Child injured by PE teacher while playing basketball?

by A

My 13 year old daughter goes to a state funded charter school. She was playing basketball in PE. It was a co-ed game with other 7th graders. They did not have enough players so the PE teacher decided he would play. He is 250 pounds and 6'3". My daughter is 4'8" and 150 lbs.

When several players were attempting to get the ball that was thrown to my daughter, the PE teacher was reaching above her head and got bumped by a male student, and then the PE teacher hit my daughter and knocked her to the floor. She fell on her hand/wrist. As she was trying to get up, she tripped on her shoelace and fell again.

We went to urgent care that day after school. She was in a brace for 3 weeks while waiting for the swelling to go down. Then came the cast when they determined her growth plates were fractured/broken.

An accident report was done and of course the teacher feels terrible. My issue is that two years earlier, the same teacher was again playing with the students and fell on my younger daughter's ankle. It was bruised but now 2 years later, she easily twists her ankle.

I have communicated several time to the administration and sent all kinds of information about the fact the teacher creates an unsafe environment when he plays with the kids. I have told them I want the medical costs to be reimbursed, whether a claim filed or no claim is filed.

To date, I have received no response. What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Child injured by PE teacher while playing basketball?":

A (TX):

Go directly to an experienced personal injury attorney. Some injury claims can be handled without legal representation. Typically, these are normally "soft tissue" injury claims such as sprains and strains to tendons, ligaments and muscles, minor lacerations, abrasions and contusions, mild burns, etc. More serious claims like your daughter's require expert legal representation.

In serious injury claims there is normally a substantial amount of money at stake. Moreover, these claims often require expert witness testimony, pretrial depositions, interrogatories, and even jury trials.

While your daughter seems to have the basis of an injury claim against the school district, to succeed will require evidence the school, either independently or through the PE teacher, was negligent. That may be difficult to prove.

While the previous injury event with another student may help your daughter's claim, you are going to need more proof showing the PE teacher, or the school district, acted inappropriately in permitting the teacher to participate in the event made the basis of your claim.

Gather your daughter's medical bills and take photographs of her injury. Contact several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. Bring all the documentation with you to your meeting with the attorneys. Fortunately, personal injury attorney attorneys do not charge any fees until, and unless, they win or settle a claim.

If successful in the claim, your daughter may be entitled not only to reimbursement for medical bills, but for your out of pocket expenses for medications, costs of transportation to and from treatment, your lost wages incurred while tending to your daughter, and an additional amount for her pain and suffering.

Only in the rarest circumstances is a parent entitled to recover for pain and suffering vicariously suffered on behalf of their child. This claim doesn't qualify.

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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