Visitor Question

Knee hurt in park after school…

Submitted By: A (USA)

My son was playing at the park after school. Another boy came from out of nowhere and jumped on his back, causing my son to bear the other child’s weight. My son slipped, hyper-extended his leg, and the boy landed on my son’s knee. The injury needed emergent treatment, multiple follow-ups and possibly ongoing therapy.

We don not have medical insurance at this time and are paying cash for treatments. I have lost work hours due to appointments, my son has been out from school to attend these appointments, and now is showing depression. He’s a competitive travel baseball player year round, and obviously can’t play until his knee heals.

He’s just sad and tells me the boy tells him at school that he’s not really hurt and is bullying my son. I feel that this boy’s parents should be responsible for paying for my son’s treatments, since my son was not engaging in any activity with this boy, he was caught off guard. It’s not like they were playing a football game together or anything.

Can I file a personal injury claim for my son’s injuries and treatment? Are the parents liable? Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear A,

In many cases, parents are liable for the actions of their children when those acts result in property damage or personal injury to third parties.

This rule does not usually extend to injuries sustained by children while engaged in recreational activities. Unless you can prove the boy’s acts were malicious and that the boy intended to hurt your son, you will have a difficult time succeeding in a lawsuit against the boy’s parents.

You might speak with the parents and explain the situation. Tell them you realize the injury was not intentional, but that nevertheless, their son did injure your son. You can ask the parents to file claim under their homeowners insurance policy.

Homeowners policies often cover injuries to third parties perpetrated by the homeowner or his family members, even when those injuries occur off premises.

With homeowners insurance claims, an injured party does not have to prove negligence (up to a certain amount of compensation). The mere injury itself is sufficient for you to recover the cost of medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and your lost wages while caring for your son. Pain and suffering and emotional distress are not covered under this type of homeowners insurance.

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

Best of luck,

Published: February 17, 2015

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