Are your children involved in high school sports activities? While you
know a team sport such as hockey or football can help build character
in your child that will last a lifetime, playing heavy contact sports
puts your child at risk for injury.
High schools and/or public school districts are not often held liable for
sports injuries due to certain conditions they have in place as government
entities. It’s an unfortunate situation, as sports injuries occur
quite often in adolescents. Here are some things to keep in mind to prevent
your child from getting hurt while playing a sport, as well as what to
do if you think you need to file an injury lawsuit.
Remind Them to Be Careful, Even During Practice
Studies have shown that both parents and coaches are not as cautious with
teenage athletes during practice as they are during formal games or meets.
Remind your child that practice is not the time to play unsafely—it’s
a time to practice the way they would play during a game.
Over 30 million American children under the age of 15 participate in team
sports each year. Of these, over 3 million end up needing medical treatment
for a sports-related injury.
Who Pays the Medical Bills?
Thankfully, medical insurance should cover your child’s sports injury
treatments, assuming that you have medical coverage for your children.
Once you’ve payed co-pays or reached your out-of-pocket maximum,
treatments for the injury as well as following doctor’s visits are
generally covered, up to the limits of the medical policy coverage, and
accounting for any deductible you might have.
Filing A Third Party Claim
In the case of a private accident, you would potentially be able to file
a third-party claim against a business or organization against their own
liability insurance if you think they were at fault for your child’s
injury. However, schools work differently. There are a few reasons for
this. First, by participating in youth sports, there is a basic assumption
of risk that acts as a sort of buffer against liability. If the accident
occurred during the normal course of sporting activities, it falls under
assumption of risk. Unless you can prove gross negligence against the
school, successfully filing suit is an uphill battle.
Secondly, most schools count as government entities. In these cases, a
lawsuit can be a complicated procedure, and it’s exceptionally difficult
to file a claim against them. It’s best to seek out the assistance
of a qualified sports injury lawyer if you think a high school or one
of its employees is responsible for your child’s sports injury.
When to Get a Personal Injury Lawyer
Many high school sports injury lawsuits are dismissed because accident
happens during practice or a game and thus falls under the basic risk
assumption. However, if your child suffers injury due to faulty equipment,
gross negligence on the part of staff, inadequate emergency medical care,
or the vicious and malicious actions of another child, you may have a
case. It’s important in these situations to talk to a Personal Injury attorney.
If you think you need to file an injury lawsuit on behalf of your child,
don’t hesitate to call us at Dunnion Law Firm
today. We’ve been serving the Monterey and San Jose areas since 1975.