Babysitter Negligence & Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Babysitter Negligence & Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Child neglect and abuse come in many forms and occurs in many different situations and places – even in our own homes.

Most parents are aware of the inherent dangers of leaving a child with a babysitter or nanny, but often economic circumstances and busy lifestyles mean that there is little choice. The best we can do is to make sure that the babysitter’s background and credentials check out.

Unfortunately, mistakes are made and some abusive childcare professionals slip through the net. This can lead to cases of neglect and abuse – even babysitter sexual abuse.

If your child has suffered abuse or negligence by any caregiver, you may be entitled to compensation. The team of child abuse lawyers at Andreozzi & Foote is at the forefront of assisting the families and victims of such cases in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: HB 963 to extend the statute of limitations on sexual abuse

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What is negligent supervision by a babysitter and what do you need to prove?

A claim of negligent supervision is made when a child is injured due to the carelessness or inattention of a caregiver or babysitter who has accepted the responsibility to care for that child.

These cases can be difficult to prove and, generally, the parents need an experienced lawyer for a successful claim for the injuries.

To prevail in negligent supervision cases, you need to prove four main elements, as follows:

  1. The person or organization you sue accepted the responsibility of supervising your child
  2. The caregiver failed to properly monitor your child (fell short of reasonable supervision levels)
  3. Your child’s injury was caused by the caregiver’s failure to properly monitor your child
  4. The injury to your child was foreseeable (more about this below)

Babysitters and nannies are frequently involved in such cases in Pennsylvania but the laws apply to any caregiver. Other parties that you may claim against could include:

Was the neglect by the babysitter foreseeable?

As you have seen, two of the key elements in negligent supervision cases against babysitters are that the child’s injury was caused by a failure to properly monitor the child and that the injury was foreseeable.

In other words, you must prove that your child’s injury was a natural consequence of the babysitter’s failure to supervise the situation.

“Foreseeable” means that a reasonable person could have seen it coming.

If, for example, the child was playing under the babysitter’s supervision in the gated front yard and a drunk driver steers the car off the road, into the garden, and injures the child, the injury is not regarded as foreseeable. No claim against the babysitter could be successful.

However, if the child was allowed by the babysitter to play on or near a busy road in the neighborhood and was injured as a result of a collision with a car driven by a competent driver, a claim could be made against the negligent and careless babysitter as the collision would be considered “foreseeable”.

Some other examples of where a babysitter may be deemed negligent include:

  • A baby suffers serious injuries by being locked in a car, which overheats
  • A toddler drinks bleach left out with the top open on and within reach
  • A young child shoots himself with an unsecured loaded gun
  • A child is left to play with matches and starts a fire
  • A young unsupervised child falls into a swimming pool

Each of the above situations is foreseeable as a reasonable person exercising due care and attention to the supervision of the child would take steps to prevent the accident. Therefore, a valid claim may be made for compensation.

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What are signs of child abuse by a babysitter or nanny in Pennsylvania?

Negligence is difficult enough for a parent to come to terms with if it results in an injury to their child.

Abuse perpetrated by a babysitter or nanny is almost unimaginable to most of us. However, recent cases of sexual abuse in the clergy, foster care homes, youth organizations, and so on in Pennsylvania mean that parents should always be on the guard with anyone they entrust their children to.

The first thing that parents must do is educate themselves on the main signs of child abuse (sexual or otherwise) by a babysitter or nanny:

Behavioral changes

If your child starts displaying noticeably different behavior, it may be more than just growing pains.

This is a difficult one to spot but any major changes in behavior should be questioned by parents and you should push for answers. A bold outgoing child who suddenly becomes timid and nervous may be quite obvious but sometimes the changes are subtler.

Either way, consider who your child is spending time with when you are not there.

Agitation when it’s time for the babysitter to arrive

If your child reacts with fear, agitation or protestation when told that the babysitter or nanny is due, it should not simply be put down to being separated from you.

It warrants further investigation and careful questioning of your child.

Frequent accidents or injuries when you’re not there

A bump or bruise on a child is not generally a cause for concern. It happens. However, if it happens regularly when left with the babysitter, it could point to poor supervision or worse, abuse.

Both the child and the babysitter should be questioned separately – and if the babysitter seems to always offer a poor excuse, consider what to do next.

Blood on your child’s underwear

No parent wants to confront the sexual abuse of their child but if you notice blood on your child’s underwear, it must be investigated.

Sexual abuse takes many forms and may not involve penetration but you should certainly rule that out if there are any tell-tale signs of something being wrong.

Sleeping problems for your child

Nightmares and bed wetting are typical responses to trauma in children.

So, if your child suddenly develops these patterns of behavior (along with any of the other signs outlined above), you need to probe the cause.

Signs of poor supervision or general inattentiveness/unreliability

If your babysitter is being inattentive or lazy, allowing your child to leave the house in a mess or not following specific instructions you have left, it could mean that your child is not safe.

Similarly, a pattern of arriving late potentially points to a lack of reliability when you are not there.

If you suspect neglect or babysitter abuse in Pennsylvania, the place to start is a free and confidential consultation with an attorney at Andreozzi & Foote.

Rest assured that all the information you provide will be treated confidentially, including your identity.

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Verdicts and Settlements

Client Reviews

Ben and Nate are great guys. They walked me through the whole process, from beginning til the end. The receptionist and very nice. Answer all my questions and concerns. I will refer them to anyone. Their not like other lawyers that talk around the topic. They tell you just how it is or how they believe it will be. Thank you guys so much.

S. W.

Ben and Nate took their time in handling my case with compassion and care. I never had to wonder what was going on. They always made sure to include me in each and every decision that needed to be made before they were made. Their entire staff was always very polite and knowledgeable. I cannot say enough kind words about Andreozzi + Foote; they are simply the best!

V. B.

One of the best personal injury lawyers in the country. Great experience. Really genuine people at Andreozzi and Associates.

B. E.

Handled our case SO well even though it took a long time to settle, and STILL helps us with paperwork related to the settlement account every now and then. They were honest with us from the get-go, worked REALLY hard on our behalf, and always kept in touch with us about what was going on. So pleased.

S. G.

When you and your child are victims of a horrid crime it’s hard to understand why things are the way they are. Information and answers are what you want, but unfortunately the system doesn’t offer that. Nathaniel has fielded and patiently listened to a broken mother wanting nothing more than for someone to help her understand why she has no answers, and through these phone calls Nathaniel has been very informative, honest and upfront. I would recommend Nathaniel and this firm to anyone who is seeking answers, help and professionalism in a firm when going through such difficult times.

S. L.

Can’t say enough about the kindness and compassion of this law office. They helped me immensely with a difficult case and the level of support they provided me was stellar.

L. A.

It is impossible to put into words our gratitude for Ben and Nate through the most trying time of our life. As scared, confused, and traumatized parents, the isolation and loneliness of litigation are abysmal. In the beginning, everyone surrounding you has endless bright ideas and can’t say enough how you should pursue action, but then when it comes down to it, these cheerleaders are suddenly silent and nowhere to be found in what feels to be your darkest hour. Thank God we had these two extraordinary men at our side from the moment we contacted them. Their friendship, counsel, and sound resolve to do everything they could in order to balance the scorecard meant more than we can ever convey, and is simply immeasurable. If we had known how simple this seemingly horrific ordeal would’ve been with their help from the start, we wouldn’t have agonized a single minute over doing what we did. If you are in a similar position as I’ve described, take advice from someone who’s been through the worst, thankfully with the best. Call them!


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