52 answers

Would You Ask Neighbors for Money?

My immediate neighbor behind us has a 9 yr old son who is an only child. The parents are very reserved & never have tried to get to know us in the 8 yrs we've lived here. Their boy comes over several times a week to play.

A few weeks ago the boys were in our basement. My 7 yr old son was sitting in a kids shopping cart while their boy was pushing him around. I guess the boy got a bit wild whipping my son around & my son flew out of the cart & busted his ear on a piece of wood. The kids started screaming. I went down there & my son was laying on the floor with blood all over. Thank goodness the blood was from his ear being split open & not from the inside of his ear. He obviously needed stitches. My other neighbor was over & took my girls home with her so I could take my son in, he got 9 stitches.

I just got the Dr bill for almost $200. November & December has been an extremely expensive month for us due to other medical bills, a baby shower for my sister, books & fees for my daughter in college etc. I am cringing at this bill & would like to ask them to pay for half. What do you think, would you ask for the money, or suck it up?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

It didn't even cross my mind to ask for the money UNTIL my SIL told me I was crazy not to ask them to pay the whole bill. So her and I posted this question.

I am also glad to see that some of you fellow mammas are on top of your children with a watchful eye 24/7, seriously "you should have been watching them better"!!! The kids were in the same house as I was, you make it sound as if I was down the street partying. Who's 7 year old is attached to their mamas hip?

Personally, if the roles were reversed, I would have offered to help pay for the bill. I guess I am in the minority on that one.

My SIL is shocked that the majority disagreed with her. Oh, and the bill has already been paid, by me. Thanks

Featured Answers

Accidents happen. I would not ask for money either but no, I don't feel you were irresponsible as a mother. It happens. Hope he feels better.

9 moms found this helpful

I'd suck it up.
It's not like you were unaware what was going on.
It's called an accident.
Kind of like the cost of doing business for raising kids.
It would be nice if they offered, but they haven't.

9 moms found this helpful

Suck it up. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if the kid's were being supervised properly by you, this might not have happened.

9 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Your son = your bill.
I was surprised that you would even think to ask seeing that it was your son who was injured in your own home...? Yikes, this puts another spin on play dates and reinforces the importance of knowing the parents of your kids friends.

27 moms found this helpful

Nope, this was your basement. Your child got hurt under your supervision. It was an accident.

21 moms found this helpful

Nope. It was on your property and the children were in your care. Perhaps they needed supervision.

Hope your son is okay.

17 moms found this helpful

I think you just have to chalk one up too Murphy and swallow it! Thank God it wasn't more serious or wasn't the neighbor's kid and they're not coming after you.....

14 moms found this helpful

No, I wouldn't ask a neighbor for half of the medical bills. They were playing in your house under your supervision. I would take responsibility for my own child's medical bills unless she was run over by a car or intentionally hurt.

The fact that he is an only child, the parents are reserved, you had a baby shower or books to buy are irrelevant. Don't cringe at the bill...arrange payments. It could be so much worse.

14 moms found this helpful

I would not because he was under your supervision.

Also, I would not turn it in under homeowner's insurance because your rates will go up.

13 moms found this helpful

Nope she doesn't owe you any money. Nor would I offer any if this were my kids. Both kids were equally responsible for this accident. Again, I understand boys but I would be curious if your son had "gotten a bit wild and whipped" the other boy around. Here's the deal, they were playing roughly and someone got hurt.

My daughter was at a friends house and they were throwing a ball in the room. It hit the light cover and the glass fell on my daughter and cut her on the chest. She needed two stitches. I never asked them for money, I offered to pay for the light! Of course, that was rejected but you see my point? Its the cost of having friends over with our kids.

13 moms found this helpful

I have not read the other's posts, but I will tell you that I don't believe that you should ask them to pay.

Accidents happen. That's why we have medical insurance and homeowner's insurance. Getting away with only paying $200 is great - you are lucky.

They don't HAVE to pay. She watched your kids so you could take him for medical care. That was kind of her. At least you didn't have to pay for a babysitter.

Honestly, if I knew that about your SIL, I wouldn't let my kids near her and I wouldn't step foot on her property. I would be afraid she is one of those sue happy people.

D.

12 moms found this helpful

No, I would not. This was an accident from two boys playing rough. Accidents happen. It also happened in your home while the boys were in your care. What I would do is contact the Dr. and ask to make payments.

Updated

No, I would not. This was an accident from two boys playing rough. Accidents happen. It also happened in your home while the boys were in your care. What I would do is contact the Dr. and ask to make payments.

12 moms found this helpful

These things happen! I would suck it up. Frankly, they were under your watch not hers. I totally get the pinched for money thing but it is just not ethical to ask her. You can ask to set up a payment arrangement for this.

As far as these women on here that have said that you should have been watching closer, ignore them! You did just fine, accidents happen. Move on.

Good luck!

12 moms found this helpful

Medical bills can almost always be paid in payments (with no interest). I had to go to the ER twice this year, and I just called the hospital and told them what I could afford each month. They send me a bill each month for that amount, and I'll just keep paying it until it's done.

I've done this with the birth of each child. I've been able to do $50 a month, but I know I have also done $25 a month.

One year I had to go to the ER (I get kidney stones) and was paying them $25 a month. A couple of months later my son needed surgery at the other hospital, so I had to begin paying them in payments as well.

Just talk to the finance office and work it out. Medical bills need to be something you are paying on, but the outstanding balance does not need to be paid in full right away.

11 moms found this helpful

No, I wouldn't ask for the money. The kids were playing and accidents happen.

Several years ago, my daughter jumped off of a neighbor's playset and broke her wrist. It was an accident. We didn't submit a claim to the neighbor's home owner's insurance, even though I'm sure we could have. But we don't operate that way.

11 moms found this helpful

Sorry, but I'm with the majority on this one: no way would I ask them for money for a doctor's bill my own child incurred while playing in my own home while I was there.

11 moms found this helpful

I'm really sorry- but under these circumstances - I would suck it up - it was your son in your home and you weren't watching them. I wouldn't ask for them to chip in.

I hope your son is doing well.
I hope they will not be allowed to play like that again.

11 moms found this helpful

Well, you assumed responsibility when you let the boy come play. Our daughter was hurt at our neighbors' and it was pretty much their daughter's fault though an accident. We had to go to the ER and they never offered to pay our deductibles. Come to think of it, they probably should have given it was at their house. But at our house? No. Do they know your son was hurt? If you think their son is too rough, you could use it as an excuse to talk to them and say your son had to get stitches so maybe they'll offer. Or if you don't really care about what they think etc, then of course you can ask. I'd pay of I were them but they're under no obligation at all. Or you could just be honest and see if they'll split it.... I think you have to balance how much you care what they think vs how much you need the money.

11 moms found this helpful

no. it's not that child and especially not that parents fault or responsibility. all the kids were playing and it couldve been anyone of them that got hurt.

10 moms found this helpful

I've had my youngest DD go to the ER twice from accidents with the same child. Once for slamming her finger in the door and once for stiches needed from a game of tickling turned "my kid getting her forehead in the coffee table". But, since the kids were in MY care, I found no fault in it. They were just being kids and accidents happen...

10 moms found this helpful

They were in your basement. It was your job to keep an eye on them. It happened on your watch. I say "no" you don't ask the neighbor for anything. If the neighbor offers I certainly would take the money though.
Laura

10 moms found this helpful

NO WAY. The thought would have never crossed my mind.

10 moms found this helpful

Suck it up. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if the kid's were being supervised properly by you, this might not have happened.

9 moms found this helpful

You were the one not supervising the kids in your home, it falls on you. If the boy had gotten hurt the same way you would also be responsible for his bill.

9 moms found this helpful

I'd suck it up.
It's not like you were unaware what was going on.
It's called an accident.
Kind of like the cost of doing business for raising kids.
It would be nice if they offered, but they haven't.

9 moms found this helpful

No.

It happened in your home on your watch. If it was the other boy who had been hurt, I'd even go so far as to say you'd be responsible for that whole bill.

I'm really sorry your son got hurt and I hope he is feeling better!

Often times medical billing will work with you to set up a payment plan if need be.

9 moms found this helpful

Sorry. I am with the majority here. Under these circumstances, I would not ask. Accidents unfortunately happen. The boys were left unsupervised on your watch and they got carried away, it happens.

You can call about the medical bill. The hospital will be willing to work with you on the amount or a payment plan.

I hope your son is feeling better.

9 moms found this helpful

No, I would not ask in this situation, especially since it happened on your property. Both of the boys are old enough to know better, (of course as a mom of boys, I know they pull stunts anyways, accidents happen!). Your home owner's insurance policy should help cover accidents such as this, or you can call the Dr. and work out a payment plan, if the insurance rates would hike too much. Call and ask, be thankful the bill isn't in the high hundreds!

9 moms found this helpful

Accidents happen. I would not ask for money either but no, I don't feel you were irresponsible as a mother. It happens. Hope he feels better.

9 moms found this helpful

Seriously? I can't believe that would even cross your mind. Be glad it wasn't anything more serious. Arrange payments.

8 moms found this helpful

Unfortunately, it was due to negligence. They were in your basement playing rough and it got out of hand. It was accidental and although very unfortunate, you are responsible 100%. If you would feel better about it, you could at least talk with the neighbors and let them know what happened--did you tell them when it occured? Then see if they offer to chip in. If not, I would take it as a loss. I hope your son is feeling alot better!!

M

8 moms found this helpful

nope , it happened in your house on your watch so no. BUT also kids get hurt when they play sometimes I don't think that calls for someone else to pay part of the bill when they get hurt.

8 moms found this helpful

No. Accidents happen and it happened in your house. The boys were roughhousing.

8 moms found this helpful

Nope I wouldn't do it...now if I was offered money I probably wouldn't fight to much to take it out of their hands!

A situation happened this summer with my daughter caused by a neighbor kids. There was about 150 dollars in bills to be paid from the other childs poor choice but I knew it was an accident

And I must say that both my husband and myself along with both Husband and wife of the neighbors were in the same yard when it happened. So don't feel bad about the accident they happen whether you are in the room or not. The good thing is you were in the house. you heard the scream and you went running!!

8 moms found this helpful

it happened on your property so i wouldnt ask. if my child got hurt at their house due to rough play then i would hope they would offer to pay for something (at least part of it). but this happened in your home and to your child. it was an accident thats it.

8 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't ask.

Accidents happen. Both kids were playing and having fun and doing what 7 & 8 yr old do.. got a little crazy. It wasn't a spiteful act that caused him to be hurt. It was just kids being kids.

Now if it had been a spiteful act that caused him to get hurt, then yes I would. But not in this case. Honestly if the houses had been reversed and my son had gotten hurt in the same manner at the friends house, I wouldn't expect them to pay it either. Accidents happen.

Now if they offer.. show them the final bill and except what ever they offer.

I hope this doesn't stop the kids from playing together! Im sure the boy feels just awful already.

8 moms found this helpful

sorry your son got hurt... that must have been scary to see all that blood
but it was an accident. Both kids were playing rough. it was your home as other have said under your supervision.
i am still paying off hospital bills since last year... as long as you pay a little each month you will be ok

7 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't unless another child intentiallyy hurt my child or if an adult was being irresponsible with my child. Your son and his friend were equally engaged in the risky behavior and thus both responsible in my opinion. The case could be made to that you should have been better supervising or that the area (ie a piece of wood??) was not safe in your home. Don't know if either of those things are true, but I think it is unfair to blame the other child.

7 moms found this helpful

It happened on your property to your son, I would not ask for money. It would be one thing if this child did it on purpose then it would need to be addressed (but that would be more like filing a claim with the police for physical harm/damage).

If you do ask you might find that you hurt any relationship that the two boys have. The other boy's parents may not let him play with your son any more, heaven forbid anoter accident happens while they are playing together and more money is asked for. (this is what I might think if our kids played together but we really did not know each other well, I would want to keep my distance, and maybe my child away).

Use this as a teaching tool for your child... plus if the other boy comes over remind them to play wisely and calmly in the house.

7 moms found this helpful

I would not ask for the money. You were supposed to be watching the boys, it was in your home. What do you have a shopping cart in your basement for? What were they doing in it? They're boys and at an age where they want to get into stuff. It happens. It will happen again. Fact is, it'd be very easy for a 7-10 year old boy to lose control of a shopping cart. Once it gets going at a decent speed, the velocity of the cart and the weight of the child would be too hard for a young boy to physically control (wouldn't have the muscle strength). I'll spare you a physics lesson, but it's just life. It could have just as easily been your son pushing him. Not trying to be harsh here, but you should have kept a better eye on the boys, it was your house, your watch. I'd be thankful it wasn't her kid, and me having to worry about getting sued or something. Teach your child how he's to behave when he has friends over, and things like jumping into the shopping cart to be pushed by another kid (without a parent there to watch/control) to begin with shouldn't have happened. But yeah....accidents happen. This probably won't be the first time your son gets hurt.

7 moms found this helpful

Since it happened in your house I would say the bill is yours. Sorry this happened though I know it's a hardship.

7 moms found this helpful

It was an accident in your home, so no. Sorry, the liability falls to you. If it had been a purposeful event, you bet I would ask them to pay. For an accident that can happen anywhere, I just don't think it's the right thing to do.

From here on out, perhaps you could instill a "no horseplay" rule with your son's friends? I personally, don't think you should have to monitor them ever single second. They clearly were not TRYING to injure each other, or cause trouble!! Maybe, if they know they HAVE to keep their play low-key, an accident won't happen? I know it can be hard with boys, but it's worth a shot!

7 moms found this helpful

I would not ask them for money. It was an accident; your son was playing too and it was at your house. No, it's your responsibility. Truthfully, even if it had happened as their house, I would not ask for money. It was an accident.

6 moms found this helpful

All I've read is your "So What Happened" comment but just wanted to add my 2 cents: I think you did the right thing. Agreed, if it'd been me I would have offered, but they didn't and I think in the long run you'll be happier having forked over the extra $100 and not feeling weird about having asked them to pay. It was worth the money. And no, you should not have been watching them closer! Holy cow, can't believe people wrote that. It was 2 boys plenty old enough to be playing solo in the basement. Even if you were down there checking on them every 3 minutes that still could have happened. Can't protect them from everything. At least no one was seriously hurt. And now you have a story to tell:-)

5 moms found this helpful

I would not expect another parent to pay for my child's medical bills, unless there was extreme negligence or something similar involved. In which case, I'd consult a lawyer. In a case where it was an accident - "kids being kids" - definitely not.

I would, however let them other parents know that it happened. Don't make it an accusation, just let them know. If this is a one-time thing, let it go. If this is part of a pattern with the neighbor boy, he's not allowed to play with your kids unless you or another adult (of your choice) can watch them or be in the same room w/ them---or just don't let him come over anymore.

5 moms found this helpful

No, because it wasn't their responsibility to watch. Also, you might alienate them altogether and my guess is you don't want to do that...

5 moms found this helpful

No, it wouldn't occur to me to ask them. My son could have hit the wall for any reason and gotten hurt. Or my son could have been pushing the other kid who was hurt. I might think to offer to pay if the other child was hurt and uninsured...not sure if I would think of it though. If the parent asked me to chip in, I would. If they were very kind about it, and weren't blaming me at all, just asking out of need, I'd happily agree to it.

At any rate. My son just got 3 stitches and we got billed $1200. So count your blessings. If your hospital will let you pay it off gradually, I personally wouldn't ask, but that's just me. If you do ask, be very non blaming about it, tell them you feel terrible for asking, but you guys are really hard up right now. They may be happy to help.

4 moms found this helpful

Because the parents are reserved and haven't gotten to know you nor you them, I suggest it would be difficult to discuss this with them. They aren't going to offer to pay if for no other reason than they're reserved and not involved with your family.

Do they even know what happened? Did you talk to them when you sent/took their boy home? They should know what happened so they can deal with their boy's feelings with it.

It was an accident and happened in your house and so legally it is your responsibility. If your son had been hurt at someone elses house their homeowner's insurance would probably have covered it.

I'd probably let it go. i.e. not ask for help with the bill but I would talk with them about what happened. I would also make a greater effort to get to know them since their son is often at your house. What would there reaction have been if the roles were reversed? You want to know how much responsibility they expect from you.

You were supervising. Don't let those who say accidents wouldn't happen with good supervision. That is just not true.

3 moms found this helpful

You have lots of responses already, but I am going to vote for sucking it up. Accidents happen and like others have said, there really is not a way to determine who was really at fault. My brother once had to get several stitches in the back of his head when he was 7 because he and a neighbor kid were hitting golf balls with a metal golf club in our front yard and this neighbor kid accidentally hit him in the back his head while swinging. My stepson, when he was 9, once got bonked on the head with a metal baseball bat while we were visiting friends (they were off property, playing in a vacant field) because they were basically goofing around and acting like morons. Yeah, maybe none of this would have happened if we were all right there watching, but at some point kids have to be expected to play on their own without being watched every single second. And sometimes they are just going to do dumb things. Especially boys, it seems. Hopefully your son, and his friend, learned their lesson about what happens when you are not careful.

3 moms found this helpful

I dont agree with the "you should have been watching your kids better". please. Just ignore the Martyrs. Who hovers over 7 yr old & 9 yr old playing in your house? Give me a break.

I do think you did the right thing by just paying the bill yourself. It is alot of money but in the end it was an accident. If i were in your position i would have done the same, just paid it.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm just reading this now - but here's my two cents - if the boy was being malicious and the injury was intentional I would ask the parents for the money. But the boys were being - well - boys. Boys are active & physical, they think *after* they act. We've made many trips to emergeny rooms and doctor's offices over the years and there will be more to come. <deep sigh> So it's yours to pay.
As for whether or not you should have been hovering - don't let people make you crazy. Maybe they're moms of toddlers and they can't imagine ever being in a stage where the kids play on their own. Whether they're riding bikes, skating, climbing trees or playing ball kids will get hurt. Guaranteed. Better they're being physically active and getting hurt than sitting motionless in front of the TV or computer. I look at physical injury as a part of growing up. My knees and elbows and head are all scarred - and I can tell you at age 52 that 95% of my scars were created before age 15.
Injuries are not somehting I look for - but they will happen and fortuantley God created our bodies with the ability to heal! Yay God!

2 moms found this helpful

It was an accident, I would not ask for the money.
I'm not really sure why your sister thinks they should pay, you didn't really see what happened or what crazy kid logic led to it.

These things happen, that's why there are called accidents.
Glad no one was hurt worse

1 mom found this helpful

OK just read your other post. Now I know what happened. No just pay the
bill. I would never ask. They were both fooling around got a little out of
control and a ear laceration was the result. Accidents happens. That is
life.

1 mom found this helpful

You should have known they were playing the shopping cart game. Yes, that's your job to know if they are doing something dangerous. You are lucky the injury wasn't to their son and they didn't go after you for a lot more than a bill for stitches. That age is a really scary age. It's just too dangerous to let them be out of your sight for long.

1 mom found this helpful

okay read the other post first so kinda playing catch up. Since it did happen in your house I dont think you should ask for payment it would be different if it happened at their house I know times are tough but they are just kids and crazy things happen.

1 mom found this helpful

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