What are our rights if my son was pushed off a bunk bed by another child, causing him to shatter his elbow and have surgery?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2014

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What are our rights if my son was pushed off a bunk bed by another child, causing him to shatter his elbow and have surgery?

The child initially admitted it to me and another adult and is now saying he didn’t do it. Would the child’s parents be liable or the individual whose house this happened in?

Asked on September 9, 2014 under Personal Injury, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The home owner would NOT be liable unless he or she was at fault (e.g. negligent or careless) in causing the injury in some way; a homeowner is not the insurer of his or her guests and is only liable to the extent he or she is at fault.

The child's parents may be  liable if the child either 1) deliberately pushed your son off the bunk bed, or 2) was unreasonably careless (as judged by the cognitive and maturity standards of children that age) in accidently pushing your son off. On the hand, if he did not mean to shove your child out of the bed, and if he was not acting unreasonably careless at the time (for example: the boys were just generally horsing around a little, the way boys often do), he--and therefore his parents--would not be liable. Again, liability depends on fault: unless a person is at fault through a deliberate wrongful act or unreasonable carelessness, there is generally no liability.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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