Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another Serious Post

I need all the folks sitting at the kewl kid's table to put your thinking caps on and give an opinion.

For some strange reason, I trust your advice.

(Yes, insanity runs in my family)

On Saturday the Princess attended a birthday party for a fellow ten year old. Included in the party were lots of little ten year olds running around and having fun.

The hosts decided to break out the pinata, blindfold these kids and give them big heavy blocks of wood. Arming ten year olds is never a good idea in my mind but I digress.

When it was the Princess's turn, she was spun around and took a whack at the thing opening it and spilling candy on the ground. Since she was still blindfolded, she didn't realize she had opened it and tried to take another whack,

Right into another girls face.

With a bat.

We got the call shortly before it was time to pick her up that the princess hurt some one by accident and was hysterical. We went to get her but by that time the little girl was already on her way to the emergency room.

After leaving two messages this weekend, the parents of the injured little girl called me last night. Three stitches in her lip which isn't the worst. Two of her front teeth are cracked and will need to be capped. Capped now and redone in a few years when she grows some more.

Poor thing. I feel terrible.

Personally, I think I should pay part of these medical costs even if it was an accident. I emailed the owner of the house and asked if she had contacted her home owners insurance to cover any of it. This was my initial email to her:

XXXXX mom just called. XXXXX needed three stitches and will need one to two front crowns as her teeth are cracked. Poor thing. She wanted to get them fixed before school started but the dentist is waiting for them to heal a bit.
Have you called your home owners insurance? I will certainly help with the bills but I would think home owners insurance would cover most of it minus whatever deductible. (SCM) is going to meet the teacher tomorrow and so is XXXXX mom so maybe you three can talk about it.

I feel terrible for the poor thing. What a nasty accident. Anything that effects a young ladies smile is so upsetting to them. :-(


Christine


Response below:

August 17 at 10:10pm
I never looked into my insurance I never knew she wanted me to contact them. I guess I can call. Did she say for me to call. I thought they had health insurace. Do they want me to pay the deductable. She never said anything today



Then she seemed to have thought a while and got pissed off:

If it was XXXXX that it happened to at their house I would not expect them to pay, accidents happen. When I talked to her today she never mentioned a word. I am actually shocked that she is asking for me to call the homeowners insurance over this type of an accident. I have had kids hurt themselves before at my house and that was never even mentioned to call insurance. I would never expect anyone to claim homeowners if something happedned to XXXXX of that sort. Hopefully I will see them tomorrow

I wrote her back and said that the girl's mom did not ask me for a dime nor did she mentioned home owners insurance but it is what I think we should do. This accident is going to cost this family thousands in dental work.

So kewl kids and kewl kids wannabes, what do you think should be everyone's obligation if any?

CONTINUED:

Just received another email from the owner of the house:
"I just talked to her and she wants my homeowners to pay I told her I could not believe she was doing this for an accident. Then she told me this problem with her teeth could last 10 years. I told her the two who will suffer is (her kid) and (kid who got hurt) becasuse I will not have her over she is a liabilty. My deductible is probally more than the cost. I told her she is just looking for money."


Yup..this is going to be ugly.

33 comments:

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Well, if the homeowner files a claim, their insurance could go up and I don't think that's fair to them, really.

If the family of the girl who needs dental work has good health insurance, find out how much that will cover, then offer to cover whatever deductible necessary. Honestly, if I were the homeowner, I would feel partially responsible - simply because I didn't provide better supervision, but this family obviously doesn't feel the same way.

Karen said...

The should absolutely file against their homeowner's policy! When you invite guests into your home, ESPECIALLY children, you have a duty to monitor their behavior and you are responsible for any injuries. That is basic law school lesson 101.

You are not responsible because it is your child who swung the bat. She was participating in an organized activity and had an accident. The liability lies with the parent who organized the pinata and who should have insured that the bat was handled safely. If you feel responsible, that is because you are a good person, but one you dig into your pocket, it might be a slippery slope. Once you start to pay, you may be deemed required to pay due to an "agreement".

The lawyer in me doesn't trust anyone when it comes it injury to their child (and money). Be careful.

The Girl said...

I have to agree with ETW - a little supervision could have prevented this accident. Your poor princess, how horrible. It is so not your little girl's fault, you shouldn't have to cover anyone's medical expenses. The person who was throwing the party should have been watching the kids as they swung around bats. I hope Princess is feeling better about the whole situation. It's so not her fault. And yes, unfortuately it's gonna get ugly, but your baby is not at all to blame - maybe staying out of it is best.

Christine said...

Well, I told SCM not to bring up money with either parent at meet the teacher this afternoon nor to have any conversation other than about the poor kids boo boos. I was going to have him offer to pay half of any out of pocket expenses but I think I will wait to see how it all plays out first. I just don't want this mom to have to pay everything, It doesn't seem fair.

The princess is totally guilt ridden. She got to speak to her little friend last night who kept saying it wasn't her fault" but she still feels terrible and I know she will feel worse when she sees the stitched lip and broken teeth later.

I wonder where she got all this empathy from? lol

Vinomom said...

That is a tough one. I probably wouldn't dream of asking a parent to contact their homeowners insurance for an accident like that. These things happen.

Dental insurance is different than regular health insurance and is not as sufficiently covered. I think the right thing to do is for the two of you to offer to help with the costs and leave the homeowners insurance out of it. Insurance claims can get big and messy and follow you around for years.

I'll be interested to see how this plays out!
Sounds like

Becky..AMHW said...

I'd feel compelled to pay part of the costs too. Because it's considerate if nothing else.

Yes, she should contact her homeowner's insurance. Dumb balky woman.

Golden To Silver Val said...

If the family has sufficient DENTAL insurance to cover all of this....its wonderful, but its also doubtful. I think the hosts should offer to pay for any out of pocket expenses the injured girl's family has. You know we pay high prices for homeowner's insurance and they have us so frightened of making a claim that the ins. companies skate with free money for years.It was an accident and that's why you have the insurance. Why should the injured girl's parents have to pay? They trusted these people to monitor a party so accidents would not happen. Its not your daughter's fault at all....she was participating in a scheduled event and doing what was requested of her...blindfolded yet! This could get ugly and it looks like it may. When you have a party, you take the risks....no matter how old the guests are. The hosts need to pay the difference and if they don't....they could get sued. Not many people have thousands of dollars to put out for dental repairs...that's why you have INSURANCE. If their policy goes up...then maybe they will be more careful about the planned activities for a bunch of 10 yr. olds. Everyone is lucky the injuries were not more serious! Tell the party-giver to be objective and think how she would feel if it had happened to her child while at someone else's home.

cbyrns said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christine said...

I am kind of on the same page as Val at this point. Isn't that what insurance is for? Situations where there is damage to the home or a liability issue such as this? As I said, I would have called them the day it happened if it were my home.

Everyone is saying I have no liability here but I would still like to help. However, my help is for after all insurance claims are put through and not to save these home owners a rate increase. I am nice but not THAT nice.

Lex - @laprimera said...

Whenever you have a piñata at your party, you have an obligation to monitor the activity. A parent to be in charge of the kid doing the whacking, and another to hold the rest of the kids back until they are given the go ahead to run for the goodies. The homeowner didn't do her duty. She did not exercise common sense here.

Even if she doesn't want to put in a claim, which, yes that's what insurance is for!, she should at least offer to help with the expenses.

My 2 cents.

razorbeck said...

Well y'all americans have a weird relationship between lawyers, insurance companies, law suits and dentistry so I am guessing I won't get this right

But

The offer while sweet is admitting culpability and is there for a bad idea unless the subject is broached by one of the other parties and you reluctantly agree with minimal arm twisting. If you could manipulate someone else into discovering the solution then you are away

Remember to get a release signed sao they can't come back later for some bullshiat "emotional damage"

Christine said...

It is so sad that I can't even offer to help this woman pay for the accident without having to worry about her suing me.

Shame how jaded we have become with the system.

GiGi said...

Agree with Val on this...I think the homeowner should get their insurance to pay. That's what we pay for!! We had a pinata at my son's 4th b-day party - with only *one* whacking device....and I was nervous as hell the whole time. I was glad when that part of the party was over...the kids at my son's party were too small to understand they needed to SCOOT BACK....sweet Jesus, I think I said those words 2 million times in 5 minutes.

Special K said...

If this was my house and happened at my party due to me not monitoring the situation I feel as if it is my part whether filing my insurance or offering to help out of pocket. Accidents DO happen and we unfortunately live in a world where people are sue happy and don't take responsibility for their own actions. This goes for both sides. I don't think this should be drug out into a "big thing". If this were to happen, say, at school or a public park, the parents would have to cover all expenses. This is why you have insurance for your children. It comes down to the parents responsibility mostly but yes, the homeowner should offer something out of the sake of humanity and friendship (I assume they are friendly with this girl's parents). I do not think you are reponsible in any way, though if you wanted to help for the same reason as I stated above, I think that is fine too.

The Dish said...

I have no kids or a house but I would definitely feel obligated to offer to help with the costs. I can also understand why you would mention their homeowner's policy. This is, unfortunately, bound to get ugly. That lady does need to pull her head out of her ass, though.

janeywan said...

All I can say is good luck. If it ends up in court or something insane like that, I doubt a judge would make you pay a dime. I think it was generous of you to offer help, certainly none of it is your responsibility for pete sakes.
Isn't raising kids fun!!

Mine fell from the second floor at a party when he was 16 or 17, parent provided alcohol to a bunch of minors. We didn't get a dime and it cost him a baseball scholarship, not to mention the expense of the ER and surgery.

Christine said...

OMG Janey. That is terrible. They didnt' pay his medical expenses at all? I think I probably would have sued. They were encouraging kids to drink so it was their fault. Horrible.

Shiny Rod said...

For what I know about the legal ramifications and watching Court TV (now True TV)and all the judge shows, the homeowner is the one with the liability since they provided the items that caused the incident. The best advice is to let the insurance companies battle it out. If anyone pays her, they assume liabilty. I would have to fully agree with Karen's assessment. This is truely the roughest on the kids because this is going to cause a lot of bad blood between them as well as the emotional scars of the incident but kids are sometimes resilient

Coffeypot said...

Well, now don’t forget, you asked for my opinion. So I thought about this seriously for a long time, pondering all the pros and cons and my learned and considered opinion is…um…what was the question again?

Golden To Silver Val said...

Yes, Christine, I know your heart is in the right place....but unfortunately you can set yourself up to get burned. By paying for anything...you are admitting responsibility...which just isn't the case. This is between the homeowner and the injured girl's parents....and like someone else said...let their insurance companies battle it out. I agree...it IS a shame you cannot offer some assistance without worrying over getting stuck with the blame and the whole bill...over something that just isn't your daughter's fault or yours. Offer your sympathies but stay out of it monetarily. This is just IMHO.

Libby said...

...doesnt it just suck that we can't do the normal things that we feel any more, for fear that we'll be held responsible????????????

janeywan said...

Christine,

It was horrible, I forgot to tell you he broke is wrist, it could have been his neck. Thank god it wasn't.
Anyway he was the ace pitcher and had basically won the game that day which took them one game away from states. He was suspended from the team on top of it all, couldn't have played anyway, but the horror of it all.
Other players were at the same party but no one else suspended of course. It was a nightmare I'll never forget.

M Chickk said...

Totally the homeowners responsibility on this one and she knows it. That's probably the reason for the hostility. A pinata at a birthday party is practically a family tradition for us but NEVER in all the years and all the parties have we ever used a wooden bat! Always plastic. If someone gets hit with one of those, the most it will do is leave a nasty red mark but even still, nobody ever got hit because there were always several adults monitoring to make sure nobody got in the way of the swinger. This accident was the fault of the host, 100%, for not supervising. Your poor daughter just happened to be the one with the bat. The homeowner should not only call her insurance but she should be the one paying their deductable, which I am sure she would expect if it had been her child who had been hurt.

Jenny Fabulous said...

Homeowners! I would not have said anything at all to the mother except youa re so sorry that it happened. I get threatened to be sued everyday with my line of business (repossession) and I learned a long time ago... don't admit anything! Chris, do not say another word. This could explode!!!! I know you feel terrible, as does your sweet Princess, but people are so sue happy these days. We have a small tree in our front yard and there are about 10 boys ages 5-14 who love to climb on it and hang. I stopped that the day that I moved in with J. PEOPLE WILL TRY TO SUE YOU FOR LOOKING AT THEM THE WRONG WAY! Neighbor kid fell out of my neighbors apple tree last year. Broke his arm. First thing the home owner told the mother (they have been friends for yrs) is "Please don't sue me!" She didn't. The boys want a trampoline or a pool.. I say no way. We have too many kids on our street and if one gets hurt... we are done financially.

My step kids are constantly wanting to take a friend with us no matter where we go and J always did.... no more since I moved in. If I wreck my car and that child gets hurt... they will sue me for everything I own plus my ins co.

We live in a day of litigation and it is getting worse. J thinks I'm crazy at times, but, so be it. I have to protect my home and finances no matter what. If it goes to court, just see what happens. I'm so sorry this happened to you guys! Poor baby.

Sorry that was so long, but I wanted you to know my 2 cents! Hang in there!

Olly said...

Yup, it's an insurance matter. That's what insurance is for. Nice of you to offer to pay some of the costs, but not necessary.

Lindi said...

I have to agree with Val & Olly too.
Let the insurance company take care of it.
If the homeowner doesn't put it through her insurance then the little girl's mother should threaten to sue the host of the party if she doesn't. Any jury would award the little girl a lot more than it would cost in an increase to her homeowners policy premium!

THe homeowner needs to cowboy up, set a good example for her own daughter and take responsibility for it happening under her watch.

Christine said...

JF: That is exactly what is happening. Home owner says there is no way she is putting it through her home owners and paying for an accident. Mom of hurt kid said they are going to have to take them to court in that case. BOTH called me and asked if I would testify. Testify to WHAT I have no idea. Which is exactly what I told them. I was not there and I would prefer not to be put in the middle.

I really feel bad that the world has gotten to this point. Where is the personal responsibility? Kids can't even play without the hosts wondering if a law suit will arise from any accidents?

SCM saw the father of the injured girl at the school and they talked. Seems they do not think we are responsible for any of it but if we want to help, fine. SCM stayed out of it (good man) and I will too until it gets resolved between the feuding Mommy's.

Geez.

Jenny Fabulous said...

Chris,
I know it breaks your heart. Hold your ground and see what happens. It IS sad that the world has come to this. We started taking the boys someplace like a pizza place or where they have those big blow ups for birthday parties and I CRINGE when they want someone to stay over! I feel for you honey.

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