As a Media Personal Injury Lawyer, I sometimes get calls from potential clients who were injured by a child – someone under the age of 18 – and they want to know if they can recover from the child, or alternatively, from the child’s parents. The first question that must be asked is, “What type of tort was committed?” Children are generally liable for their intentional torts – think battery, trespass, things of that nature – while negligence is a little bit murkier. Children can be liable for negligence, but they’re usually held to a lower standard of behavior than adults, who are held to the fairly broad standard referred to as that of a reasonably prudent person.
Children, on the other hand, are held to the standard of a child of like age, experience, and knowledge – a lower standard of care – which gives the child a little more wiggle room, if you will. However, there is a caveat if the child is engaged in an adult activity, such as driving or operating a motor vehicle. In that case, they are held to the adult standard. Depending on the jurisdiction, the child’s parents may or may not be vicariously liable for the child’s torts. Keep in mind, however, that you may be able to pursue the parents on an alternative negligence theory based on their failure to supervise their child.
Was your child severely injured by another child? Contact dedicated Media Personal Injury Lawyer Patrick Gibson for guidance in the matter.
This educational blog was brought to you by experienced Media Personal Injury Attorney Patrick K. Gibson. Our law firm proudly represents clients throughout Media, as well as Pennsylvania, the greater Philadelphia area, Delaware and New Jersey.