Articles Posted in School Injuries

School_Crossing_Marji_11218998325-300x200In and around San Diego, there are a number of initiatives underway to help prevent accidents and child injuries in 2017. According to a fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12,000 children between the ages of 0 to 19 sustain fatal injuries each year in accidents. In addition to child fatalities, more than 9.2 million kids in the same age group sustain nonfatal injuries each year that result in treatment in emergency departments. Many of these incidents are preventable if we take safety precautions.

What steps are being taken around San Diego to help lower the number of child accidents and injuries? One recent report from The CW 6 San Diego indicates that new crosswalks have been installed around Point Loma schools, while another report from The CW 6 San Diego notes that a new car seat law in California aims to provide better protections to children under the age of two. What else do you need to know about recent safety steps and car accident precautions in the area?

Point Loma Crosswalk Aims to Prevent Child Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries

Orthopedic_cast_Vincent's_Gips_ArmTypically, when we think about overuse injuries, we imagine office workers who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or construction workers who sustain overuse injuries to the back or shoulder that result from lifting heavy objects. Yet it is not only adults who are at risk of overuse injuries. Children can sustain overuse injuries, particularly as a result of playing sports. According to a fact sheet from HealthyChildren.org, kids may in fact be at greater risk of sustaining overuse injuries than adults.

What should you know about preventing overuse injuries among children? What responsibilities do youth coaches have to help kids avoid these injuries?

Learning More About Overuse Injuries

234461207_9f28bf606fWhen you drop off your child at a daycare facility each weekday morning, should you be worried about safety issues? According to a recent report from NBC News, there may be more child injury risks at daycare locations that most parents in San Diego would like to believe. Indeed, the article cites a recent report from the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which “said that 96 percent of the 227 commercial day-care centers and in-home providers that its auditors visited were found to be in violation of at least one state safety or health regulation.”

When your child suffers a preventable daycare injury, you deserve to seek compensation. An experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer can assist with your case.

Infractions at Daycare Centers and Facilities

san-diego-school-bus_accident_lawyerIt seems there has been a rash of school bus accidents in Southern California lately. Some have been small, causing only property damage, and others have been devastating, claiming lives or causing serious injury, like the one in Orange County this week.

Parents of children involved in these accidents often don’t know where to turn for answers after an injury to a child in one of these cases. In most cases, they are happy with the school their child attends, and sometimes even know and like the driver of the bus.  Suing the school district is often not the first impulse.

As a law firm that has represented victims of bus accidents such as these, we thought it might be helpful do address some of the regulations that cover school buses, and the liability that arises from these accidents.

Particularly in these difficult economic times, parents no longer have the option of having one parent stay home to take care of the children while the other parent works. As a result, parents must resort to placing their children in daycare. While many daycare centers are well-run and do not experience any major issues, there are others that are not as concerned as they should be about your child’s safety. Unfortunately, sometimes you will not discover whether your daycare center is truly good or bad until a problem arises. daycare.jpeg

One issue that comes up on a frequent, but irregular, basis is that of E. coli. It is a type of bacterium that commonly resides in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. E. coli is transmitted when people come into contact with feces containing the bacterium. It can get into meat during processing, and it may be found in raw dairy products or raw fruits and vegetables. Sometimes feces can get into a lake or other water supply, and E. coli can find its way into drinking water. E. coli is also spread through person-to-person contact, usually when an infected person does not wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, children are quite susceptible to contracting E. coli at daycare. The news organizations seem to be constantly telling us about another shipment of fruits or vegetables that are infected with E. coli, and if your daycare provides food to your child, they may be at risk. In addition, as many parents are aware, children are not always very hygienic and may not wash their hands after going to the bathroom. With all of the children touching the doorknobs, tables, other surfaces, books and toys, it is not hard to imagine a child spreading E. coli bacterium all over the daycare center.

soccer.jpgSchool sports waivers are commonplace in the life of a parent, but what exactly is signed away when you sign one? Have you ever taken the time to read the fine print? For example, as reported recently in an MSNBC article, did you know that thousands of high school sports waivers state that your child may lose the ability to “generally enjoy life” and that those damages may not be recovered in a subsequent legal case.

In order to discuss the sweeping terms of such school sports waivers it is best to start with a brief discussion of personal injury damages. As most San Diego personal injury lawyers will tell you, when someone is injured and blame is assignable to the defendant, various damages may be available. For example, the defendant may have to pay for the injured person’s medical expenses or for their future lost wages. These constitute “economic damages.” Beyond economic damages, some awards can also include non-economic damages, often referred to as “general damages” and primarily consisting of “pain and suffering” damages. The theory behind general damages is to compensate the injured party for physical, mental, and emotional suffering and/or distress from the incident.

Pain is the physical component of general damages. Pain damages can be awarded when the plaintiff suffers a broken bones, concussions, and permanent impairments. To show pain often the injured person’s testimony, medical records, and doctor testimony are used as evidence. The amount of compensation for pain is usually based on the nature, extent, and duration of the pain.

If you participated in any kind of sport in your high school days, you know that players, coaches, faculty, and other students take the games very seriously. Practices are not optional, and players who do not give sufficient attention to their sport will be cut from the team or, at the very least, will be stuck on the bench for most of the season. Even so, our San Diego injury lawyer knows that there is a need for coaches to remember that the players are only kids and there are proper rest requirements and safety measures that must be maintained to ensure that injuries are avoided.

Recently, the family of a high school football player named Justin Williams has filed a lawsuit against East Nicolaus High School in Sutter County, Florida. According to an article by Fox40 out of Sacramento, the lawsuit alleges that after Williams missed a football practice, Coach Mark Varnum punished him by making him run drills in the scorching 95-degree heat and having the other players tackle him repeatedly. Williams fell ill while at practice, and he was taken to the hospital, where doctors determined that he had suffered a collapsed lung and a concussion.

Unfortunately, as often happens in these cases, the school and the coach are denying any liability for Williams’ condition. It remains to be seen how this case will eventually play out in court. Regardless, the story is a good example of the importance of being vigilant and remaining aware of what is going on at your child’s sports practices. In our area, San Diego sports injuries are common in high school sports. They can occur not just in high-impact activities like football, hockey, and lacrosse but also in low- or no-impact sports like baseball, tennis, or even swimming. The best way to prevent most sports-related injuries is to educate kids about the dangers involved in the sports they play and to try to help them understand when the coach is asking too much of them.

soccer%20ball.jpg In Justin Williams’ case, the allegations are that the coach’s method of punishment was the cause of Williams’ injuries. However, California high school sports injuries can occur in other situations, such as where the equipment used to protect players does not function as intended or even where players just do not take proper care of their bodies by getting enough food and water to keep it running. In some cases, precautions can be taken to prevent sports-related illnesses, such as dehydration. Anyone who plays any kind of sport, whether it be in an organized athletic program or just a casual game with friends, should always be aware of any risks and take measures to prevent injury.

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It wasn’t that long ago when you would be impressed by the high school cheerleader who could do back flips on the sidelines. Now back flips are practically a prerequisite. As cheerleading becomes more and more recognized as a sport, and the competitive demands grow, doctors are seeing an increasing number of severe injuries related to cheerleading accidents.

Take the story of Laura Jackson. Starting at the age of 14, Laura loved cheerleading and dreamed of being on the sidelines at the high school football games, and maybe even college. On the day of tryouts, however, her life changed. As she attempted a move called a “back-tuck” – a moved she learned just for the tryout – she misjudged the spotter and struck her head on the ground, breaking her neck. Laura is now quadriplegic.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, cheerleading is by far and away the most dangerous sport in America for girls. Of all the catastrophic injuries suffered by girls in sport – injures causing permanent disability – cheerleading accounts for 65%. Nearly 30,000 cheerleaders are treated in Emergency Rooms around the country annually, tripling the amount from 1980.

Carlsbad’s Army and Navy Academy is defending another lawsuit filed against it for the alleged hazing of a cadet. The alleged incidents of hazing occurred nearly 10 years ago.

The lawsuit filed in Vista Superior Court is one of three filed against the school in the last two years. It contends that the cadet suffered several instances of ritual group beatings and sadomasochistic hazing, and accuses the academy, a boarding school, of failing to protect its young cadets. The delay in the filing of the suit, the complaint alleges, was that the plaintiff suffered years of mental, emotional, and psychological problems that stem from his stay at the academy.

The president of the academy, retired Army Gen. Stephen Bliss, told the Union Tribune that his school has strict standards of conduct, and abuse of cadets is not tolerated and is quickly addressed.

Yesterday, a well-known Kentucky high school football coach was charged with reckless homicide in the heat-related death of one of his players. The player, 15-year-old Max Gilpin, collapsed during an August practice, and died three days later. According to the allegations, Gilpin’s body temperature reached 107 degrees and witnesses said that coach Jason Stinson denied the boy water.

Interestingly, the day after Stinson was charged with a crime, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Davis v. Carter, a case eerily similar to Stinson’s. In Davis, the parents of a high school football player brought suit against three coaches for violation of the player’s constitutional rights, as well as causes of action in tort (presumably wrongful death). The player died after the coaches allegedly ignored signs of dehydration, and for denying the player water during a practice.

The coaches contended that they were entitled to qualified immunity, and that their conduct did not rise to the level of a violation of constitutional rights. Ultimately, court agreed.

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