Visitor Question

Who pays the medical bills?

Submitted By: Pearl (Chicago, Illinois)

My daughter was at school and a student took her phone.

In the process of getting her phone back, my child ended up with a broken finger.

No charges was filed against the school or the student parents because it was viewed as an accident, even though the student did not have any business of taking her property.

My child required surgery and physical therapy. We just received a bill for $579.00, because our health insurance did not even cover half of this bill.

My question is, should I ask the student’s parent to pay half, since their child caused the injury, or should I asked the school to pay half since this injury occurred at school? Do we have any other options to recover compensation for my daughter’s medical bills? 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 Pearl,

There does not appear to be evidence the students weren’t properly supervised. These interactions between students can occur in a matter of seconds, and even with the highest level of supervision, students are sometimes injured.

Because of the lack of evidence of school negligence, your daughter’s injury claim should be directed toward the parents of the child who apparently unintentionally injured your daughter.

In many cases, parents are responsible for the injuries and property damage their children cause. This can include children up to the age of 18.

Under Illinois Revised Statutes Section (740 ILCS 115/) entitled “Parental Responsibility Law,” the parents of a minor child may be held responsible for the property damage and personal injuries caused by their minor child. Under Section 5 of the statute, parent liability is capped at $20,000.

The Parental Responsibility Law, Section 5 reads in part:

“Limitation on damages; damages allowable. No recovery under this Act may exceed $20,000 actual damages for each person, or legal entity as provided in Section 4 of this Act, for the first act or occurrence of such willful or malicious acts by the minor causing injury, and $30,000 if a pattern or practice of willful or malicious acts by a minor exists for a separate act or occurrence…”

Contact the minor’s parents and ask them to pay for your daughter’s medical bills. You may also ask them to pay for your out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, etc.), and even your lost wages, if you had to take off time from work to care for your daughter.

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: July 1, 2016

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