High School Sports Injuries: Who is Liable?

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Millions of students across the United States participate in competitive sports through their schools each year, and as a result, many of them are treated for sports-related injuries. Generally speaking, these injuries are almost always minor, but what should you do if your student-athlete incurs something more serious? Who is responsible for the associated medical costs?

Well, as is the case with most other things in your child’s life, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors. For instance, do you remember that waiver that you signed at the beginning of the season? There is a reason that most schools require you to sign such a form. It protects them in instances exactly like this one. Most academic institutions, especially public schools, simply can’t afford to assume the liability for your child’s love of the game.

However, there are certain circumstances that do open the school to liability. When parents send their children to school, they do so with the expectation that the school and its staff are providing a safe environment for the student. Of course, accidents happen, but we’re talking about when the school fails to protect students from foreseeable harm that is not reasonably associated with the activity in question.

With regard to high school sports, it wouldn’t make sense for a parent to sue the school if his or her son dislocated his shoulder during a football game. That’s not exactly surprising; sports injuries like that are often accepted as being “just another part of the game”. On the other hand, take this case from 2009, for instance: a Kentucky high school football coach was charged when a player collapsed after being denied water and his body temperature reached 107 degrees. Do you see how these two cases differ so significantly? Things like worn out safety equipment, poorly maintained facilities, and lack of supervision are also often involved in well-founded high school sports injury cases.

Of course, you should take photos when appropriate, ask for statements from any witnesses who may have been present, and save all medical records associated with the incident. There’s only so much that you can do on your own, though. If you think that you may have a reasonable claim against your student-athlete’s school for a sports-related injury, the best thing that you can do is speak with an attorney who is experienced in personal injury cases.

Contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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