Daughter hit in the mouth with a softball, school denying coverage...
My daughter was hit with a softball last year and it loosened two of her front teeth and bruised and shifted the bottom row of her teeth. Our dentist wanted to wait a while because he was avoiding a root canal on her two front teeth, because she is so young.
During the waiting time, her teeth shifted and became crocked. She could not wear her retainer because she had just removed her braces that she wore for 2 1/2 years months prior to the accident. Coach did send her and I to the hospital where she did get a CAT scan, which also showed damage.
Well, her dentist is now ready for the root canal and braces, but now the school insurance will not pay for this cost. Saying their policy only pays up to $1000.00 in claims and it does not cover braces. And since this happened on 3/2/2015, the year is up.
Shouldn't the school be responsible? There were no face masks available during the practice or her games, because the school did not have any. A week later, another student also got hit in the mouth and she received stitches on her lips. So a week later, the school got face masks! Do I have a claim here? What can I do? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Daughter hit in the mouth with a softball, school denying coverage...":
Sylvia (Houston, Texas):
When it comes to school sports, the legal doctrine of "Assumption of Risk" applies to participants. In the case of minors, when parents permit their children to participate in sports, the parents know, or should know there is a possibility their children may be injured while participating.
In softball, a parent knows, or should know there is a possibility their child may be hit by a ball, break a leg when rounding the bases, strain or sprain muscles, tendons, or sustain other sports related injuries.
Parents also have the right to disallow their children from participating in school sports. They have the ultimate decision making power.
To overcome the doctrine of assumption of risk will require a showing of gross negligence or a wanton disregard for your daughter's safety. From the facts you present, there is no evidence of gross negligence or a wanton disregard for safety. Moreover, the coach acted appropriately by sending your daughter to the hospital for a CT Scan.
It's relatively simple. You permitted your daughter to participate in a school sport where there existed the possibility of injury. Unfortunately, she was injured.
Your dentist told you to wait. It appears his decision to wait was the actual cause of your daughter's teeth shifting, and not the ball which struck her.
Of course, it never hurts to meet with a personal injury attorney for an initial consultation.
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,
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