Visitor Question

Avascular Necrosis and Total Hip Collapse…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

My daughter had an accident at sports practice. They thought she might have a concussion. Another student called me and told me to come to the school because something real bad happened.

When I arrived, they had decided not to call an ambulance since another parent (not at the school) informed them she was fine.

She was obviously in shock and was carried to my car where I took her to the ER to have her leg looked at.

A physician’s assistant saw her, gave her a tylenol and rotated her leg.

After repeated requests, they finally let her have an x-ray.

I had to place her on the table because she was in too much pain to rise from the wheelchair. After the x-ray, I once again moved her (this time to a stretcher) since she could no longer move.

We kept asking to see a doctor and were told one would be in shortly.

After waiting 1.5 hours I went to the main desk to see what the delay was.

Prominently displayed was her x-ray which showed an obvious hip fracture.

About 10 minutes later the assistant came back in the room and stated that he had guessed I heard and was so sorry she broke her hip.

At this point NO doctor had even checked in with us.

We had been in the ER for 4 hours.

We contacted an experienced and excellent orthopedic surgeon who had us transported to a Children’s hospital.

The local hospital never sent the x-rays which had to be re-done.

Fast forward 8 months later… she had avascular necrosis and total hip collapse.

She will need at least one, if not two or three hip replacements.

Is the school or local hospital liable for any of this? 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 Anonymous,

Unfortunately neither the hospital nor its employees will likely be found liable for your daughter’s injuries. Although they may have caused a seemingly unreasonable delay in treatment, such a delay probably didn’t contribute or exacerbate the injury itself. Although the unreasonable delay in treatment certainly allowed your daughter to remain in pain for an extended period of time, the delay, in and of itself is probably not sufficient cause for liability.

The school probably has insurance covering exactly the type of incident which resulted in your daughter’s injury. As long as your daughter was injured on school property during a certified school activity her injuries and resulting damages should be entirely covered.

It doesn’t appear there will be any need for litigation. As long as you make an appropriate claim with the school and the matter is referred to their insurance company you and your daughter should be relatively fine.

Be sure the incident is reported and documented. Get the names of any witness and their contact information. Take photographs of your daughter’s hip and the area on the school property where the injury occurred. Be sure to get copies of all of her medical records. Keep receipts for any of your out of pocket expenses such as prescription medications, over-the-counter aids, parking costs, and even a pro-rated amount for the gasoline you use taking your daughter back and forth to treatments.

If you run into any problems with the school’s coverage, be sure to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation.

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: September 24, 2012

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