Child X injures my child; do I sue Child X’s parent or child X?

Last updated on January 10, 2024

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You can only sue child X and not child X’s parents except under certain circumstances. As a general rule, a parent is not liable for the wrongful actions committed by his child.

A parent is only liable for his child’s wrongful actions if the parent has himself been guilty of negligence, for example, by failing to exercise proper supervision of his child. Let’s apply these principles to a specfic scenario:

    1. Parent X hands child X a knife. Parent X does not exercise proper supervision of child X. This results in child X injuring your child. It is in such a situation that parent X is guilty of negligence and may be liable for the wrongful action of child X. Thus, you may be able to sue parent X for the harm caused by child X to your child as a result of parent X’s negligence
    2. Unknown to parent X, child X takes a knife from the kitchen. Child X injures your child in the absence of parent X. In such a situation, parent X is not guilty of negligence as parent X was not present to exercise proper supervision of child X. Parent X is not liable for the wrongful action of child X. Thus, you may not be able to sue parent X for the harm caused by child X to your child.