What Can (And Can’t) Do When Your Child is Injured Playing Sports
High school sports injuries are becoming a huge problem across the nation. As ever more information is presented about injuries to athletes and especially traumatic brain injuries and high school students, there has been a big push to better protect students. This is resulting in more advanced safety equipment research and medical scrutiny.
Yet still, all too often, lawsuits involving high school injuries are dismissed from court. Learn why high school sports injury lawsuits are dismissed, and how a qualified personal injury attorney can help you with your claim.
High School Sports Injury Lawsuits
Every year over 3.5 million kids under the age of 15 receive medical attention and treatment for injuries suffered while playing sports in school. Over 60% of these injuries happen not during games, but in the course of practice, possibly because about a third of parents out there don’t encourage the same precautions during practice as during a game.
Another interesting statistic: injuries during gymnastics and swimming, while not as common as those from football, soccer or rugby, tend to be more severe. Unfortunately, parents who try to get the school to pay for these injuries via high school sports injury lawsuits often find themselves unable to achieve a successful ruling.
Who Pays for Injuries?
Usually, health insurance will pay for a child’s medical bills up to the limits of the policy and any copay or coinsurance notwithstanding. Filing a third party claim under the organization responsible is a way to attempt to get a higher settlement; unfortunately, proving liability against a high school is extremely difficult.
In order to achieve a settlement, you need to demonstrate that the other party was in a concrete way negligent, and that negligence led directly to your child’s injury. You need to demonstrate that they did something that violated their duty of care and caused the injury for which you are suing.
High Schools and Negligence
The problem many people face is that there are institutional protections in place to keep high schools from being accused of negligence. Many states provide immunity to such organizations and institutions which limits the liability they carry in such suits. In rare cases, however, a lawsuit can be successful.
In order to seek a settlement, you must show that the school engaged in gross negligence, such as providing a lack of adequate supervision, used unsafe or outdated sports equipment or facilities, that the employees didn’t have proper safety training, or that there was not sufficient medical care present on site.
Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
Demonstrating these factors can be extremely difficult due to the basic assumption of risk inherent with organized sports activities. That’s why it can be helpful to have the services of a qualified personal injury attorney. In addition to the difficulties proving liability, there are special steps you need to take to file suit against a school, which counts as an agent of the municipality—effectively, a suit against the government.
This creates a set of complications that requires specialized knowledge. If you feel that your child was injured in a sports accident and the school was at fault, Disparti Law Group is here to help. Read about our firmand get in contact with us for a free case consultation, today!