Aw, BabyE, I am so sorry to hear about what your little boy is going through! That is just terrible! :grouphug:
Was it an unforeseeable accident? Or could it have been an incident that the childcare providers should have stopped? Unless you can prove negligence, such as inadequate supervision, I would think that the preschool will deny any legal and financial liability. As far as the offending child, was he at fault in someway, or was it truly an accident? If you can establish fault, then he and/or his parents may be held liable for any medical bills not covered by your insurance, and possibly for pain & suffering as well. However, laws vary from state to state on the extent of parental liability for damages caused by their minor child; so even if you can prevail, you may not see any financial award until that child enters the workforce.
Hopefully the other parents won't put you through all that. Especially if you ask nicely and explain the situation. If the incident was their child's fault, they really should just pony up any of your medical expenses not covered by insurance. And, like you said, a simple apology goes a long way! Let us know what happens.
OK sorry for leaving you hanging and thanks for your support. Here are more details.
First, he is doing well, much better than expected. He only lost two teeth so far; we thought he would lose at least two more and they are very loose, but the dentist decided to try to leave them and they are still in so far. The lacerations on his gum (extensive!) are healing well. The bone fractures were limited to the alveolar arches and he most likely will not need surgery after all. He's no longer in pain and he's pretty proud that he has lost his teeth like the big kids around the block. It is affecting his speech and his feeding of course, but he should get used to it.
As for the $$$, it's really not a big concern now. When I posted originally, I was just mad. I was also hearing about surgery, and permanent teeth, and I could just picture the sum (with my lousy dental insurance). Turns out the surgery part (if we need it) falls under our medical insurance. The only concern is with the permanent teeth. I was also curious because, where I grew up, there is a "personal liability" sort of insurance (under your home insurance) that covers these sorts of injuries. Again, it's not so much for now, but if he needs work on his permanent teeth later on.
Now about the incident itself, I don't think it was due to negligence on the part of the teachers. Basically, he was running on the playground when a little girl tripped him. He fell on a toy truck that was on the ground. At first, I was upset about his injuries but not really about the incident: it was an accident. Accidents happen with little kids. My son could have tripped another child too. Except I would have called to check on that child and to apologize for the injuries he had caused! I will check with the school how much the parents know, but I have a hard time believing they wouldn't know. Several other moms called me to check on my boy after their kids told them what happened, and all the blood and screams, etc. One said her daughter said "[son's name] broke his mouth in pieces."
The other odd thing is something the teacher told me. Her exact words were: "I took her and made her look at his mouth, because she has to understand that there are consequences to her actions". (by the way I would be really mad if anyone had forced my son to look at these kind of injuries, it was pretty gore with tooth roots coming out through the gums and teeth at strange angles). Anyway, that makes me think that it is not the first time this girl is causing trouble, and that she did intentionally trip him. I don't think the teacher would have made her look if it was truly an accident (if they bumped into each other or something). However, how malicious can one be at 3 and a half years old? Even if she wanted him to fall, she surely could not have wanted him to be injured. Right?
Anyway, he hasn't been back since then with the holidays, but I'll talk to the director on Monday. In the end, he's alright. I'm just missing his cute smile but it's just teeth, and baby teeth at that...
Poor baby boy
Glad to hear he is doing better... maybe you should ask the teacher if she thought it was an accident. If it was intentional, I might worry that if this child is acting out that it could happen again... (not to be a downer...)