If my child accidentally injured another child on church property and we we were not present, who is liable?

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If my child accidentally injured another child on church property and we we were not present, who is liable?

My daughter was at church with her youth leader and other kids for a BBQ. The kids were all playing and joking outside. My daughter was swinging a bat a little too close to another child and the bat slipped and hit the other child in the face. The boy had to go to the ER and have 3 stitches. Since my husband and I weren’t present at all and our daughter was in the youth group leaders care, are we responsible to pay the other child’s medical bills?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Personal Injury, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) The parents are always responsible for injuries caused by their child, if the child was somehow at fault (e.g. intentional act; or unreasonably careless even by the standards of children of his or her age). It is almost impossible for parents to disclaim responsibility for their children's acts, though they can sometimes find other people (see below) who are resonsible (and therefore fiscally liable) as well.

2) The church youth group might be responsible if they were not supervising the children properly.

So the answer is, if there was fault and your daughter would be responsible for the injury and medical bills, you, as her parents would be responsible; and it's also possible that the church youth group could be responsible as well.


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