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Laws around babysitting changed the industry, making it much harder to understand who to hire, how to manage them, and how they are held liable for problems. Hiring minors to babysit is much more complicated, but there has always been a strange question regarding their liability. If a child under their care is injured, can a minor be held liable? 

Taking legal action against babysitters is something that has been done before. Even though having a babysitter who is a minor is common, parents have had to take legal action against them in the past. In many ways, it is a case just like other personal injury cases. It just has the added complexity of involving a minor as the target of the lawsuit. For this, you need an experienced legal team like the one at Kash Legal to review your case.

Minors and Contracts

At the heart of this question is the connection between minors and contracts. In general, minors are not able to enter into contracts on their own. They often need someone or a business organization to co-sign on a contract. 

This is partly responsible for the decline in minors as babysitters in recent years. A change in the legal requirements for how babysitters are hired, combined with the need to enter a legal contract with a babysitter, makes it harder for minors to participate. 

The reason for this is that minors don’t have the resources to be held liable for damages in most cases. You could, theoretically, sue a minor for violating a contract, but they don’t have money or resources to cover damages. This doesn’t mean that a minor cannot be held responsible for their actions or for neglect. In fact, there are already laws in place to handle such problems within the legal system. 

What it does mean is that your lawsuit will likely target the babysitter and their co-signer on the contract, which is probably their parents unless they work for an agency. That way, the co-signing party would be responsible for covering the damages caused by the actions of the babysitter.

Minors as Babysitters

It is still possible to hire minors as babysitters, but the legal systems around them mean that they are agreeing to a contract. Whether it is through an agency or on their own, their agreement to work as a babysitter comes with a co-signer. That means that there is someone who can cover the damages in case something happens. 

By default, a minor cannot enter a contract on their own. That means that if you make an agreement with a minor babysitter to babysit your kids, their parents are default co-signing on that contract, even if they are not present when the contract is formed. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children, even if they don’t know what happened or are not present during the execution of that contract.

Minors and Liability

There are two separate issues at play here: minors and damages vs. minors and liability. While minors often need someone to sponsor them and cover potential damages, minors have always been able to be held liable for their actions. If a minor causes a problem, you can hold them liable. It just means that someone else will also be held liable when damages need to be paid. 

Minors who are old enough to agree to a babysitting contract are also old enough to understand the implications of their actions. Therefore, they cannot dodge their liability by saying that they did not know what they were doing. Likewise, their parents are responsible for stepping in and mediating the situation if that minor is incapable of safely babysitting. Regardless, as long as the babysitter is of an appropriate age to be babysitting, they can be held liable for their actions. 

Ultimately, you can hold a minor liable for injuries that your child receives in their care. While the minor will be held responsible for their negligence, a third party (like their parents or babysitting agency) will be held liable for any monetary damages. That way, the minor is held responsible and someone can cover their damages. 

Discuss Your Case With a Lawyer

Before you take legal action against a babysitter, consider discussing your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer. That way, you can get a more specific answer about your situation. 

For legal advice and possible representation, contact Kash Legal by calling us at (888) 527-4128 or filling out our contact form to arrange a free consultation. We help clients, just like you, seek compensation for injuries that should have been avoided.

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