WHEN CAN CHILDREN SUE THEIR PARENTS? WHEN CAN CHILDREN SUE OTHER KIDS’ PARENTS?

by Mike Myers on June 3, 2015

We blog a lot about claims between friends and family members.  When it comes to auto accidents, many of them are going to be caused by friends or family (because that’s who you’re going to be riding with most of the time).

There are other cases–cases involving something other than motor vehicle accidents–where you have to wonder whether there may be a claim by children against parents–this comes up when kids get into situations that could have been prevented by better supervision.

A hospital spokeswoman says one of two boys seriously injured in an explosion outside a home in Enumclaw, is in critical condition.

Initial reports indicate the two boys were playing with gasoline at a backyard fire pit when the explosion occurred.

Courts in Washington historically have not second guessed parents.  Auto accidents are one of the few exceptions where kids can make claims against their parents.

“With certain exceptions, parents and guardians are generally immune from liability to their children for injuries caused by negligent supervision.”

However, kids can make claims against their babysitters, other family members (like uncles or aunts) and parents of their friends.  In situations where there’s a playdate and sleepover an injured child of the supervising parents may not be able to make a claim but an injured child visiting the home probably can (and that claim will likely be covered by homeowners insurance).

I have twins.  They’re almost six.  They get into everything.  I do my best to keep track of them when my wife is gone.  But it’s tough.  Sometimes I get distracted or have to take work-related calls.

If they had friends over and one of the friends got hurt on my watch because I wasn’t paying attention I’d feel terrible.  I’d also expect and encourage the friend’s parents to bring a claim under our homeowner’s insurance policy.  That’s part of why we pay the premiums.

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