I fell during a rehearsal on high school property due to the orchestra pit not being secured to the stage, am I entitled to damages?

During dance rehearsal for a local theatre at a local high school I fell and tore a ligament in my knee. There is a detachable orchestra pit that was not secured to the stage and during a turn it separated, causing me to lose my balance and tear a ligament in my knee. I was in an immobilizer for 2 weeks, missed work and had medical bills. A month later I saw the doctor for a check up because I did not see improvement. Am I entitled to damages?

Asked on February 24, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are entitled to damages.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these items and should be filed with the insurance carrier for the school district.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the school district's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the school district.  If the case is settled with the school district's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the school district's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the school district prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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