High School Injuries
Generally, if your child is hurt while playing a high school sport, you might be wasting your time and money trying to sue the school for the injury. State laws and case history support the premise that there are inherent risks in playing sports, therefore, the school (or the school’s insurance company) is not responsible for costs when your child is injured. There are, however, a few avenues to investigate if you suspect there might be underlying problems. Both negligence and custom can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. Before you approach the school or a lawyer, you should already have solid, well-documented evidence.
Proving injury is quite easy, but proving negligence is not. To claim negligence as the real cause of the injury — not the game itself — you need to show a pattern of behavior by the coach that allowed for dangerous circumstances. For example, if a coach is absent at a majority of practices and leaves an aggressive team captain in charge, then you and your lawyer might be able to show that the school and the coach allowed the players to be misguided into dangerous, unsportsmanlike behavior.
The school also could be held responsible for the injury if a coach was acting under specific policies or customs that made for dangerous instructions by the coach. There are few to no schools that would have an official policy that advocated for extreme aggression as a method of play. However, if you notice that the coach is regularly and excessively pushing players to be aggressive on the playing field, you might have a basis for a personal injury lawsuit.
In either circumstance (neglect or custom), your evidence needs to be well-documented and you need to be patient. Typical personal injury claims take years to come to conclusion, but with the reluctance of the courts to side with a frustrated parent, a personal injury case against a high school could end well after your child has finished college.