My child got hurt in school but never filed a claim...

by Osmar
(New York City)

My child got hurt while playing during recess time in a NYC public school. He was taken to the ER and got 12 stitches on his eyelid. When the bill came I asked the school Dean who handled the reporting of the incident what I needed to do to have the school insurance pay for the medical bill.

He advised me to forward the incident report to the hospital's billing department. He gave me a copy of the incident report and I did as advised.

It has been 6 months of several conversations with the school officials, the billing department of the hospital, and the bill has still not been paid. After asking so many people what could I do, I learned recently that I am supposed to file a claim with the school insurance, but I only had 90 days after the incident to do it.

It's been six months already, but I feel it this was the school's fault. They should have instructed me on what to do, instead of giving me the wrong information. Now I have a bill of $14,000 I cannot pay. What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My child got hurt in school but never filed a claim...":

Osmar (New York City):

It appears the school dean intentionally or unintentionally misled you. Based on the dean's direct indication to you to forward the incident report to the hospital's billing department, you may have a legitimate claim against the school for your son's medical bills. This is true even though you missed the insurance filing deadline.

By now you must know the circumstances which led to your child's injuries. If you can find evidence showing the school was negligent and as a result of that negligence your child was injured, then regardless of the filing deadline, you may have a viable injury claim against the school for your child's injuries and resulting damages.

In negligence claims, damages can include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, costs of travel to and from treatment, etc.), possibly wages you may have lost while caring for a child, and for the child's pain and suffering.

To prove negligence will require evidence including, but not limited to, improper supervision, impediments which caused your child to trip, potholes, etc.

If that is the case, you will need legal representation. "Soft tissue" injury claims like sprains and strains to muscles, tendons and ligaments, minor cuts and abrasions, and the like can be handled without an attorney.

More serious "hard injury" claims including fractures, deep gashes which require stitches, head trauma, and the like should always be handled by an attorney.

Your child's injury was a hard injury. With injuries like hers there is just too much at stake for a victim to be able to handle the claim on his or her own. Moreover, most personal injury attorneys do not charge any fees for initial office consultations. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by meeting with an attorney.

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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