Visitor Question

Brain damage from getting hit by a discus during athletics practice…

Submitted By: Nephilian (Walvis Bay, Alabama)

I am a public school teacher and was injured at an athletics practice. I was coaching high school pupils in an athletics field event known as discus throwing. I was struck on the forehead by a discus thrown by a learner participating in the coaching session.

I was injured seriously: I suffered brain damage, concussion, whiplash injury in the neck, a fracture of the eye socket and an eye injury. I was left permanently disabled. I’m claiming my injury could have been prevented if the school had enclosed the discuss circle with safety nets.

  • Am I entitled to institute a claim against my employer?
  • Assuming I am entitled, please explain the claims that I can institute.

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 Nephilian,

You were not injured by the school, school employees, or as a result of a dangerous condition on school property. Instead, you were unintentionally injured by a third party – a student. However, inasmuch as you were out on the field performing your normal and customary work duties, you should be fully entitled to all applicable Alabama workers compensation benefits.

Those benefits include required medical treatment, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, nursing care, costs of travel to treatment etc.), and part of your lost wages. Pain and suffering compensation is not permitted under Alabama’s workers comp statutes.

While the student caused your injuries, neither the student, nor the student’s parents are statutorily liable for your injuries or to pay any compensation to you. Alabama Statute Section 6-5-380 states in part:

“The parent or parents, guardian, or other person having care or control of any minor under the age of 18 years with whom the minor is living and who have custody of the minor shall be liable for the actual damages sustained, but not exceeding the sum of $1,000, plus the court costs of the action, to any person, firm, association, corporation and the State of Alabama and its political subdivision for all damages proximately caused by the injury to, or destruction of, any property, real, personal or mixed, by the intentional, willful, or malicious act or acts of the minor.” 

It is clear from your description that the student’s acts were not malicious, willful, or intentional. The State of Alabama’s Department of Labor Workers Compensation Division has published a “Basic Claim Handling Manual” explaining the process of filing a workers compensation claims, the formulas for the computation of disability benefits, death benefits, and access to Vocational Training.

Because of the serious nature of your injuries, you would be best served by seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced workers compensation attorney. Most workers comp attorneys do not charge prospective clients for initial office consultations.

Gather copies of your medical records, and make appointments with several workers compensation attorneys in your area. After visiting with them you will have a clearer picture of the substance of your claim, the type of benefits you are entitled to, and the time it will take for you to start receiving your benefits.

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: October 19, 2017

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