Is my son's school responsible for his dental injuries?
by Anonymous (USA)
I was contacted by my 8 year old son's school that he was injured and bleeding. When I arrived at the school my son was hysterical. Once the bleeding stopped he calmed down. He was missing both permanent front teeth.
I was told he was sitting in a rolly chair (not his desk chair) watching a movie with class. The class bully came up behind him and pushed him for no reason. My son fell face first to the ground.
I was rushing him to his dentist when I noticed his bottom lip. His top two front teeth came crushing down all the way through his bottom lip. This explains why he bled so much at school before I arrived. There were two complete holes right under bottom lip. He was then rushed to ER for dermabond treatment.
We have all the medical and dental bills. I was told he will have to replace his front teeth every 10-15 years of his life.
The bully is from a poor family so I'm not sure if it's worth the process of trying to sue them. To me the school also seems responsible because he shouldn't have been allowed in the rolly chair by the teacher. She allowed him to sit in a teacher's chair. Things might have turned out differently if he was placed in a correct student chair.
I filed a detailed report with the school insurance and they wanted copies of the bills I had incurred. I then received a letter denying my claim.
Is my son's school responsible for this accident? Is there anything more I can do to get compensation for my son's injuries and resulting bills?
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ANSWER for "Is my son's school responsible for his dental injuries?":
It is difficult to understand why the school would deny liability. The injury was deliberate and your son was only 8 years old.
The school has a duty to protect its students from harm. If the attack on your son was an aberration, and the boy who pushed your son hadn’t ever before manifested signs of aggressive behavior, it is remotely possible the school might be able to escape liability. But even in that case the school would be hard pressed to deny liability.
According to your set of facts the school was already aware of the bully’s reputation for aggressive behavior. With that said, the school should accept some form of liability for your son’s injuries. Unless you inadvertently omitted some facts which might include some contributory negligence, your position should be strong.
Inasmuch as the school has denied liability it appears your next step is to seek the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. There are a number of attorneys who specialize in “School Law”. Seek out several of those attorneys and visit with them.
Most will not charge a fee for an initial office consultation. The attorneys will review the facts of your son’s claim and hopefully agree to accept your son’s case.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.