Visitor Question

Daughter tore ACL long jumping in dark at a high school track meet…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My daughter was competing in the long jump at a track meet in high school called “Midnight Invitational”, even though it was probably around 8:30pm in April. It was getting dark outside and the long jump area was not lit at all.

The volunteers in the area were pushing her to take her jumps, since she had been competing in other events and hadn’t raked the sand to prepare for jumping.

She jumped, landed and tore her ACL.

After she landed in pain, the volunteers running the long jump left and didn’t even get the athletic trainer on duty or see how she was.

The superintendent of her school was there with her and went to get the trainer.

The trainer looked at her, and told her she thought she had hyper extended her knee.

After several days had passed, and she saw her own school trainer, he recommend that she have it looked at. It ended up being an ACL tear.

How does liability play into this case? Do we have any recourse for her injuries?

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 Anonymous,

The school district may be liable for damages related to your daughters injuries. Damages can include her medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, crutches, costs of travel to and from treatment, etc.), your lost wages (if you had to miss work to care for your daughter), and for her pain and suffering.

While in most cases school districts are not liable for sports injuries which occur during normal school sporting events, this school district may be liable if it can be proved they were negligent, and that their negligence was the proximate cause of your daughter’s injuries.

The school district’s failure to provide adequate lighting required for your daughter to safely jump appears to constitute the negligence necessary to support a viable personal injury claim.

Contact the school principal and explain exactly what happened. Let the principal know how your daughter was effectively abandoned after her injury and suffered substantial and unnecessary pain as a result. And that “But for” the lack of adequate lighting, your daughter would not have been seriously injured.

In many cases an ACL tear can end an athlete’s career, whether a high school athlete or a professional one. If the school will not cooperate, contact several personal injury attorneys in your area.

Your daughter’s injuries are serious and as a result, you will likely find any number of personal injury attorneys would would gladly accept the case on a contingency fee basis. This means you, on behalf of your daughter, would not have to pay any legal fees until, and unless the attorney succeeds is settling the claim or winning it at court.

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: February 27, 2015

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