Should I sue?

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    My 5 year old was at a neighbor’s house and got a deep 1 and a half inch gash that required 17 stitches. I paid out of pocket for the stitches- which is fine. The question is that according to the doctor it will most likely leave a scar and will require plastic surgery to remove it. It can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. She is a girl and it is in a very noticeable part of her face. According to many poskim, I am allowed to sue. It is very uncomfortable, but I don’t have this kind of money, and do not want my daughter to lose out if I am justified in suing. Especially since there is no monetary loss to them because their home owners insurance covers it. I am not looking to get rich-just to cover my expenses.


    Why don’t you ask them permission to file a claim with their homeowners insurance.


    If push comes to shove, obviously ask a shaila from a big posek.


    What do they say?

    Another name

    Oy! It must be so upsetting! And during the nine days to boot!

    Before I can correctly advise you, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration…

    -How did your child get hurt

    -What’s your relationship with this neighbor

    -Are you sure their homeowners insurance does indeed cover it

    -You are looking at the scar at its worst. Are you certain that scar cream or ointment won’t make the scar fade significantly


    BSD- why don’t you make a deal with them. Tell them you will claim their insurancnce, but you will give them a small part of the money to cover their premiums which will increase.


    Dumb question- why dont you have insurance?

    I would talk to them nicely and explain the situation and tell them you’d like to sue being that you know it would not really cause them any monetary loss… and you are not angry at them in any way etc… I hope you want to stay on good terms with them, i mean if your a neighbor it could get uncomfortable.

    If they really dont want to cooperate just accept it and daven that Hashem should take care of you. He has his ways of routing money in any direction He sees fit! and its really not worth the fight that could result..

    Hatzlacha Rabba


    It is a terrible falsehood when people think that it doesn’t cost the homeowner anything when they are sued because they have the insurance to cover it and the insurance company pays and it doesn’t come out of their pocket. Whenever a company has to pay out a claim they always find a way to get their money back. They usually raise the client’s premium, they might throw them out and cause them to take other insurance which might cost them more since every company does their research to see if there were claims paid out on that client, and general it causes them a lot complications with the insurance company, investigations etc and ill feelings.

    Why was your child there. Were they doing you a favor by watching her? Were they negligent in any way? Did they child do it to her? Did they do it to her? Did they have something on their property that should not have been there? Or was it plain and simple an accident that could have happened on your own property?

    As far as “many possum” are concerned, what does your own Rav say about suing your own neighbor? How would you feel if their daughter was playing at your home and she was the one that got hurt and they decided to sue you. Would that be OK with you and your husband? Would you still be friends?


    I dont think homeowners insurance covers accidental falls so why do you think they would pay for this?


    BSD -Number one – I can’t believe any Rov told you- you can sue. You can take them to a Din Torah. The only way you can win in a Din Torah is if an adult hurt the kid, not another kid or your kid hurt herself.

    Second of all -Did a plastic surgeon put in the stitches? Lots of times these wounds won’t scar -they are very good at closing wounds.

    Third – If after they remove the stitches – if you use an OTC scar treatment, it might not scar. The best is one that is like a hard plastic covering.


    I know of a frum person who was sued by his own father because his dog bit him. They both knew the insurance would pay.


    How can you even consider losing peace between yourself and a neighbor over a few dollars? Especially when it wasn’t even their fault your kid hurt herself. I mean kids fall all the time playing. It could have happened at your house. So just because it happened at their house you should sue them for compensation and money? ha ha.

    If you go to Court, it is always possible you would win, but what you would lose is much more. People/neighbors community would lose respect for you and maybe not be very compassionate towards you and your story. and how you will hurt that family is too much.

    Big deal. You kid fell while playing at their house. Did they push her down? Someone hit her? So don’t send her there anymore.

    But most likely she just hurt herself naturally playing.


    Halachically I think you can sue!


    BSD I wanted to respond it is possible to make a special blend of Essential Oils that can heal your daughters wound, but you would need to contact a licensed and experienced Aromatherapist or a Holistic Doctor. I can not and would not advise you who to use as I do not live in Brooklyn or the Metropolitan Area. Perhaps if you were to contact a big Health Food Store(speak to the Manager),and ask the Manager for a recommendation for an experienced Aromatherapist, or an effective anti Scarring Cream/Oil that you could purchase from the Health Food Shop. What I can say is that Essential Oils can heal,wounds, improve the Immune System and more providing the right remedy is used. That being said I am not an Aromatherapist (it is a hobby of mine) but I use Essential Oils all the time, and they do work. Buying a special anti Scarring blend I do not think would be too expensive. Your daughter should feel better and have a Refuah Shleimah.


    Health- Why would BSD ask a question here looking for adivce while providing false information?

    A din torah would be necessary if there is a disagreement between two individuals. BSD is not really looking to sue. He wants to file a claim with the homeowners insurance. As this usually lends itself to a deductible and potentially higher premiums, a psak from a Rov allowing him to proceed should be enough.

    If, however, the homeowner is denying responsibility then you may need to go to a din torah before filing a claim because the claim will cause him a finaicial loss.

    ☕️coffee addict

    The only way you can win in a Din Torah is if an adult hurt the kid, not another kid or your kid hurt herself.

    if his kid hurt herself he still could win b/c it happened in someone elses property which she was in B’rshus


    yungerman1 – BSD never said any Rov told her it is okay to sue.

    coffee addict – If the child wasn’t hurt by another individual but rather on the property, the halachic standard of holding the property owner liable is a higher burden for the claimant. It doesn’t sound like the child fell into an open pothole.


    Peacemaker- Please read the original post again.

    “According to many poskim, I am allowed to sue”


    How can we answer this? take it to a big posek. but I think you should be very honest with them- just like you are being with us and tell them that you dont want to get rich off their insurance you just want to cover your costs. if you maintain that friendliness why should it bother them?


    yungerman1 – That statement is an assumption of the OP. She didn’t even claim that she asked any posek. She certainly didn’t ask “many poskim”.


    Peacemaker – I agree. Also, this not the same as a car accident, where most people want you to take it to their insurance. They don’t want to go to a Din Torah because when they lose they have to shell it out now with cash. They would rather you file a claim with their insurance because even though their premiums will go up -they can pay it off little by little as opposed to a Din Torah.


    Lets get back to the original issue. Firstly you have within 18 months to sue. So calm down and wait to see what happens. Don’t get overly excited about a cut.

    Secondly, an insurance company will NOT pay out a claim over a slip and fall for a possible scar in the future. You would most likely have to go to court with your child and prove that the property owner was negligent in some way. That would mean that you and your child would have to be there as well as them and their child to explain what happened and how it happened. It is not so simple as you think just filing papers and the insurance company handing you the money. YOU will have to hire an attorney to sue and it could drag out for years. So that will cost you as well. In the mean time as someone else stated, the entire friendship will be ruined and the entire neighborhood will be forced to take sides.

    So getting back to what actually happened. Did they do anything wrong? Was anyone there to blame? Could this just as easily have happened at your own home? What if the situation was reversed what would you expect or want them to do?


    Who even determined that the homeowner is even halachicly liable for the girls injury? Perhaps he is not liable halachicly.


    I stand corrected. Thank you


    Let me get this straight. Your kid is playing at your neighbour’s house, she gets a cut and you want to sue your neighbour for that? Why? How is it their fault? Unbeliavable…


    My brother’s friend was at his neighbor’s house on a bike and tripped over their hose. He broke both his elbows. He got $50,000 from Homeowners Insurance and he’s 15 years old. That means that he got it from the neighbors insurance company. So maybe try doing that instead. Instead of suing them, just get Homeowners Insurance!



    Please, ask a rav and get a psak. Even if you are going to only ask the rav who you think will give you a specific answer, it’s still better than deciding on your own, because this is the kind of thing that either way you go you will be questioning yourself for the rest of your life if you went about it the right way, and your child may also question you in years to come, but if you go to a rav and tell yourself you will accept his psak no matter what, you’ll be afforded peace of mind and maintain your child’s trust.


    Peacemaker-“Why don’t you ask them permission to file a claim with their homeowners insurance.”

    That’s a good suggestion. I think the mrs. will be happy to do it, but the Mr. may not agree.

    “If push comes to shove, obviously ask a shaila from a big posek.”

    I did and I was told that I’m allowed to and that it is no different than when s/o gets hurt in a car accident in which case it’s common and accepted to sue.

    Another name-“How did your child get hurt”- hiding from her friend’s older brother who beats her up.

    -“What’s your relationship with this neighbor”-casual

    -“Are you sure their homeowners insurance does indeed cover it” There’s only one way to find out!

    -“You are looking at the scar at its worst.”- I’m going by what the Dr. says, and I’m making an appointment with a specialist.

    “Are you certain that scar cream or ointment won’t make the scar fade” It can take a few years to know for sure, and by that time I can no longer file a claim.

    smartcookie-good suggestion-Thank you.

    mom12-“Dumb question- why dont you have insurance?”

    I do- will my insurance cover an accident that happened in some one else’s house? That would be ideal. I would be covered and no hard feelings, but I don’t think it works like that.

    “and its really not worth the fight that could result..”

    It’s not worth it for who? What do you say when your daughter hits teen age and asks you why she has a long unsightly scar on her face? Do you tell her that you wanted to take the high road (at her expense) and not upset your neighbor ( rather leave a scar on her face) even though the neighbor takes no loss, was at least somewhat negligent, and halachah was on your side. Are you right to be frum on her cheshbon?

    aries2756-“They usually raise the client’s premium,”-

    Good point- I like smartcookie’s suggestion to offer to pay the increase.

    “Why was your child there.”

    Our children play at each others houses-mostly their child comes to our house because we are aware that the older brother ( 8 or 9) beats her up and the parents seem to be ok with that . Inevitably , my child ends up there occasionally, and she got hurt while attempting to hide from this brother.

    Health-“I can’t believe any Rov told you- you can sue.”

    Why is it different then a car accident?

    always runs with scissors fast-“It could have happened at your house. So just because it happened at their house you should sue them for compensation and money? ha ha.”

    If s/o approached you without any finger pointing and requested respectfully that since legally and halachicly they are allowed to collect from your home owner’s insurance and otherwise their daughter will be deprived of the opportunity for corrective surgery, would you flat out deny them? You wouldn’t even consider their request? Your post if very judgmental when you don’t even know the facts. It is the 9 days you know.

    yankdownunder- thank you- I am using a cream recommended by the surgeon who did the stitches. If you know of a specific product that has been proven I would appreciate it.

    Peacemaker-“She didn’t even claim that she asked any posek.”

    I spoke to a posek and was told unequivocally that it is allowed. BTW it’s “he”, but that’s ok.

    amazingirl97- suing is essentially the same as collecting from their home owners insurance except it sounds nicer.

    aries2756-“Don’t get overly excited about a cut.”

    -easy to say when it’s not you!

    “So that will cost you as well.”

    I would pay the attorney by commission and let the att’y make that assessment- I would also make sure it covers my neighbor’s expenses, so having said that, is it right to deprive my daughter?


    BSD, Now that you have answered everyone’s questions here is what I know from working in the insurance industry for 9 years. Knowing that the older brother chases and hits your daughter, YOU were negligent allowing your child to play there. Furthermore, the boy was NOT chasing her at the time, she was hiding from him. No one pushed her, she got hurt on her own. To answer your question about your own insurance paying for your daughter getting hurt in someone else’s house. Yes they should cover it. If you fall outside, the insurance company doesn’t ask you why you aren’t suing the city or the homeowner in front of who’s house you fell.

    As far as car accidents are concerned. The two parties driving the two vehicles wind up in a law suit if there are long term physical damage or if one does not have collision insurance and wants the other to pay to fix the car. The passenger in your car would not necessarily sue you if you had a car accident and bumped into the car ahead of you, or if you crashed into a tree or pole. How would you feel if your friend sued you?

    And as I said earlier, you have 18 months to put in a claim. You should see some healing progress within at least 6 months. At which time you can determine what you should do. I highly doubt if you went to an attorney today they would take your case seriously. And obviously you should check with your insurance company or rather get a referral from your pediatrician to a plastic surgeon and see if you get approval from the insurance company before you think “law suit”. Speak to the plastic surgeon first before you blow this out of proportion and put both children through the ringer. And I would suggest to you, that if anyone hits your children in the future, you do NOT allow your children to play in their homes. That would be the best way to protect your children from uncontrollable bullies.


    BSD was absolutely NOT negligent for allowing her child to play by her neighbor, irregardless of that neighbors older brother.


    Peacemaker, if you know that someone is bullying your child in that house what is the reasoning behind letting your child go there? Please explain why you would let your child go play next door knowing that a child in that house will try and probably succeed to hit your child? If you know that your child will most likely or even might possibly get hurt next door how is that not negligence allowing your child to play there?

    Whether YOU believe it is negligence or not, the attorney representing the insurance company WILL without a doubt claim negligence on the part of BSD.


    Using that logic, BSD should never let her child outside on their block or she is a negligent parent, since the block bully who is always outside will surely hit her child.


    BSD – One thing I don’t understand is if a posek gave you a psak in this case, what are you trying to accomplish by asking your question here? Are you asking about the sociological pro and cons of suing? You already have the halachic answer it seems.


    BSD- I would suggest using a mixture of Avocado Oil and Vitamin E Cream/Oil. Avocado is Alkaline and a good source of Vitamin E which is healing. Both Avocado Oil and Vitamin E Cream/Oil is known to erase Acne Scars. Say Tehilim for your daughter that Hashem help heal her. You may have to go to a good Health Food Store, and only speak to the Manager/Owner and ask them what they thought about using Avocado Oil and Vitamin E Cream/Oil together to help erase the scar. Shabbos or any time make Guacamole, in other words not only apply Avocado, but eat it as well. As the father of Medicine said Let Food be Your Medicine. The converse is also true Let Medicine Be Your Food. Also if the nine year old brother is unsupervized and terrorizing his sister and your daughter, maybe her friend should only come and play at your home.


    Coco Butter, Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera Gell and Calendula (Marigold) is another anti Scarring Formula that you should first ask a Owner/Manager (their thoughts) from a Health Store before purchasing. Go to a mamish Natural Health Food Store not to a GNC kind of store. Be prepared to spend a few $$$ to buy decent products to help heal your daughter.


    Peacemaker, how do u think that it’s not negligent for her 5 year old child to play at a neighbor’s house whose child, four years her senior beats her up??? I think that if the neighbor’s kid is abusive, then the child has no right going there. I don’t see how the neighbors are okay with this and if I were the little girl’s mother I would go to bat for her and let the neighbors know that it’s not acceptible. Nine years old and beating up a five year old is a SERIOUS problem.


    Negligence, in some courts, may be determined on a percentage basis. Both parties may be somewhat at fault, and the judge or jury will decide what percentage of fault each party is responsible for. So although the accident happened on a neighbor’s property, the neighbor may not be 100% at fault.


    BSD- your health insurance won’t cover this?


    Being that you stated that you paid for the stitches I assumed you do not have medical coverage, I guess I misunderstood.

    If the premium of your neighbors policy will not go up I would explain my situation and file against it. But see what else it entails.. If it turns out to be a drawn out procedure and court appearances I would think it over…



    Negligence, in some courts, may be determined on a percentage basis. Both parties may be somewhat at fault, and the judge or jury will decide what percentage of fault each party is responsible for. So although the accident happened on a neighbor’s property, the neighbor may not be 100% at fault.

    Courts are pretty unlikely to ascribe negligence to a 5 year old. Hiding in cabinets is a pretty normal 5 year old activity.


    Peacemaker should we take a pole here? How many people in the CR would allow their 5 year old child to play in the house next door knowing that the 9 year old neighbor hits her and she has to hide from him?


    “Hiding in cabinets is a pretty normal 5 year old activity.”

    I reread what BSD posted and didn’t see any mention of cabinets.


    Aries…… That pole sounds a tad like bullying…. ganging up on someone sure sounds like bullying to me. It’s almost Tisha Bav… c’mon!!Let’s be kind to people.


    smiley, sorry I was just making a point because PM said that what i was saying was akin to not allowing a child to go out because there was a bully on the block, which one should be careful about as well but is not the same correlation. Obviously allowing someone to play in a home where there is a direct danger to one’s child is a real issue.

    Would you allow your child to play in a home that has a dog that bites?


    BSD – “Why is it different then a car accident?”

    I posted above the difference:

    “Also, this not the same as a car accident, where most people want you to take it to their insurance. They don’t want to go to a Din Torah because when they lose they have to shell it out now with cash. They would rather you file a claim with their insurance because even though their premiums will go up -they can pay it off little by little as opposed to a Din Torah.”

    In other words you’re doing them a favor by going to their insurance, instead of Bais Din. I don’t know how you could win in Bais Din right now. Even (which I doubt) if a Bais Din said the 9 y.o is a Bor Breshus Harabim and they would be Muchuyav to pay for his Hezek (damage), why would they have to pay for possible future Hezek (because you’re worried it might scar)?

    I doubt any of the posters here know you, so don’t take anything personal. I’ve been in the medical field many years and I’ve closed up many facial wounds. If done by a competent professional, they almost never scar.

    I think you are very much overreacting. When the stitches are removed – put on the silicone patches and use a cream that has all the herbs and vitamins packed into one. Wait six months or less, and 99 out of 100, the scar won’t be there. If it happens to be the one time, then you can seek either a Bais Din or a legal venue for compensation. I know when something like this happens, you think you’re the only one, but in reality this happens everyday.


    no, I would not allow my child to play in a house that has a biting dog. I must admit, when my kids were still young enough to have playdates, I did not allow my child to play at his best friend’s house because he told me that they had a gun. My child was furious with me, but I told him that I loved him too much to put him in the kind of danger that a gun could bring. I never gave in no matter how much he begged. On the other hand, I do not believe in suing friends, neighbors, or even doctors. I have stood by that. Maybe if more people stood by that, more of us could afford insurance premiums.


    smiley, WE are also not the suing types. This country is too litigious and only the lawyers profit from that.


    should we take a pole here?

    I’ll take Frederic Chopin. He’s always been my favorite Pole.

    am yisrael chai

    I’ll take the flag pole. I’m not much into taking Poles.


    “I did not allow my child to play at his best friend’s house because he told me that they had a gun.”

    REALLY?!? I hope you applied the same logic to a house with either stairs and/or big screen TVs. More kids are maimed and killed every year, by a wide margin, by falling down staircases or by having big screen TVs fall on them.

    I think your insistence that your kid not play at a gun owner’s house was more of a political statement than for safety.

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