Daughter Slipped on Wet Gym Floor and Broke Her Wrist...

by Troy
(Pembroke, NC, USA)

My daughter fell while in gym class at school and broke her wrist while playing a game. She fell because of a wet gym floor that was slippery from a rain shower that just occurred. The ceiling had a leak that caused the floor to get wet.

Is the school liable for her injuries and medical bills? Aren't they negligent for the leak and for letting the kids play on the gym floor while it was wet and slippery? Any information you can give would be helpful. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Daughter Slipped on Wet Gym Floor and Broke Her Wrist...":

Troy (Pembroke, NC, USA):

The school is probably liable. They have what is referred to as a "legal duty of care" to protect students from undue harm and personal injury. That duty includes repairing leaks in the roof which might result in slip and fall injuries.

The school is probably liable for more than just your daughter's medical bills. They may also be liable for all of her medications, crutches, etc. If you had to miss work to care for your daughter, your lost wages may be recoverable as well. Finally, the school may be liable for your daughter's pain and suffering, often referred to as emotional distress or mental anguish.

You have a couple of choices in handling your daughter's claim. If you want to handle it yourself you may be able to have the school pay up to their minimum school insurance limit. That may only be a couple of thousand dollars. You wouldn't have to go through an adversarial process.

To file a claim you'll have to complete a type of government tort claim. To do so you'll need to ask the school administrator for a copy of their tort claim injury form. There is a time limit, possibly as little as 30 days, within which you must file the tort claim, so you'll have to move quickly.

Under this portion of the school's insurance your daughter won't be able to recover any amount for pain and suffering. Nor will you be able to recover lost wages.

In the alternative you can consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney can pursue the school's insurance policy under the personal liability portion of their insurance. Doing so would enable you to recover medicals, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Most personal injuries don't charge for initial office consultations.

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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