Chances are that you are excited for your child’s playdate. It is nice to know that your child is doing well socially, and it will be nice to spend a few hours running errands or just relaxing. But entrusting your child’s care with someone else can be nerve wracking. And kids will be kids – which means that they are bound to scheme and possibly get into trouble.
Your child might get hurt in many different ways while at a playdate. These injuries can range from minor (scraped knees and bruises) to more severe (broken bones, concussions, etc.).
If your child sustains a serious injury at a friend’s house, it can create an awkward situation. How are you supposed to handle this situation? You don’t want to sue your child’s friend, and it is awkward to ask them for money. Here, I’ll walk you through the options of what to do when your child is injured on a friend or family member’s property, and help you handle this situation as best as possible.
Seek Medical Attention
After sustaining an injury, the first thing that you should do is seek medical attention for your child. Go to a doctor or a hospital, explain what happened, and get their injuries checked out. Only a doctor can determine the extent of your child’s injuries and the best course of action for a full recovery. If you do end up filing a personal injury claim, it is very important that you have the opinion of a doctor to refer to in court. You should be able to prove that your child was seriously injured and that a doctor will testify to these injuries.
The next step when dealing with this injury is determining who’s fault it really is. Before talking to your friend about what happened, you should make sure that it was your negligence that caused the accident and not your child’s actions. You should discuss the situation with your child and with their friend’s family to determine what really happened.
Discuss the Injuries
If you determine that it is indeed your child’s friend’s parents who are at fault for the accident, you should discuss your child’s injuries with all parties involved. Get together and discuss what has happened and what to do about it. Chances are that if your child was injured at a close friend or family member’s house, they will not want you to deal with the pain and injury. They might offer to pay for your child’s medical expenses out of pocket, especially if they recognize that the accident was a direct result of their negligence. For example, if your friend was going to shovel the walkway but decided not to, and your child slipped and fell as a result, it is clearly your friend’s negligence that caused the injury. Discussing this might be awkward, but a true friend will care about your child’s well-being and will want to help.
Filing a Claim
If your friend does not offer to pay for the medical expenses associated with your child’s injury, you might want to consider filing a claim and beginning a premises liability case. You can explain to your friend that you are not suing them, but that you are suing their homeowner’s insurance policy. In most cases, there is no need to personally sue your friend – instead you can file a claim against their insurance policy. Worst case scenario – your friend’s insurance goes up a bit. This is really not that bad compared to the alternatives.
Facing injury at a child’s friend’s house and seeking compensation for these injuries can be an awkward situation. However, I suggest that you explain why you need compensation and discuss this situation honestly with your friend. In most cases, a good friend should understand. If, on the other hand, your friend does not cooperate with you, you can seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer. Contact me at 203-925-9200 if you have any questions or would like a free consultation.