Who is responsible for medical bills of a Juvenile with Bodily Injury? 31 Answers as of February 21, 2012

If we don't press charges against the boy who assaulted my son, are we responsible to pay his medical bills or will the boy's family pay his bills?

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Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
As your son's parents, you are responsible for his medical bills. The other boy's parents may be liable for up to $5,000 of your son's medical bills, but you'd have to make a formal claim against them if they don't voluntarily pay the bills.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/5/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
You can make the bills a separate civil action not connected to any criminal charges.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 7/5/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
In the hospital's opinion, of course you as the parents are responsible for the bills. However, the boy's parents can-and perhaps should-offer to reimburse you or to pay the hospital directly. If they refuse to do so, you would have to pay the bills and then sue the parents to be reimbursed. It is possible that their homeowners' insurance might cover the incident. If so, the homeowners policy would step in and pay. In addition to hospital bills, if you bring a claim for personal injuries, you are entitled to the cost of transportation to and from the doctor, any on-going doctor bills, any lost wages on behalf of you or your son, pain and suffering, mental anguish and any permanent disfigurement. You should really consider hiring an attorney if any of these additional "damages" apply. If the other boy has admitted fault and your son was truly innocent in the matter, you could also ask that the prosecutor bring charges.That way, repayment of the medical bills is a condition of probation, and if he doesn't pay he could go to jail.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/1/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
The parents are liable for the torts of a minor child, regardless of whether or not you "press charges." You are primarily responsible for your son's medical care, but you may seek compensation against the parents of the child who assaulted your son for both the medical bills and your son's personal injuries.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 7/1/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
There are two kinds of actions. One is criminal and the other is civil. A filing of one does not prohibit the filing of the other. Charges in a criminal case are not "pressed" by lay persons. Criminal prosecutions are done by a prosecuting agency (district attorney, attorney general, or city attorney). Unless and until there is a judgemnt that someone else is liable for the medical bills, you would be liable for your minor son's treatment costs. If your son was injured as a result of an assault such that medical treatment was required, a police report should be filed as soon as possible. Whether or not you file the police report, consult a local experienced personal injury attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/1/2011
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP
    Greenwald, Mayfield & Vigil, LLP | Darrell J. Greenwald
    The boy who assaulted you son may be held liable civilly, irrespective of any criminal charges, however, filing a criminal complaint would probably help your chances of collecting in a civil suit. I would need more information to determine if the assaulting boy's family could be held liable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Unless you can show that the parents were somehow negligent in supervising their son they will not be held liable for your child's injuries. The boy who did the assault is liable, but he probably does not have any assets to cover the injuries. Even if you press charges the parents are not liable. You can approach the parents and ask them to pay for the injuries and maybe suggest that if they do, you will not press charges, but otherwise you are probably left with the bill.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC
    Rose, Senders & Bovarnick, LLC | Paul S. Bovarnick
    You are responsible for the bills your child incurred. However, you can try to recover those costs from the parents of the child who injured your son. But you will be billed by the medical provider, and you will be primarily responsible. You may have to sue the parents of the other boy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You could request that the boy's family pay the bills, but without a legal case hanging over their heads, you wont have any leverage. You may want to consider initiating a criminal case, then settling it through a civil compromise that will dismiss the charges in exchange for money to pay the bills.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    If you do nothing, then you may be paying the bills. So you need to take an active role in getting medical bills paid. the bills can be paid from as part of the criminal charges and/or from liability, Med-pay and/or health insurance and/or a civil suit and/or from Violent Crime compensation Board.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney
    Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
    The child's parents can usually be liable for no more than $1,000.00. Even that is questionable. So, criminal charges may be an option but the victims compensation fund is not a really great way to recover medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You would have to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    Seek relief from the boy's parents and consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Parents are responsible for the medicals of their child. Parents are usually not responsible for the torts (civil wrongs ) of their children
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You are legally responsible for the medical bills of your child. If someone else was at fault in causing his injuries that resulted in the treatment, then that person is also responsible. You can sue and recover from that person. I think that the perpetrators parent would not be responsible. This kind of claim would involve a one year statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You are responsible to pay the medical bills incurred by your son, and you need to try to get reimbursed for those bills by the person who caused his injuries. If the person who caused his injuries is a minor, and that minor's parents have homeowner's insurance, you may be able to get the homeowner's insurance to pay for the bills (plus noneconomic damages, too). See a lawyer and he or she can help you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Depends. You're better off making "restitution" part of the penalty the kid is ordered to pay through the Court unless you get the money up front from the kid's parents.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    You are unless the law requires otherwise or the parents agree to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    If it happened on their property, you could file a claim against their homeowners insurance or file suit for the damages caused.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You will be primarily responsible regardless of whether you press charges. If you press charges, the court can make the boy pay (in which case his parents will likely pay). However, if he violates the court order, you are still responsible. You can sue his parents, and I think there is a statute in South Carolina that makes them responsible for up to $5,000.00 in medical costs. However, it is difficult to find attorneys to take these cases, and pressing charges is probably the best way to go.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    Your son can recuperate compensation for his damages via the restitution process (if the boy that assaulted him is convicted or pleads with a restitution agreement) or with a civil claim against him. If the assaulting boy's parents have a homeowner's policy there may be insurance coverage for the incident, though there are exclusions for criminal acts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    In California a parent can be held liable for their minor childs conduct up to $25,000 in damages. Heres the statute that governs this: Civil Code 1714.1. Liability of parents and guardians for willful misconduct of minor (a) Any act of willful misconduct of a minor that results in injury or death to another person or in any injury to the property of another shall be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor for all purposes of civil damages, and the parent or guardian having custody and control shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the willful misconduct. Subject to the provisions of subdivision (c), the joint and several liability of the parent or guardian having custody and control of a minor under this subdivision shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each tort of the minor, and in the case of injury to a person, imputed liability shall be further limited to medical, dental and hospital expenses incurred by the injured person, not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). The liability imposed by this section is in addition to any liability now imposed by law. (b) Any act of willful misconduct of a minor that results in the defacement of property of another with paint or a similar substance shall be imputed to the parent or guardian having custody and control of the minor for all purposes of civil damages, including court costs, and attorney's fees, to the prevailing party, and the parent or guardian having custody and control shall be jointly and severally liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the willful misconduct, not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), except as provided in subdivision (c), for each tort of the minor. (c) The amounts listed in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be adjusted every two years by the Judicial Council to reflect any increases in the cost of living in California, as indicated by the annual average of the California Consumer Price Index. The Judicial Council shall round this adjusted amount up or down to the nearest hundred dollars. On or before July 1 of each odd-numbered year, the Judicial Council shall compute and publish the amounts listed in subdivisions (a) and (b), as adjusted according to this subdivision. (d) The maximum liability imposed by this section is the maximum liability authorized under this section at the time that the act of willful misconduct by a minor was committed. (e) Nothing in this section shall impose liability on an insurer for a loss caused by the willful act of the insured for purposes of Section 533 of the Insurance Code. An insurer shall not be liable for the conduct imputed to a parent or guardian by this section for any amount in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Although there are exceptions, the issue of whether parents are liable for the child's misconduct is a civil matter. If you press charges and/or if the state attorney goes forward with charges anyway (assuming the police were already involved, that can happen whether you want it to or not), the parents may owe certain costs to the state but it is unlikely that the court would require the parents to reimburse your son's medical bills (possible, but unlikely). The judge probably would make the responsible child pay restitution including medical expenses, and that may make the parents feel responsible or decide to pay themselves, so that's something. Otherwise, you need to consider a civil action. The parents are not automatically responsible for the actions of a child in a civil case either, but they can be deemed so if they behaved in a way that facilitated the event. For example, if they knew their child was violent but did not take steps to supervise him. It comes down to whether the parents were negligent and if their negligence contributed to this particular event. Sorry there isn't a bright line answer, but that's often the case with the law. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/21/2012
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Does not matter if you prosecute criminally as medical bills are civil issues. However, a conviction could make the civil case easier.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    Whether or not you press charges does not change their civil liability for the assault. You can sue them for the medical bills if they do not voluntarily pay. You owe the medical providers for the services they rendered your son. You can seek reimbursement from the parents in a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/1/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    In Oregon, a parent can be responsible for his/her son's actions, including paying medical bills. The limit to that parent's responsibility (not including the parent's own negligence) is $10,000.00.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/1/2011
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