Can I file a lawsuit against the school district if my Autistic 6 year son was injured on the school playground?

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Can I file a lawsuit against the school district if my Autistic 6 year son was injured on the school playground?

He is not aware of certain things that might get him hurt or injured. He has 4 on duty teachers aids on the playground with him and there’s 10 students in class including my son. He fell off the monkey bars and broke his arm. Obviously the teachers weren’t watching him. Now I’m left with a hefty medical bill to pay for consultation and er visit and to see a specialist.

Asked on March 31, 2015 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Only if the teachers and/or aids were being negligent, or careless, in supervising him. That may have been the case--or it may not have been; the fact that he fell off the monkey bars does not prove that they were not watching him, because children do fall and hurt themselves sometimes even when closely supervised. So without assuming that the school and/or district is certainly liable, because you do not know that, based on what you write, there is certainly a chance they are liable (and so would have to pay for the medical bills); it is therefore well worthwhile for you to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the case in detail.

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can file a  lawsuit against the school district for negligence, but prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the school district's insurance company.

When your son completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor (including the specialist), obtain the medical bills and medical reports.  Your claim filed with the school district's insurance carrier should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your son's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If the case is settled with the school district's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the school district's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the school district.  You will  need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.

If the case is NOT settled with the school district's insurance carrier,  the lawsuit for negligence against the school district must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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