Can I sue my ex-father-in-law for an injury my son obtained on his property and under his supervision?

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Can I sue my ex-father-in-law for an injury my son obtained on his property and under his supervision?

My son was 7 at the time and his grandfather had him using a belt sander. He is now 14 and about to have his 3rd skin graft. He is to have the skin graft’s until his finger stops growing. His grandfather has never helped with any of the medical bills either. Can I sue (even though it’s been 7 years) for medical bills? And could I also sue for negligence? My son’s finger will always be disfigured as well.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

John W. Tousley / The Tousley Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I understand the injury took place in Indiana. If so, your son can normally sue through you as his natural guardian. His statute of limitations will not expire until his 20th birthday. His damages would include current and future treatment costs, disfigurement, pain and suffering and potentially other damages. Depending upon whether his grandfather had homeowner's insurance and any restriction in the contract, there may or may not be coverage. Also keep in mind that if an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid paid for treatment, they will probably be repaid from anything collected. I have in the past recovered from a homeonwers policy for a minor child whose grandparents were not supervising him as he rode on the back of a riding mower being driven by his older brother. Court approval of any settlement of $10,000 or more is required and normally funds collected for a child will be placed in a Certificate of Deposit or trust until the child is 18.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is too late to file a lawsuit for negligence against the grandfather because the statute of limitations in a personal injury case in Indiana is two years.  If the statute of limitations had not expired, you would have been able to sue the grandfather for negligence and would have been able to recover compensaton for your son's medical bills and pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.


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