If my son was involved in an altercation while in London and we received a medical bill from other party involved, are we responsible to pay?

Both parties involved were under the influence of alcohol. No charges were filed.

Asked on August 19, 2013 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First, if your son was not a minor at the time, you would not be liable for any actions of his, regardless of whether  he was at fault or not--though he could potentially be.

As for whether your son is responsible, or you would be if he was a minor: the issue is fault. If your son was at fault in the fight--instigated it; or it was a "mutual" decision to fight where the other person did not clearly attack first, so that your son was only defending himself--then it is possible that he or  you would be liable for the other party's medical bills; in those case, even if no charges were filed, your son would be at fault. (Alcohol use does *not* provide a defense or excuse fault.) If you son was also injured or incurred medical bills and if the other person was also at fault (e.g. the "mutual" decision to fight), then you might be able to offset his injuries or costs against what you might owe the other party.


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