Winter is coming, and with it comes hockey season. Along with the thrill of this high contact sport, however, there is also a high degree of risk involved for the players. Unfortunately, many high school sports injury lawsuits are dismissed despite the resulting pain and suffering. The lawyers at the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm, serving the Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma areas, are here for you and your family should you find yourself in need of an attorney this sports season.
A Serious Problem
Group contact sports like hockey and football have higher rates of injuries than individual sports, but those sustained during an individual sport like running or gymnastics are generally more serious. Unfortunately, statistics show that both parents and coaches take sports practices less seriously than the actual games in terms of safety precautions. Approximately one-third of parents take fewer precautions for practices than they do for games, and research shows that 62% of accidents where kids get hurt actually occur during practices rather than games.
Medical and Personal Expenses
If your child has health insurance coverage, their insurance should cover the costs of their medical bills. Most insurance companies do have a co-pay, though, which can add up to a significant amount over a period of time. Additionally, medical insurance does not cover other losses associated with the injury like the pain and suffering of both the child and the family.
Filing a “third party claim” through the organization responsible for your child’s accident is another possibility when seeking coverage for medical expenses. “Third party claims” may also cover “general damages” like pain and suffering. Their payout is as minimal as possible, though, so it may be best to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to help you fight for appropriate compensation.
When to File Injury Lawsuits
In order to file injury lawsuits to seek compensation following an incident of this kind, you will need to figure out who exactly is responsible and prove their negligence in the incident, which can be tricky. The party at fault may be a specific person, organization or multiple entities, and you will need to prove that your child’s getting hurt was a direct result of their negligence. Examples of relevant kinds of negligence include employees that have not been properly trained, facilities that are poorly maintained, sports equipment that is faulty or unsafe, inadequate medical care on site and insufficient supervision.
Another situation that may warrant a lawsuit is if your child is the victim of a malicious act by another teammate. When students sign up to play sports, they are assuming a certain amount of risk. Therefore, injuries resulting from the regular actions involved in their activity fall under the doctrine of “assumption of the risk” and may not be subject to legal action. However, another teammate assaulting your child does not fall into the assumed risks and may be subject to a lawsuit seeking damages.
Finally, if you believe that a school employee, district or municipality is at fault for what happened, consult an experienced attorney immediately. These parties fall under government jurisdiction, and the government has strict policies for filing a suit against one of its employees.
Consult an Attorney
If your child has been injured while playing a school sport, you may be entitled to compensation depending on the nature of the accident. Contact an experienced lawyer at the Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm for legal advice and assistance to ensure your lawsuit is properly filed and you get the maximum compensation you deserve under the law.