Florida Personal Injury Accidents – Child Breaks Wrist at School – Expert Advice

February 19, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Accidents Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Son injured at Montessori school

Question: My son is 5 years old and enrolled in a private Montessori school nursery for Kindergarten.   He was playing in the school’s "smaller" playground when a boy pushed him aside and landed on him and his hand. This was the school’s story…. The school notified us and we went to pick up our son and iced his hand for the rest of the day. We then noticed he was not using his hand or bending it.  Alarmed, we took him to the ER the next day and discovered his wrist was fractured!!!!  Yet he insisted the incident occured on the grass.  He now has a cast on his arm and we are confused as we all know a big kid can’t break another kids bones???   We returned to the school on Monday with doubt and questions.  Our son showed us where and how he fell.  We discovered the already "small" playground had a cement walkway surrounding the grass area; however it was poorly covered with green turf to of course resemble grass (to a 5 yr old anyway).    We then realized he had broken his wrist on the cement not by the boy landing on him.   We reported the finding to the school secretary as the principal was in a conference. We also asked  why it was improperly reported and we were not handed an injury report on the day of the incident.

The report was then handed to us 4 days later only to read that our son had tripped and fallen on the ground and several kids had fallen on him (yet another story).

We are in shock that the school has such poor playground safety, poor manners of handling incidents and not honest at all.    There should be at least rubber padding or 4 inches of separation from the ground to the cement.   We took photos of the area.   The principal or head of school has yet to return our call for a meeting and it has been a week and a half since the incident.  Our son does not want to go back to school and we don’t trust the school at all.  The safety is poor and we want to report them as well as have them pay for the medical bills. Should we receive compensation and just how liable are they??? Clearly not safe for our son so he is not attending but how do we proceed with closure???

Answer: Your email does not indicate what state you live in.  I am a Florida personal injury accidents lawyer specializing in auto accident injuries, premises liability claims, and Florida workers compensation claims.  I can only advise you on what the law is in Florida personal injury accidents, so it is best that you speak to an accident attorney in your area to find out what rights you may have.

A school is held responsible for dangerous conditions which they know about, or should know about, and their failure to protect the children at the school from the dangers.  However, I am not aware of any laws in Florida that require a school to have rubber padding on cement areas surrounding a playground.  Because he was injured at a kindergarten, there may be additional safety requirements for playgrounds, but you need to speak with an experienced accident injury lawyer in your state to investigate further.

It is not unusual to get different versions of injuries to children at school.  If the school fabricated the initial story, that is obviously unacceptable.  It may just be the teachers did not see what happened, and they are left to rely on other students accounts of what happened. Regardless, the school should have filled out an incident report detailing all the facts surrounding the incident.

Most school have insurance for the type of incident you have described. Their insurance usually includes "medical payments coverage", or Medpay. Medpay is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical bills which arise out of an injury that occurs at the school.  If you have incurred out of pocket medical bills, you should speak to the school to find out whether they have medpay coverage.  If so, you need to submit the bills to the school’s insurance company and you will be reimbursed.  You will need a copy of the incident report to obtain the medpay coverage, if it exists.

In order to determine whether you have a claim to pursue, you should speak to an accident injury attorney.  Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. the attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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