Boy Injured Playing Football, Can a Lawsuit Be Filed for His Injuries?

by Bobby
(New Jersey)

My son (10 year old boy) plays football for the town and was hurt while playing. I took him to the emergency room where they took a MRI of his back. The results where a Thoracic spine compression fracture and Vertebral compression fracture on T1-T2-T4 and T5 vertebrae.

Can a lawsuit be filed against the town to pay for my son's medical bills and pain and suffering?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Boy Injured Playing Football, Can a Lawsuit Be Filed for His Injuries?":

Bobby (New Jersey):

It may not be necessary to file a lawsuit against the town. Ask for a meeting with the school administrator or principal. Explain exactly what happened and how you need help with your son’s medical bills. They may choose to help. It's doubtful they will agree to pay any additional amount for pain and suffering.

Although schools are not immune from lawsuits, when it comes to injuries sustained on the playing field, it is rare for a school to be held liable for injuries a student suffers while playing in a sport in which the participant volunteered.

There exists a legal principal called called “Assumption of the Risk”. This principal refers to a participant in a sport understanding their participation may result in injuries. Knowing that he still makes a voluntary decision to play.

There are some parents who refuse to allow their children to play contact sports. They usually refuse because they understand there is a distinct possibility their child might suffer an injury either during the actual game, or in practice.

Then there are those parents who, knowing there exists the possibility their child may be injured, “assume” that risk on behalf of their children, and still allow them to play. You fall into the latter group. As a result you will most probably not be able to hold the school liable for your son’s injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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