Parents who allow their children to play sports at school expect that the adults over the sport will keep the children as safe as reasonably possible. For the parents of one 16-year-old student in the Hillsborough County School District, warming up before football drills ended in devastation.
The teen wasn’t wearing a helmet as he got ready for drills on Oct. 16, 2013. He was playing catch with some teammates to warm up before drills. During this warm up, the teen lost his balance. He then hit another player before striking a paint striping machine that was left unattended. He held his head as walked to the locker room. His car left the campus about 30 minutes later. At home, he was found disoriented by his sister. His family took the teen to the hospital. Doctors put him in medically induced coma. Part of the teen’s skull removed.
The teen’s parents claim that a trainer didn’t follow protocol for evaluation of the injury and didn’t get the boy medical help, which put the boy’s life in danger. The teen’s survival was uncertain, but he came out of the coma after nine days. He has a permanent brain injury that necessitates him having cognitive therapy and physical therapy.
The family wrote a letter to the school district’s attorney, which outlines their intent to sue. The school district is considered a government entity, so the letter had to be sent six months before filing the lawsuit. If the school district is held liable, there is a maximum compensation in the amount of $200,000. The Florida Legislature would have to approve the amount a jury awards if the amount is over $200,000.
These parents and the teen chose to exercise their right to seek compensation for this debilitating injury. People who have suffered a brain injury because of someone’s negligence might have the right to do the same. Understanding your rights and the process for seeking compensation is vital for for anyone who want to hold a person or entity responsible for his or her injuries.
Source: WINK News, “High school athlete to sue school after injury” No author given, Feb. 24, 2014