Visitor Question

Severe concussion at football practice, could have long term effects…

Submitted By: Mimi (Andover, MA)

My son is a sophomore in high school and was moved from JV to varsity football the last week of August. On 9/2/14, at the last drill of practice he sustained a very serious concussion. He has been out of school until now.

He thinks he also sustained a concussion the week before.

He was in bed with headaches, dizziness, loss of short term memory, and loss of balance for about 2 full months.

He started having constant dizziness on 10/30/14.

He saw three specialists and no one can rid him of his dizziness.

He now suffers from depression and on three occasions has said that he wishes to no longer live like this.

He started going back to school 11/2/14. The private high school asked this week for him to withdraw. They think that he can not catch up. His neurologists wanted him to go back to improve his depression, and basically he is attending as a spectator.

Our medical bills, vestibular therapy, acupuncture and chiropractor bills are astronomical.

I now took an unpaid leave of absence to care for him full time.

Prior to that, I had to pay for caregivers full time.

His high school did not reimburse us for the first semester, they simply waived his grades.

The school costs $21k/year and they claim not to have a tuition reimbursement program for lost education.

We do not know if he will have long term memory issues at this point or long term health issue. We need some help. Is there anything we can do to have his medical bills covered, to get him back on track with school, and to get him living normally again? Do we have to file a lawsuit? We need any help we can get.

Any information you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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 Mimi,

Your son’s injuries are truly unfortunate, as are the exorbitant medical bills you have. You are in a precarious position. If your medical insurance won’t cover your son’s medical bills, or if your insurance has been exhausted, your only other recourse might be to seek disability compensation for your son, or to file a lawsuit.

It appears the only entity you could consider suing might be your son’s high school. To prevail in a lawsuit against the school district you would have to prove the school’s football coach, or one of his assistants, was aware of your son’s first brain concussion, and with that knowledge, ignored the health risks to your son.

Moreover, if after sustaining his first brain concussion, the coach allowed him to play in the game, causing him to sustain another brain concussion, the coach might have been negligent.

The problem is, you also knew about your son’s first brain concussion and yet also permitted your son to continue to play in a second football game where he sustained another brain concussion. Any defense will likely assert there was contributory negligence on your part.

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: December 6, 2014

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