What is a parent’s responsibility when their child accidentally injures another child?

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What is a parent’s responsibility when their child accidentally injures another child?

I live in a cul-de-sac at the bottom of a hill. My son was out playing on his scooter supervised by me and the mother of one of the other boys who was playing. An 8 year-old boy (who’s mother was not supervising her son) came riding down the steep hill and struck my son. The boy’s handlebar had a plastic piece on the end that was broken, and that piece sliced a 1 inch cut that was 1/2 deep in my son’s head. He was treated at urgent care. The trip cost me $60 and I was told he would be scarred. The 8 year-olds mother refuses to pay medical bill. Should I seek an attorney?

Asked on October 28, 2010 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the other child was at fault in injuring your child--i.e. he was being less careful than expected of an 8-year old--or if the mother was negligent in how she supervised her child, it may be the case that the boy's family is liable for your son's injury. That liability could go to medical costs; lost wages (if you took time off from work); other out of pocket costs (e.g. taxis, etc.), and *possibly* compensation for permanent scarring. However, the other family won't pay voluntarily, you will need to sue to cover the costs, and if you wanted to even try to recover for the scarring, you'd need to retain an attorney and sue in discrict/county/municipal court; for just the medical costs, you may be able to sue in small claims court.


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