leads to someone being injured.
It’s called negligent supervision, and in some cases, the duty to supervise, if it isn’t done properly, can lead to liability.
When Does the Duty Arise?
To be liable for negligent supervision, someone must have a duty to watch over another person. So, for example, you couldn’t be liable for failing to look after a random child playing in the street. But if your neighbor asks you to watch over her child, you now have accepted that responsibility, and thus, you do have a duty to supervise and monitor that child.
Sometimes, the duty to properly look after or supervise someone, isn’t expressed, but rather, it’s implied, either by the relationship between parties, or by the law itself.
Some situations are obvious. For example, the duty of a daycare worker to look after children in the daycare, or the duty of someone in a nursing home to look after the residents, are all situations where the failure to properly supervise, can lead to liability.
Even just accepting a responsibility—for example, having a playdate at your house, where you agree to watch over a bunch of children—can give rise to liability. That’s why you should never agree to have over, or to supervise, more children than you can reasonably look after.
If there is, in fact, a duty to supervise, the next question is whether or not the failure to supervise properly, actually caused the injury. Put another way—had you been supervising fully, attentively, and correctly, would the accident or injury ever have happened?
Imagine a bunch of children at a playdate. A child steps into a hole in the ground and hurts herself. Even in the most perfect supervision, that accident would have happened; the failure to supervise didn’t cause that accident or make it more likely to happen.
But take a situation where kids get into a fight, and a child is injured. Had an adult been fully supervising, the altercation could have been recognized, and intervention would have stopped or mitigated the injuries.
Not About How Many
There can be insufficient supervision as far as quantity is concerned. Imagine a daycare with 100 children and 3 adult workers. Even if they all do the most diligent job–there just aren’t enough of them to watch over 100 kids.
Now imagine that daycare has 35 adults to watch over 100 kids. That’s plenty. But if they are all on their phones, or doing other duties, and not watching the kids, it doesn’t matter that there are “enough” adults–they aren’t supervising properly.
Negligent supervision cases can be difficult to spot. Let us help you see if you have a claim against someone who was supposed to supervise your loved one, but did not. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545.