Child Fell and Fractured His Arm While Playing Basketball...

by Denise
(Memphis, TN)

My child was playing basketball on private property. While going up for a lay up he fell and fractured his arm, breaking it in 2 places. He needed emergency surgery to repair the fracture. Now I have a hospital bill totaling over $42,000 for the surgery and cast (not including medicines), and a hospital room for a day and a half.

I need to know how I can handle the bill or who is responsible for paying this bill? Should I notify my health insurance company and tell them what took place? Would they then sue the owners of the property, or should I let my insurance pay and then I'd sue for pain and suffering? I feel like the company who owns the property should be responsible for something? Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Child Fell and Fractured His Arm While Playing Basketball...":

Denise (Memphis, TN):

To show the property owners were liable you will have to prove they were in some manner negligent. From the facts you present there doesn't seem to be any apparent negligence. That doesn't mean you are out of luck.

Instead contact the property owners and explain what happened. They may have some form of property liability insurance which covers injuries on their property. That would be akin to a homeowners insurance policy. In both instances there may be no need to prove negligence.

If there was some evidence the area in which your son fell was inherently dangerous then you wouldn't have to prove there was any negligence on the part of the owner either. In that case the legal theory of "strict liability" might be evident. Strict liability means the mere existence of the property is inherently dangerous to those who walk, or in your son's case, "play" upon it.

Otherwise, you may be able to submit a claim to your own insurance company, and after they pay for the medical bills they can "subrogate" the claim. Subrogation means your insurance company, after paying for the medical bills, will then turn around and pursue the property owners for reimbursement.

The choice is yours.

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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