Who is responsible for dental costs due to an assault?

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Who is responsible for dental costs due to an assault?

My son (3rd grader) was playing and took another student’s paper. My son ran down the hall and the other student ran after him. My son fell. While he was laying on the floor, face down, the other student kicked in the back of the head. This forced my son’s tooth to hit the tile floor. There are many witnesses. Who is responsible for the dental bill – the school, the other students parents or me?

Asked on October 19, 2010 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the other student assaulted him and caused the injury, then he--or more properly, his parents--would be responsible; however, if they don't pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue them and prove your case to collect, which may or may not be worth it in terms of the costs and/or the impact on your relations in the community.

If the school or its employees were negligent, they could be liable, too. Negligence would be not supervising the students properly or even having excessively slippery floors. If the children just "bolted" without warning, then it's not likely they were not properly supervised--schools can't control every student action. Again, even if liable, if they won't pay, you'd have to sue to collect.


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