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What is Negligent Supervision in Florida? Understanding Your Rights

an abused child with their hand up

The safety of those who depend on others is a top priority. This applies not only to children but also to seniors and employees in certain situations. The Florida law recognizes a duty of care for those responsible for dependents or subordinates. This means anyone legally entrusted with someone else’s well-being must act reasonably. 

Personal injury cases of negligent supervision arise when this duty is breached. Simply put, if someone fails to properly supervise a dependent or subordinate, and that failure leads to an injury, it could be considered a case of negligent supervision. 

Florida Negligent Supervision Laws Explained

Accidents happen, but sometimes they happen because someone isn’t paying attention. If you or a loved one was injured because someone responsible for their safety wasn’t watching closely enough, Florida law might be on your side. Here’s what’s needed to potentially claim a personal injury case for negligent supervision: 

  • Duty of Care: The law establishes a duty of care for those responsible for dependents (children, seniors) and some subordinates (employees in specific situations). This duty means the caregiver must take reasonable steps to protect the dependent or subordinate from foreseeable harm.
  • Breach of Duty: The caregiver must have failed to fulfill their duty of care. This could involve inadequate supervision, ignoring potential hazards, or failing to take appropriate action in a risky situation.
  • Causation: The caregiver’s breach of duty must be the direct cause of the injury. This means the injury wouldn’t have happened if the caregiver had acted reasonably.
  • Damages: The injured person must have suffered actual damages as a result of the injury. This could include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other compensable losses.

If you believe all these points apply to your situation, you may have a case and a personal injury attorney can give you specific legal advice. 

Common Cases of Negligent Supervision

Unfortunately, accidents occur even when someone is entrusted with care. This section will explore some common scenarios where a lack of proper supervision can lead to injuries, and potentially, a negligent supervision claim:

Schools, daycare centers, and even parents have a legal responsibility to supervise children. This means keeping them safe from foreseeable dangers. Imagine a child on the playground getting hurt because the supervising teacher was looking at their phone and not the children. This lack of proper supervision could be grounds for a negligent supervision claim if the injury hadn’t happened with adequate attention.

Employers have a duty to ensure a safe work environment and provide proper training for their employees. This can include things like clear safety protocols, hazard identification, and adequate supervision for tasks with inherent risks. If an employee gets hurt because a supervisor wasn’t present to prevent a dangerous situation, or failed to properly train them on safety procedures, it could be a case of negligent supervision. Here, the focus is on whether the employer fulfilled their responsibility to create a safe work environment through supervision and training.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a legal obligation to provide care that protects the health and safety of their residents. This includes supervision tailored to each resident’s needs and abilities. If an elderly person with a history of wandering is injured after escaping supervision, or if a medication error occurs due to a lack of oversight, it could be considered negligent supervision. In these cases, the focus is on whether the facility failed to provide the level of care and supervision a resident requires due to their age and condition.

Penalties for Negligent Supervision in Florida

Penalties for negligent supervision can vary depending on the severity of the case. In a personal injury case, if a lawsuit is successful, the person or entity responsible for negligent supervision could be ordered to pay the injured person compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

In certain professions (like daycare workers or nursing home staff), a serious case of negligent supervision could lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of their license or certification.

In some cases, especially when the lack of supervision leads to serious injury or wrongful death, criminal charges might be filed against the negligent party. This could be misdemeanor neglect or even a felony charge depending on the specific circumstances.

While these consequences can’t undo the harm caused, they can hold negligent parties accountable and hopefully encourage better supervision practices in the future.

Suspecting Negligent Supervision in Florida? Here’s What to Do

If you believe someone entrusted with care failed to properly supervise a child, employee, or elder, and it resulted in an injury, here’s what to do:

Consider these red flags:

  • Was the caregiver distracted or inattentive when the injury occurred?
  • Were there known safety hazards present that weren’t addressed?
  • Did the caregiver lack the necessary training or qualifications to properly supervise?

Even if the injury seems minor or the situation complex, don’t hesitate to consult with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can review your situation and advise you on whether negligent supervision might be a concern. Here’s how they can help:

  • Understanding Your Rights: They’ll explain the legal aspects of negligent supervision and whether you have a potential case.
  • Gathering Evidence: If you do have a case, personal injury lawyers will guide you in collecting evidence to support your claim, such as witness statements, medical records, or incident reports.
  • Protecting Your Interests: They can negotiate with the responsible party on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. If necessary, they can represent you in court to fight for your rights.

Remember, Florida has a statute of limitations of 2 years for filing personal injury claims. 

Contact Personal Injury Attorney in Miami, Florida

Ready to discuss your situation? The Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP our Miami personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case. Contact us today to learn more and protect your rights. Call us at 305-371-2692.