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My son was injured at a sporting event at a high school. What would be the course of action to find a lawyer to represent us?

Hemet, CA |

My 4 month old son & I attended a sporting event at a private school where he was struck in the head with a discus & received medical attention. He spent three days in ICU. He fractured his skull and had internal bleeding. There were no protective nets or signs warning spectators to stay off of the field where we were sitting with other attendees. Since the accident, we have been attending all required medical appointments. It is unknown at this time if he will have any permanent damage to his brain. He was struck on the side of his head where seizure activity takes place. We are constantly trying to prevent him from injuring himself further as he just turned 8 months. This has been an emotionally draining time & we are interested in protecting our son's future as well as other spectators.

Attorney Answers 6


  1. You need a personal injury attorney and one with demonstrated (provable, citable, verifiable) success in claims specifically against school districts and public entities would be your best choice. Some of the law as to claims against public entities and schools in particular is quite specific and specialized. What a terrible event! This must be a very stressful and difficult time. Talk with an attorney as soon as you are capable. Legal time limits can be short and unforgiving.

    Best wishes for your son's full recovery.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  2. Immediately consult with a local personal injury trial lawyer. Many complex legal issues are presented. Do not rush to settlement - wait and see how the medical situation unfolds - and pray that it turns out well

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


  3. What a tragic set of circumstances. Can you describe where you were seated or standing in relationship to where throwing of the discus was taking place? Perhaps, you can take some pictures and felt pen in where you and your child were at in relation to the participants. Did you receive any sort of program or ticket? If so, do you have a copy of it? Were there other witnesses? If so, whom? Was an accident report taken? What was the date of the incident? The sooner you provide the details the quicker all the necessary legal research can be performed and your lawyer can develop the appropriate tactics, strategy and timing to maximize your probabilities of success. I hope this is helpful.

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  4. I am so sorry to hear about this injury you must be terribly concerned. In what state/county did the injury occur? You should also know that you may a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress if you personally witnessed the injury.

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  5. First of all, I am sorry you are going through this. You obviously need to continue providing the best care for your child as possible and only the doctors can give you a prognosis. A good lawyer will assist you in finding the best possible care for your child.

    Second, I would strongly advise you to consult with and retain an attorney skilled at personal injury cases as well as brain injury cases and sports related injuries. I am located in northern california, but do travel on the appropriate case.

    The liability issue will turn on whether the facility where this event took place was negligent in establishing the field boundaries. It will involve the facility, organizer and school. These are not easy issues to resolve, so definitely retain counsel as soon as practiable. Good luck.

    I do not provide legal advice over the internet nor do I agree to be retained over the internet. This information is provided as general information only and not legal advice. If you want legal advice, you should consult an attorney in person to fully discuss your situation.


  6. .Spectator sporting event injuries can be the result of negligence of the teams, promoters, owners of the property where the injury occurred, security companies or any other persons or entities involved with the event. You stated that the event occurred at a private school. That is an important distinction from an event at a public high school which would require the filing of a governmental claim pursuant to the California Government Code. This case requires immediate investigation by an experienced investigator to tie down the facts of the event and those surrounding the accident. You didn’t mention if the teams were also private school teams or public school teams. That is very important to determine as soon as possible. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to many developmental problems for a child. Most often neuropsychologists and pediatric neurologists will tell you that reliable testing for any cognitive deficits and learning problems should be done when the child is older. I hope that your child makes a good recovery without any residual symptoms; but you must protect your child’s legal rights and find an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with brain injury cases. As another attorney pointed out in an answer you as parents have a right to sue for your emotional distress related to you contemporaneously witnessing the accident. You should know that adults must file negligence based lawsuits within 2 years from the date of the accident. Minor children have 2 years from the date of their 18th birthday to file their lawsuit. You will learn more details of your rights and responsibilities from a proven, experienced personal injury lawyer.

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