Visitor Question

Daughter suffered head injury during away softball game…

Submitted By: Tamara (Washington, DC)

My daughter plays softball for her college team. While in high school she suffered a head injury. It is already documented and the coach and trainers knew of her previous injury. While playing a game in North Carolina, she was hit in the forehead and the school had not sent any athletic or medical personnel with them.

She was looked at by athletic personnel from the other team who told her to just sit out. When they went back to the hotel no one checked on her and she was not given any medical treatment until they went back to Pennsylvania 4 days later.

She had another head injury and was taken out of her classes. After two weeks with no improvement she was sent home. I took her to her neurologist and she was placed on a modified schedule that the school did not follow. Even after being placed on student disability she was placed on probation and had been given a hard time.

What is the school’s responsibility to her? Aren’t they required to have medical personnel with them? If lack of medical care caused the exacerbation of her injury, which caused her to leave school, isn’t the cost of her classes and other expenses their responsibility? Thank you for any perspective you can give here.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Tamara,

From the facts you present, the neurologist did not diagnose a serious head injury, or even a concussion. The neurologist recommended your daughter be placed on a “modified schedule.” You don’t specifically indicate her head injuries prohibited her from learning, even on a modified schedule.

It is difficult to understand what you mean when you say your daughter has been “given a hard time.” Do you mean fellow students, school administrators or her teachers have been giving your daughter a hard time? If so, what does a hard time mean?

If your daughter is on a modified schedule and her grades have fallen to a point where she has been placed on scholastic probation, you have to know whether or not her learning difficulty is result of her first, second, or third head injury, or if the problem stems from your daughter’s own lack of motivation.

To know the answer you must consult with her neurologist. If the neurologist believes your daughter’s problem with learning is directly related to her head injuries, then you should consider taking your daughter out of school until such time as her head injury is sufficiently healed.

If your daughter was playing an “away” game sponsored by her college, then you are right; there should have been someone affiliated with the college to look after the players, including making medical treatment available when necessary.

It could be argued the school’s failure to provide medically trained personnel at her away game resulted in the unnecessary exacerbation of her head injuries, and that failure resulted in her missing classes.

However, from the facts you present, your daughter sustained an interim head injury.

The interim head injury may, or may not have been the cause of her learning problems. Once again, for answers to these issues seek medical advice from your daughter’s neurologist. If her doctor confirms there is a serious head injury due to lack of proper medical treatment at the away game, speak with an attorney. The liability issues in a case like this make it too difficult for you to handle on your own.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 24, 2015

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