Babysitter Sentenced to Prison for Death of an Infant
A babysitter in Boynton Beach, Florida, has been sentenced to one year in prison for the death of an infant that was in her care. The woman plead guilty to aggravated battery with bodily harm in a plea deal with prosecutors. She had originally been charged with manslaughter after the infant she was babysitting for was found unresponsive by his parents.
The five-month-old boy was rushed to the hospital but was declared brain dead after just two days. The autopsy reported cuts, brain swelling, bone fractures, hemorrhages, and bite marks which lead the medical examiner to rule the child’s death as a homicide.
Babysitters and Wrongful Death Claims
When we leave our children with a babysitter we trust them to take good care of our children. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the babysitter is negligent for caring for a child and death is the unfortunate result. In a case where a child tragically dies, a babysitter can be held liable for the death.
In situations like this, there are often two types of cases. A sitter will often, like in the case above, face criminal charges. Criminal charges may include child endangerment, assault, criminal negligence, or much worse.
Babysitters in these situations can also be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if they failed to take care of and monitor the child closely. Although civil cases can, and often are, brought against babysitters, it can sometimes be hard to collect a judgement if one is made. While a wrongful death attorney can prove that the babysitter was negligent, unless they have insurance or assets to collect, it can be difficult to collect compensation that the family is entitled to.
Parents Take Control
If you are the parent of a young child and seek the services of a babysitter, there are certain things you can do to protect your child from their babysitter.
Check References – Parents are often uneasy leaving their children with a babysitter. One of the best ways to feel more comfortable is to ask the babysitter questions. If you aren’t comfortable asking the sitter themselves, ask other people that know the babysitter personally or have hired the babysitter in the past. Talk to a variety of sources including former employers and neighbors.
Ask for Credentials – Don’t hesitate to ask the babysitter if they are certified or licensed daycare provider. Although a certified babysitter may charge more, it is often worth the peace of mind. Being certified doesn’t mean that the babysitter will be perfect, but it at least indicates that they are willing to follow certain state rules and regulations. You should also ask if they have any first aid or medical training, such as CPR. Knowing a babysitter can handle an emergency can give you comfort and peace of mind.
Look for Red Flags – Many court systems offer free online case searches and performing a search is an easy way to find out if there are any pending or past criminal charges against the potential babysitter. You could also consider doing a background check on the sitter for a fee.
If Your Child Has Been Injured Consult with an Attorney
If your child has been injured, or even worse died, at the hands of a negligent babysitter you may be entitled to compensation for their death or injuries. The Boca Raton attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez can review your case and determine what legal options are available to you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.