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My Child Was Injured Playing Sports, Can I Sue the School?

My Child Was Injured Playing Sports, Can I Sue the School?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 6-Dec-2016

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.