What are the parents’ liability if their child causes an accidental injury to another minor?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

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What are the parents’ liability if their child causes an accidental injury to another minor?

If a 17-year-old student is “horsing around” with a friend in the school lunchroom and accidentally causes injury to friend’s recent surgical site (when unaware recent surgery had been performed) and the child ends up in hospital, can parents of student “causing” incision to open be held liable for the injury? The injured child stated in front of school nurse after incident that it was not his friend’s fault, but the boy was suspended and deans told him his parents could be sued. Wouldn’t the school or surgeon who released him back to school so soon be liable rather than the minor student?

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Personal Injury, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A parent is responsible for damages that his or her child causes if the parent knows that the child has the pre-disposition to cause injutry to others or if the parent knows that the child has in his or her possession an item that could cause injury to others.

From what you have written, the incident that occurred at school and away from the parents would not appear to be the responsibility of the parents of the child that caused the accidental injury to another child.

I fail to see what responsibility the school of the surgeon who had previously treated the injured child would have to the injured child from what you have written.

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