If my son was tripped by another student at school and chiped his front teeth, who is liable for this child’s malicious misconduct?

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If my son was tripped by another student at school and chiped his front teeth, who is liable for this child’s malicious misconduct?

Asked on December 14, 2013 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The other child's parents (or legal guardians) may be liable for your son's injuries (e.g. medical costs), IF the other child deliberately tripped him (i.e. assaulted him)--which may be difficult to prove. If the children were simply walking down a hallway and one happened to trip over the other's feet, there'd be no liability. Also, bear in mind that if the parents/legal guardians do not voluntarily pay, you'd have to sue them to get the compensation.

The school would only be liable if there had been some prior warning that the other child was either generally a threat (attacked other children) or was posing a threat to your child specifically and, armed with such knowledge, failed to take reasonable steps to prevent injury or assault.


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