If my child was injured at school, how do we recover damages?

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If my child was injured at school, how do we recover damages?

My daughter was injured at school when a metal box hanging from a wall fell and hit her head. Can we send a demand letter to recover medical expenses/pain suffering or must we file a lawsuit?

Asked on March 15, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in her medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your daughter's medical bills and medical reports.  Your daughter's personal injury claim consisting of the medical bills and medical reports should be filed with the school district's insurance carrier. Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  You send your demand letter to the school district's insurance carrier with the medical bills and medical reports.  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 your daughter's lawsuit for negligence against the school district.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because if your daughter is a minor she cannot file a lawsuit herself.  If the case is NOT settled with the school district's insurance carrier, your daughter's lawsuit will need to be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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