What can be done if a boy who was on a school field trip was injured but not given immediate medical attention?

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What can be done if a boy who was on a school field trip was injured but not given immediate medical attention?

The boy badly banged up his head, however the school did not call the ambulance. It then waited 4 hours to call the boy’s mother who then immediately took the boy to the doctor. He was in and out of consciousness by that time due to blood loss and the doctor was mad a the mother for not bringing him in sooner. Yet obviously it was not her fault. Is the school is a fault here and can a lawsuit should be filed?

Asked on May 24, 2015 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The school is probably at fault, since if the injury was as severe as your question indicates, they would likely have been negligent, or unreasonably careless, in not providing/seeking medical attention earlier. However, that does not necessarily mean that a lawsuit can usefully or effectively be filed.

Lawsuits are designed to provide compensation for actual injuries and costs. In this case, for actual costss or injuries caused *by the delay.* For example, say that because of the delay, the boy needed surgery, at an out-of-pocket cost to the family of $10,000, whereas if there had been no delay, he would have needed more basic care costing, out of pocket, $500. In that event, since the delay caused additional costs, they could sue for $9,500 in medical costs and, if he then suffered weeks or longer impairment (e.g. recovery time during which he was laid up) or some permanent consequence due to the delay, they might get pain and suffering, too.

But if the medical outcome for the boy was basically the same as if he'd been seen by a doctor earlier, and the cost to the family were the same or only a few hundred dollars more, there's no point in a lawsuit, since the family would get less money than the cost of the lawsuit. (Lawsuits like this are expensive--among other things, you'd have to hire a medical expert to testify about what should have done, the impact of the delay, etc.).

There is no compensation for being embarressed, upset, etc.--only for monetary losses and physical injuries.


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