Can I Sue My Child’s Foster Parents?

My child  temporarily went into the Tennessee foster care program.  While she was in the care of her foster parent the foster parent ran a red light and my child was severely injured.  Can I sue the foster parent for harming my child?

In Tennessee you cannot sue the foster parent for causing this wreck and injuring your child but you can sue the State of Tennessee.  

Under Tennessee law foster parents are considered employees of the state.  If a state employee who is on the job causes a car accident and a person is hurt, the state employee cannot be sued but a claim can be filed with the State of Tennessee Claims Commission.  The claims process is similar to a lawsuit, but the case is decided by a judge (called a commissioner) and not a jury and the damages that can be awarded to any one person for any claim are limited to $300,000.  

Therefore, so long as you have not lost your parental rights concerning the child you can bring a claim on behalf of your child.  Unless you have paid medical expenses or can prove a loss of services, any money you recover ordinarily will be held by the Court for the benefit of your child.

As indicated above, the claims process is very much like any other lawsuit.  There are rules of evidence and procedure that apply.  The State of Tennessee will be defended by the Attorney General.   You will almost certainly need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you with this type of matter.

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