What grounds do I have wif a child bit my granddaughter at day care?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What grounds do I have wif a child bit my granddaughter at day care?

A child bit my granddaughter at day care the bite got infected immediately with the staph infection/virus and my granddaughter had to go to hospital and was given penicillin. My granddaughter had an allergic reaction to the penicillin and got a rash which lasted for a week or so. This caused our family a lot of stress. We sent the child’s parents that bit my granddaughter a bill for the emergency visit to the hospital and they got an attorney to send my daughter a letter stating that we were harassing them. The parents of the child never called once to check on the well being of my granddaughter My granddaughter pediatrician called every day to check on my granddaughter as he stated it was very rare to get staph in a bite on the arm. My daughter and husband both lost time from work. What can we do? Is this considered the same as a dog bite?

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Personal Injury, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There are two different issues:
1) The more important issue is the pragmatic one: is it economically worth taking legal action? You can only recover monetary compensation for costs directly and foreseeably (could be anticipated in advance) coming from the bite, or for long-lasting and significant life impairment, scarring, disabiity, etc.) The allergic reaction to penicilin was NOT foreseeable (the vast majority of people are not) and the bite did not cause the allegergic reaction. Therefore, you could not sue for any harm from or costs associated with the pencillin allergy, only for out-of-pocket costs or harm caused by the bite itself--e.g. the first doctor or ER visit. Whether it is worth suing over that is questionable, since if no one pays you voluntarily, you have to incur the time, effort, and cost of suing. 2) If the children are at an age where biting is common, the biter's parents may not be liable: they are only liable if you can show that their child acted in a way age-inappropriate (did something more dangerous or harmful, etc. then we would expect a child his/her age to do), but acting like any other child his/her age normally would does not automatically create liability. So you also have to weigh that it is not a given you would win any lawsuit.

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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