If my son injured another student at school on grounds by pushing him and the other child fell and chipped one of his front teeth, who is responsible?

Is it me or is the school responsible?

Asked on October 20, 2014 under Personal Injury, District of Columbia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Possibly both, either, or neither of you are responsible--it depends on who is at fault, and if more than one party is at fault, more than one party may be responsible, or liable.

The school would only be liable if they were negligent, or careless, in how they supervised the children; so, for example, if the boys had been rough housing, or had been in an alteracation with each other, and a teacher had enough time to intervene but failed to, they school could be liable. On the other hand, if there was nothing a teacher could have reasonably done to prevent this, the school would not be liable.

If your son deliberately pushed the other boy, or was being negligent or careless as judged by the standards of conduct applicable to a boy his age, you may be liable. If you son was not being negligent by those standards or did not intentionally push the other boy, you would not be liable.

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