My daughter got a head injury from a bully at school

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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My daughter got a head injury from a bully at school

My daughter was going to open the classroom
door at school when a boy classmate ran up
from behind her and pushed her into the door
she fail and hit her head on the bottom of the
door she now has a gash and a lump in her head
can i sue the school for not watching the
children properly

Asked on March 21, 2016 under Personal Injury, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First, if, as we hope, your daughter is fundamentally ok and just has a gash that will heal, there is little or no point in suing the school even if (see below) they were liable: you can only recover an amount of money equivalent to the actual injury and costs, such as your out-of-pocket (not paid by insurance) medical costs and, if there are several months or more of significant life impairment or disability, some amount for "pain and suffering." But if this resolves quickly and your daughter is ok, you'll spend more on the lawsuit then you get back.
Second, the school would only be liable if at fault in some way. At fault means that they had some warning that this other child would physically attack your daughter but, despite having warning or notice of  a problem, declined to take reasonable steps to prevent an attack. If there was no reason to suspect the other child would suddenly shove your daughter, the school did nothing wrong--no school can prevent child A from suddenly attacking child B without warning.
Note: if there is some lasting injury to your child, even if the school would not be liable (e.g. no warning), you could sue the attacker's family: a child's parents or legal guardians are liable for their child's wrongful acts.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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