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Thread: Legal question: Son breaks arm at friends house should they pay the medical bill?

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    Senior Member sylvia's Avatar
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    Legal question: Son breaks arm at friends house should they pay the medical bill?

    Unfortunately my 18 year old son went to hang out at friends house. He fell down their stairs and now his arm is broken. He will be in a cast for several weeks. He will miss work due to injury and most likely not qualify for his summer job. Thank God for insurance and all the specialists he will have to see. I wonder should they be responsible to pay for the premium? I just blows my mind how casual they are about this like its normal? I do not like these people. No one pushed him but still its their stairs. Any similar experiences?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Yes, my son had a similar experience. He was at a backyard party and had to go to the bathroom. He saw a door, which opened out, rather than in, so he leaned in to the door expecting it to be a bathroom and it was a basement and he fell down the stairs and broke his shoulder. Couldn't work for a few weeks. Became depressed. Really was not a pleasant experience. My other son (a lawyer) said he could have tried to sue them, because of the way their door was set, but my son lives in the community and didn't want to make waves.

    Unless the owners were negligent in any way, I don't know if you have a case.
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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Why would you expect them to pay the bill?

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    They definitely broke his arm. They should pay the bill. You should also sue the heck out of them and probably press criminal charges too. This injustice will not stand!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    I broke my foot at my friend's house when I was in high school and some people said to sue but I refused, and instead replaced their glass coffee table that I broke. We are still friends 35 years later.

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    I don't understand, it was an accident that could have happened anywhere it sounds like. I have had something like 7 broken arms in my career with children. None of them were due to staff negligence or faulty equipment. No one even suggested suing us.

    Right now I have a family that is pushing me beyond my limits! They have said for a long time that their child (7 year old, mild special needs) is bullied. This included last summer at camp when they said a 5 year old boy threw a paper towel in the bathroom and a time he learned the word poop. So now there has been an actual incident after school with a child, the same child had 2 incidents during the school day. I keep offering meeting times to learn more, and I have a behavior plan in place for the other child. Meanwhile they called the police and I learned that from the other family. I just spent 10 minutes talking about how they heard the other child say stupid and want to make sure he has consequences. So calling the cops, well, I hope they police didn't take this seriously.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    My son broke his arm when a rope swing broke at somebody else's house. He was taken to the hospital with a pretty nasty fracture. An accident is an accident and we had insurance and I thought nothing of it. Imagine my surprise when sometime later the insurance company called me and asked where the accident occurred. I didn't think twice in answering. I then found out they intended to go after the money through the home owners insurance where the accident happened. I kinda felt bad about that because I do believe that accidents happen and that is what our insurance is for.

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    Well, judgement removed - our legal system is designed to let you try to recover the money through their homeowners insurance.

    opinion, this is one of the reasons insurance us so expensive. People often see this as harmless because "the insurance company" pays. "The Insurance company" then collects that money from the insured (as a group).

    judgement reinstated - your son is 18. it sounds like it was an accident and no one else even contributed except by owning stairs. If it were my house I would be really sorry it happened, but no more sorry than if it happened at your house. If you were nasty about it, let alone sued me, your son and family would never be permitted on my property again, and I would be extremely careful in my dwellings with you in the future (as in "I'm sorry, I can't be involved in this bake sale with Sylvia, her son broke his arm at my house by his own fault and she sued us. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable letting her volunteer, but that's your call.").

    But I kind of believe in personal responsibility. As a result my kids and their friends got to do a lot of stuff growing up. I always asked the parents. We have a pond, a trampoline, bonfires, guns, raw milk.... Ds's best friend got his teeth knocked loose here in a fist fight when he was 16. I felt horrible about that. Fortunately his braces supported them enough that the orthodontist could fix them and his parents were more than reasonable. The boy who did it (not my son) was on a very short leash with me for a while. They have all grown to be good men.

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    No, they should not pay his medical bill, and you should not ask them to. What a bad precedent to set for your son in how to live in the world with one's neighbors.

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    I am unsure of who here is licensed to practice inside of Illinois, as I was unaware of any attorneys on this board. Legal questions should be directed accordingly, here, you will only get opinions and experiences where laws may differ.
    I personally wonder why you think you have standing in this case. I would think that a lawyer could tell you your son could go after their homeowners insurance. Accident or neglect, depending on if something was left on the stairs. While your son may be under your insurance, I am unclear as to who is responsible for the deductible/copay and if, if you paid it, that you would then have to go after him and his winnings to collect. (effectively he sues them and you sue him for your costs)

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