What to do if my son received a very bad concussion during high school football practice?

He now is no longer allowed to play any sports and it is affecting his ability to apply for the Air Force. Can we sue the school and school district? They are not covering his medical bills and they should be. The bills are killing us. We have had to get specialists, memory coaches and private training to help him recover.

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, because the entity is a school district, your options will be more limited.  School districts have what is called "governmental immunity."  Appellate court decisions are littered with rulings by the higher courts which say that a school district is not liable for injuries-- regardless of how atrocious.  Kids have literally died or suffered permanent injuries with little or no accountability.

Even though your options are limited-- a couple still exist.  The first is to see if the school happened to have an insurance policy that would cover events like these.  Not all districts do-- but occassionally one will have policy and they will pay to avoid a lawsuit.  Your second option is to file a lawsuit.  Your first hurdle is going to be getting over the "governmental immunity" defense.  There are some limited exceptions like if any "personal property" was used in the commission of the injury.  If your son's injury involved the use of any of the school's equipment, you may be able to invoke this exception.  Other exceptions may also apply if the school has a gross pattern of these types of injuries occurring.  To really know what exceptions would be applicable, you should visit with a personal injury attorney.  Within the personal injury sector, some attorneys specialize in car wreck cases-- which is not what you need.  Arrange a consultation with a personal injury attorney that has had experience with suing school districts or other governmental entities.  Many will offer free consultations.  Visit with more than one attorney-- some will be more aggressive or creative than others at invoking these exceptions. 


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