Visitor Question

School admits liability for injury, but their insurance denies the claim?

Submitted By: Chip (Upper Michigan)

At basketball practice at school my son was doing pushups on the gym floor when another kid was screwing around jumping over the kids on the floor. One of the kids on the floor put his leg up and the kid jumping over the kids fell and smashed into the back of my son’s knee with his knee.

My son’s ACL was torn and he needed surgery to repair it. Our outstanding bills are over $10,000. The school admitted they were at fault and we have a video of the whole thing. The school’s insurance company now says they will not pay. They have sovereign immunity.

Is there any way we can get around the argument by the insurance company? Can we somehow get the school to pay, or possibly the parent’s homeowners insurance? What can we do to get compensation for my son’s medical bills? Thanks.

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 Chip,

In some cases it is reasonable for an injured person to represent him or herself. However, there are other cases where retaining an attorney is wholly appropriate. You son’s case is one which requires legal representation.

You state the school accepted liability. However, from the facts you present there doesn’t appear to be evidence the school or its employees were negligent.

Section 691-1401 of Michigan Code, Government Tort Liability Act protects Michigan government agencies and their employees from liability for injuries sustained by third parties as a result of the actions or negligence of the government agencies or their employees. This includes Michigan Public Schools and their employees.

Your most effective claim will be against the parents of the child who inflicted the injuries on your son. In many cases, parents are responsible for the acts and omissions of their children which result in injuries to others. In some cases, homeowners insurance covers such injuries.

Contact the parents of the child. Ask them to compensate you for your son’s damages. These can include your son’s medical and therapy bills, your out of pocket expenses, your lost wages (if you had to take time off work to care for your son), and an amount for your son’s pain and suffering.

Contact several personal injury attorneys in your area. Most will not charge any legal fees for an initial office consultation. Bring along your son’s medical bills and records, including X-Rays, CT Scans, MRIs, etc. After visiting with several attorneys you will have a better idea of the viability of your son’s personal injury claim.

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: March 6, 2016

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