Eye Injury at School...

by Sofia
(Lubbock, Texas)

My son was injured in school by another student. The other student made a sling shot and shot a pencil into my son's eye. My son was in his seat at the time, not playing or doing anything with the child.

The District Attorney's office does not want to press criminal charges on the child that did this. My son has gone through one surgery and will need at least two more surgeries due to his injury. Please help. What can I do? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Eye Injury at School...":

Sofia (Lubbock, Texas):

The District Attorney's Office didn't accept your request to prosecute because the action by the student was probably not criminal in nature.

To be a criminal case the action would have had to be "intentional". Your facts don't indicate how old the boy with the slingshot was at the time of the incident, but I can only presume if he or she was using a "slingshot" they were more probably in grade school, rather than in high school.

The second factor the prosecutors relied upon was the actual use of the slingshot. Unless the boy with the slingshot was some sort of a "slingshot ace" it will be hard to prove he had some degree of accuracy when he used the slingshot, and therefore didn't mean to shoot your son in the eye. The slingshot itself was probably no more than a rubber band place between the boy's fingers.

In any event the incident was certainly unfortunate.

Rather than pursuing a legal claim against the boy you might consider pursuing one against the school.

Because the boys were in school, especially if they were in class, a teacher should have been monitoring their behavior. Contact the school and voice your frustration and displeasure at what happened to your son. Tell them you hold them responsible and require they pay for his medical bills, your out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, and any other medically related aids.

If you had to take time off from work to take your son for treatment and to be home during his recovery, consider asking the school to reimburse you for your lost wages as well. Finally, tell the school you expect them to pay an additional amount for your son's pain and suffering.

If all else fails, you can consider visiting with a personal injury attorney. Attempt to find one who has experience in school litigation. Most personal injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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