What are my rights if my 5 year old son was given scissors at school and cut off the tip of his finger?

I got a call from my son school saying he had a small cut on his middle finger that was bleeding bad. I was told it was minor. They said it’s a vascular area and just get it looked at to be safe. So when we get to the er and unwrap his finger his finger tip was gone. He was bleeding like crazy. It to many hours and finally gel foam to get it to stop. I call the school and they said he was using safety scissors and slipped. According to him, he was left alone to do crafts and had big scissors and he accidentally cut his finger. He has been up all night crying in pain. Why was he left alone with scissors. Can I do anything legally? He has to go back Saturday to make sure he does not have any more damage.

Asked on December 4, 2015 under Personal Injury, Rhode Island


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the school district, it may be possible to settle the case with the school district's insurance carrier.  Obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the school district's insurance carrier and inform that insurance carrier in writing that  a personal injury claim will be filed on behalf of your son.
When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your son's medical bills and medical reports.  Your son's claim filed with the school district's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your son's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
If the case is settled with the school district's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the school district's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the school district on behalf of your son.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.
If the case is NOT settled with the school district's insurance carrier, the lawsuit for negligence against the school district must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.

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