Catastrophic Injury

Pros and Cons of Structured Settlements

The first step in receiving the compensation for catastrophic injury claims is being able to prove the nature and extent of that injury. Not only is this the first step, but it can often be a challenging one. Your damages could include both present and future medical expenses, the cost of rehabilitation services, lost wages (both past and present), and compensation for disability, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. For these reasons, structured settlements are often considered in these types of cases. How Does the Law Define a Catastrophic Injury? There is no specific legal definition for the term “catastrophic” as it relates to personal injuries. However, in legal terms, it is basically understood as a serious injury that results in long-term, maybe even permanent, disability, or disfigurement. A catastrophic injury usually leads to a difficult recovery, multiple surgeries, and long-term medical treatment. It is not uncommon for victims suffering catastrophic injuries to be incapable of returning to work for an extended period of time. A catastrophic injury commonly makes some of the most basic daily tasks too difficult to deal with alone. Issues Involved in Settling Catastrophic Injury Claims Many catastrophic injury claims do not make it all the way to trial.  Not because they lack merit, but because the parties are able to reach a settlement early on.  This is usually a good thing for everyone involved.  When a settlement is reached, the person who was injured (the plaintiff) agrees to dismiss the lawsuit in exchange for monetary compensation.  Depending on the amount of the settlement, the payments are made either as a lump sum or a structured settlement. The Need to Document Residual or Degenerative Injuries Long-term and residual injuries are a crucial part of your personal injury claim and are unfortunately overlooked by some.  Make sure that your health care providers make a notation in your medical records that you may have a residual or degenerative condition if that is the case.  These notations in your medical records will be very important in supporting your claim for these types of damages. The simplest way to get your physician to include such a notation in your records is to simply ask. What Is a Structured Settlement and How Does it Work? A structured settlement is a type of payment arrangement where the plaintiff receives regular payments over an extended period of time, possibly for the plaintiff’s life.  This type of payment arrangement is particularly appropriate in cases involving catastrophic injuries.  The way it usually works is, the defendant’s insurer will fund an annuity policy for the benefit of the plaintiff. The annuity provides a continuous stream of income for the term of the structured settlement.  As with everything, there are pros and cons of structured settlements.  Before you make a decision, there are a few things to consider. Advantages of Structured Settlements for Catastrophic Injury Claims There are many benefits to receiving a structured settlement payment.  Structured settlements provide substantial tax benefits to plaintiffs.  Lump sum payments are considered income and are required to be included on tax returns.  However, income received from an annuity is tax-free, as long as the plaintiff is not controlling that income. Structured settlements also provide better management of the funds.  It is all too common that, when plaintiffs receive a lump sum, it is spent within the first five years or less.  At that point, because of the need for continued medical care, they become dependent on government assistance.  On the other hand, a structured settlement will serve to preserve the funds, so they remain available throughout the plaintiff’s disability or lifetime.  Another advantage is that annuity funds are managed by professionals.  So, with proper financial planning, the plaintiff’s future expenses should be covered. Disadvantages of Structured Settlements to Consider Despite the tax advantages of an annuity, if the plaintiff retains too much control over the settlement proceeds, the IRS may not approve the tax break.  Some plaintiffs are not willing to accept structured settlements because they fear that future inflation or a recession may significantly decrease the annuity payments.  Another risk with an annuity is that it may be placed with a broker with insufficient protection against insolvency. Another problem with accepting a structured settlement is the inability to make an accurate assessment of the appropriateness of the settlement.  The reason for this is that insurance companies rarely disclose the amount they actually pay for the annuity.  This type of arrangement often costs the insurance company much less than the lump sum payment would.  Nevertheless, a settlement may ultimately be a quicker, less expensive and less stressful alternative to trial.  Discussing your situation with your personal injury attorney will help you decide whether a structured settlement is your best choice. If you have questions regarding catastrophic injury claims or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.

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Catastrophic Injury

What is a “Catastrophic" Injury?

It is very common for serious car accidents to result in physical and emotional injuries, as well as economic loss. However, a catastrophic injury is quite different from typical physical injuries. Catastrophic injuries are significantly more severe and often involve long-term care or permanent disability. The impact of a catastrophic injury is also more significant for the family members of the victim. This article will discuss some of the basic information regarding a catastrophic injury and how to handle your claims. Is There a Legal Definition of a “Catastrophic” Injury? No, there is no specific legal definition for the term “catastrophic” as it relates to personal injuries. However, in legal terms, it is basically understood as a serious injury that results in long-term, maybe even permanent, disability or disfigurement. A catastrophic injury usually leads to a difficult recovery, multiple surgeries, and long-term medical treatment. It is not uncommon for victims suffering catastrophic injuries to be incapable of returning to work for an extended period of time. A catastrophic injury commonly makes some of the most basic daily tasks too difficult to deal with alone. All of these factors mean that catastrophic injuries result in a significant amount of medical expenses which puts enormous strain on the victim and their families. On the other hand, a personal injury claim based on a catastrophic injury can also lead to considerable compensation when a successful personal injury claim is brought in court with the help of our personal injury attorneys. Examples of Some Common Catastrophic Injuries Some of the most common examples of catastrophic injuries resulting from serious car accidents include back, neck and brain injuries. Spinal cord trauma and brain damage, for example, usually result in permanent physical or cognitive injuries. Serious burns can also occur after a serious car accident and those burns can result in nerve damage and permanent disfigurement. Multiple bone fractures and injuries to internal organs are also a common result of a catastrophic injury. Bone fractures result in long-term recovery and extensive medical expenses. Unfortunately, many victims never fully regain strength or mobility of their broken limbs, leading to long-term physical disability. Amputations are another catastrophic injury that causes victims to be unable to return to work and to incur substantial medical expenses. Whether there are partial or complete amputations, prosthetics can be expenses. Car Accidents are Not the Only Cause of Catastrophic Injuries While car accidents are common causes of catastrophic injuries, they are not the only cause. These types of serious injuries can also be the result of industrial and construction accidents, sporting accidents, and injuries from falling or flying objects. Other causes include injuries resulting from medical malpractice. Potential Compensation for Catastrophic Injuries The first step in receiving the compensation for your catastrophic injury is being able to prove the nature and extent of that injury. Not only is this the first step, but it can often be a challenging one. There are so many types of damages that may need to be proven. Your damages could include both present and future medical expenses, the cost of rehabilitation services, lost wages (both past and present), and compensation for disability, pain, suffering and mental anguish. If you are the victim of a catastrophic injury, the first step you should take is to obtain the highest level of physical recovery that you can.  If full recovery is not possible in your situation, as is often the case with catastrophic injuries, then you should use rehabilitation services and vocational programs in order to obtain the best quality of life possible. The Importance of Documenting Residual or Degenerative Injuries Long-term and residual injuries are a crucial part of your personal injury claim and are unfortunately overlooked by some.  Make sure that your health care providers make a notation in your medical records that you may have a residual or degenerative condition if that is the case.  These notations in your medical records will be very important in supporting your claim for these types of damages. The simplest way to get your physician to include such a notation in your records is to simply ask. If you have questions regarding catastrophic injuries, car accidents, or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (800) 364-8305.

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Catastrophic Injury

6 Things You Should Know About Catastrophic Injuries in Arkansas

6 Things You Should Know About Catastrophic Injuries in Arkansas from Wesley Cottrell Catastrophic injuries usually involve a difficult recovery process, multiple surgeries, and possibly a lifetime of medical treatment. It is common for victims suffering from catastrophic injuries to be unable to return to work for a long period of time, if at all. It is common for victims suffering from catastrophic injuries to be unable to return to work for a long period of time, if at all. It is also expected that catastrophic injuries will make even the most basic daily tasks too challenging to manage without assistance.  Learn more about catastrophic injuries in Arkansas in this presentation.  

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Catastrophic Injury

Exculpatory Agreements in Youth Sports Programs

Youth participation in school sports can be very rewarding, for the child and the parent.  However, when injuries occur, a parent’s concern about the seriousness of the injury will soon take center stage.  If an injury is particularly severe, the issue of legal responsibility becomes important.  Exculpatory agreements in youth sports programs play a substantial role in determining the extent of liability, if any, the school or sports program may have. What is an exculpatory agreement? An exculpatory agreement is a contract, or a provision in a contract, that stipulates that one party is relieved from liability under certain situations of wrongdoing or from the performance of a contract.  Exculpatory agreements are also referred to as waiver/release agreements. The purposes of exculpatory agreements The purposes of this type of agreement in the youth sports area are twofold.  First, the agreement is meant to excuse a sports organization or school for its simple negligence.  Second, in most cases, the agreement provides direct evidence of warnings to the child and parents of inherent and other risks involved in participating in the sport.  This warning will typically provide an indisputable basis for the common-law assumption of risk defense. Are exculpatory agreements always upheld? Exculpatory agreements will only be upheld if certain conditions are satisfied: The injury arises from risks stated in the agreement or from the sports organization’s simple negligence. The agreement is properly drafted or worded according to the law in the state of the sports organization or school It does not violate any state laws or public policy. Only when all of these conditions are met, is it likely that the exculpatory agreement can be used as a defense against a lawsuit. Excusing negligence when the injured party is a minor When it comes to waivers and releases involving minors, each state has its own laws governing their validity.  The difference is that minors are not considered to be legally competent to enter into a binding contract, such as an exculpatory agreement.  So, the only way for a minor to be bound would be through a parent’s signature on the waiver/release. Even then, most states do not allow a parent to contractually waive their minor children’s right to sue for a sports-related injury. Schools have a general duty of care to its students There is also a standard of care that public and private schools must satisfy in protecting the students under their care.  As such, a high school would have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care toward its students, including the duty of coaches and athletic trainers to exercise reasonable care for the health and safety of student athletes. Be aware of changes in the law Exculpatory agreements and their validity are a developing area of the law.  The same three conditions that apply for upholding adult exculpatory agreements also apply to parental exculpatory agreements.  In addition, the language in the agreement must be scrutinized under the same degree of strictness. If you have questions regarding youth sports injuries, or any other catastrophic injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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Catastrophic Injury

Catastrophic Injuries from High School Football

Participation in school athletics can be very rewarding for children, as well as their families.  However, with the reward, also comes an inherent fear of serious injury.  The stories of high school students suffering catastrophic, or even fatal injuries have become much too common these days.  In fact, catastrophic injuries from high school football, for example, are on the rise.  As unfortunate as the injuries are, for your child and your family, you may be entitled to compensation. Heartbreaking stories of catastrophic football injuries Over the last decade, there have been an average of three deaths each year, reportedly attributed to high school football injuries, according to one survey.  Most recently, a high school football player in Illinois, Andre Smith, died October 23 after suffering “blunt force head injuries,” during a football game.   He hit his head during the final play of the game, walked off the field, and later collapsed.  Kenney Bui, a student at Evergreen High School near Seattle, died October 12 after suffering a traumatic brain injury during a game.   Ben Hamm, a high school student in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was rushed to the hospital with bleeding in his brain, following a football injury.  He fell into a coma and later died on September 19th.  These are only a few examples of the tragedy of catastrophic sports injuries. The higher risk of catastrophic injury in high school football According to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2007, high school football players suffer three times as many catastrophic injuries, including death, permanent disability, neck fractures and head injuries, as college players. Why?  Because the developing brains of high school athletes are more vulnerable to catastrophic head injuries.  Couple that with the lower skill level of many younger athletes, and the risk increases even more. Other elements that increase the risk of injury even further In addition to these factors, almost 70% of high school athletes who suffered concussions, still played despite their symptoms.  Unfortunately, 40% of these athletes admitted that their coaches had no knowledge of their injuries.  Another issue that increases the risk of catastrophic injury, in high school athletics, is the shortage of full-time athletic trainers at practice and games, often because of costs.  Only 37% of public high schools in the United States have full-time athletic trainers. What are we doing about it? Each state and the District of Columbia now has some version of a sports concussion law, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Sports concussion laws requiring coaches to remove athletes with a suspected concussion from play.  They also encourage or require concussion education programs for coaches.  Keep in mind that the specifics of these laws vary significantly from one state to the next.  Recently, the National Federation of State High School Associations recommended limitations be placed on the number of days per week that football coaches can hold full-contact drills. The school’s duty toward its student athletes Schools have a certain standard of care that must be met in protecting for student athletes under their care.  As such, a high school has a legal duty to exercise reasonable care, which includes the duty of coaches and athletic trainers to exercise reasonable care for the health and safety of student athletes. If you have questions regarding school sports injuries, or any other catastrophic injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.  

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Catastrophic Injury

Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries are a very unique type of injury.  They are more serious and often result in permanent injuries or even disabilities.  In addition to physical injuries, catastrophic injuries can be emotional and economic.  They most often have a more significant impact on the victim and the victim’s family.  Catastrophic injuries can be the result of trauma or a serious disease or illness. For instance, the body’s impact against a hard surface or exposure to fire can cause catastrophic injuries. Traumatic catastrophic injuries include burn injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, organ damage, broken bones, and amputations. What makes an injury catastrophic? While there is no standard legal definition of “catastrophic injury,” it is generally agreed that a catastrophic injury is one that severely injures someone and leads to long-term, if not permanent, disability or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries typically require a difficult recovery, multiple surgeries, and most likely a lifetime of medical treatment. Victims of catastrophic injuries may not be able to return to work for an extended period of time, if at all. Why are Spinal Cord Injuries Serious? Regardless of the cause, the consequences of a spinal cord injury are usually overwhelming for a victim and his or her family. The medical expenses alone, over the course of the victim’s lifetime, can be astronomical. According to some reports, auto accidents account for more than 40% of all spinal cord injuries.  The spinal cord consists of the nerves that connect nearly every part of your body to your brain.  As a result, an injury to your spinal cord can result in a very broad range of serious injuries to various parts of your body, from paralysis to the inability to breathe on your own. Common causes of Spinal Cord injuries in the U.S. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents, both auto and motorcycle, are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries every year.  Accidents account for more than 35% of spinal cord trauma.  Falls cause more than 25% of spinal cord injuries each year, with the majority of those occurring in individuals over the age of 65. Acts of violence account for approximately 15 percent of spinal cord injuries, including gunshots and stabbings.  Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving result in around 9 percent of spinal cord injuries. Damages in spinal cord injury cases The typical damages recovered in catastrophic spinal cord injury cases include medical expenses (both current and future), cost of rehabilitation services, lost wages (both current and future) when applicable, permanent disability coverage, and compensation for pain, suffering and mental anguish.  For those who suffer a catastrophic injury, the first step is to reach the highest level of recovery possible. When full physical recovery is not possible, as is usually the case with catastrophic injuries, rehabilitation services and vocational programs are available to help you obtain the best quality of life possible. If you have questions regarding spinal cord injuries, or any other catastrophic injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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Catastrophic Injury

High Speed Auto Accidents often Cause Catastrophic Injuries

There is no question that speeding is dangerous. Saving time on your daily commute is never worth someone else’s life.  Yet, so many drivers continue to exceed the speed limit.  According to the NHTSA 2013 Traffic Safety Data, there were 32,719 traffic fatalities in 2013, among them 9,613 (29%) were the result of high speed auto accidents.  When drivers speed, they place themselves, their passengers and everyone else on the road, in danger. The Dangers of High Speed Collisions It should be no surprise that auto accidents, occurring at high speeds, have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries.  The force of the impact of a high speed collision is substantially increased, so the damage that results has an increased potential to cause more serious injuries to drivers and passengers.  If a speeding car crashes into a pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist, the resulting injuries are that much worse. Another factor that makes speeding more dangerous is the fact that it is more difficult to maintain control of a vehicle traveling at high speeds.  Potholes or sharp curves can cause a speeding vehicle to spin out of control, run off the road, or flip over.  It also takes longer for a speeding car to stop, which means a driver who is speeding may not have sufficient time to avoid obstacles or stop at traffic signals. How is “speeding” defined? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers a crash to be speeding-related: if the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense or if a police officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash. This is according to its 2013 Traffic Safety Data Report.  Speeding is widely considered one of the most common contributing factors to car accidents in the U.S. Common catastrophic injuries caused by speeding Catastrophic injuries, in general, result in serious, long-term or permanent injuries and disabilities.  These types of injuries usually have a lifelong impact on both the victims and their families. Some of the common types of catastrophic injuries resulting from speed-related auto accidents, include: Traumatic brain injury Spinal cord injuries, including complete or partial paralysis Amputation Damage to internal organs, including collapsed lungs or punctured organs Loss of internal organs Permanent disability, either physical or cognitive These injuries have a substantial impact on the victim, and often lead to the need for long-term, or even lifelong, medical care, extensive medical expenses, lost wages and enjoyment of life, and other significant problems. Recovering from a speed-related auto accident If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries, as the result of a high speed auto accident, there are several ways you may seek compensation for those injuries.  First, you can file a claim with the speeding driver’s auto insurance carrier. If your injuries exceed the policy limits, which if very possible in catastrophic injury cases, you may also file a lawsuit to recover the excess damages. If the at-fault driver did not have auto insurance, you may be able to file a claim against your own insurance policy, as long as you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If your damages exceed those policy limits as well, you may file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover the difference. If you have questions regarding high speed auto accidents, catastrophic injuries, or any other personal injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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Catastrophic Injury

Punitive Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Whenever a person is injured and a lawsuit is filed, the only available remedy is most often monetary damages. This monetary award comes in the form of compensatory damages, the purpose of which is to reimburse, or compensate, the injured person for the costs associated with the injury they sustained.  The most common types of costs that are reimbursed are medical expenses and property damage. However, in certain situations, a different type of damages is also awarded to punish the person who was at fault. These types of damages are called punitive damages.  Punitive damages in catastrophic injury cases are very common. What is the purpose of punitive damages? Punitive damages are awarded for the purpose of punishing the person who was at fault, for conduct that was either intentional or more than just negligent.  Instead of negligence, the defendant is being punished for being excessively reckless. For example, a driver who is traveling 65 mph in a residential area would clearly be acting recklessly. Another purpose of punitive damages is to deter, or discourage, the defendant and others from engaging in that type of conduct in the future. Punitive Damages are often associated with catastrophic injuries Punitive damages are not always appropriate in every case. First, punitive damages are generally only awarded in cases that involve extreme recklessness or intentional conduct. Also, in most cases, a victim will only be awarded punitive damages is they have also been awarded some amount of compensatory damages. This is because the amount of the punitive damages is usually closely associated with the amount of the compensatory damages award. For instance, it is not uncommon for a punitive damages award to be three times the amount awarded for compensatory damages. These amounts always depend on the facts of the case. There may be limits to Punitive Damages Many states impose some limitation on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in a given case. In fact, many states have passed new laws in an effort to reform punitive damages, primarily because punitive damages are more routinely being requested in civil lawsuits.  Also, when they are awarded, juries have awarded excessive amounts. To lawmakers, this progression has distorted the settlement and litigation processes, resulting in very inconsistent outcomes in what would typically be similar cases. Punitive Damages in Arkansas Arkansas’ punitive damages law raised the standard for the type of evidence that must be proven in order to impose punitive damages. The standard is “clear and convincing” evidence of actual fraud, malice, or willful or wanton conduct and charges.  Based on an Arkansas Supreme Court decision, the prior cap on punitive damages in that state has been struck down. Punitive Damages in Missouri Missouri’s punitive damages law provides for a separate court proceeding for the determination of punitive damages. Under this law, the jury must first find the defendant(s) liable for punitive damages. Then a separate proceeding is held to determine the amount, based, in part, on evidence of the defendant’s net worth. Missouri also requires that 50% of all punitive damages be paid into a state fund. If you have questions regarding punitive damages, or any other catastrophic injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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Catastrophic Injury

Inherent and Assumed Risks in School Sports Injuries

As parents, we truly enjoy watching our children participate or compete in school sports.  But, when your baby gets hurt on the field, your pride as a parent can quickly turn to panic, as you worry about the severity of your child’s injury.  If this happens, the concern over who should be held legally responsible for your child’s injuries will eventually take center stage.  Whether a school is ultimately responsible for your child’s injuries depends on many factors.  There are also legal issues, such as inherent and assumed risks, that may affect whether or not you and your child will be compensated for school sports injuries. What is an “inherent risk?” The concept of inherent risk simply means that, with certain activities, there is a risk of injury that can be expected.  For instance, in many sports, there is an inherent risk of physical contact from other players, a risk of falling down and a risk of becoming physically fatigued.  In fact, personal injuries are an unavoidable consequence of most sports.  Some statistics show that, in the U.S., more than 3 million emergency room visits each year are the result of a sports-related injury of some type.  Unfortunately, statistics also suggest that approximately 150 student athletes in our nation sustain fatal injuries during sporting activities. How does the concept of assumption of risk apply? The legal doctrine “assumption of risk” is often a defense to personal injury, where the defendant asserts that the injured party voluntarily and knowingly assumed the risks, which were inherent to the dangerous activity in which he or she was participating at the time of the injury.  So, under this doctrine, athletic trainers, coaches, and other school officials could be under no duty to protect their players from the “inherent risks” associated with their respective sports. How does inherent and assumed risk affect liability? Because there is an inherent risk of some injury in school sports, that risk serves to modify the legal standard of care to which the school and its officials will be held.  In other words, what constitutes reasonable care will depend on the dangers a student athlete might reasonably expect to face.  However, the mere presence of an inherent risk in a sporting activity does not fundamentally change the nature of a relationship between the students and the school, so as to eliminate a duty on the part of the school altogether.  Instead, the customs, practices and rules of each sport will guide the court in determining the standard of care to apply in each case. For example, in Missouri courts it is recognized that the risk of being hit by a baseball is a risk inherent to the game of baseball, and everyone who participates in or attends a baseball game assumes the risk of being hit by a ball. However, “[t]he assumed risks in such activities [that fall within the primary assumption of risk category] are not those created by a defendant’s negligence but rather by the nature of the activity itself.” Sheppard by Wilson v. Midway R-1 School Dist., 904 S.W.2d 257, 262-63 (Mo.App. W.D. 1995).  So, if you have questions about proving liability in your case, speak to a personal injury attorney. If you have questions regarding school sports injuries, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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Catastrophic Injury

Potential Liability for Catastrophic Sports Injuries

For many families who have children participating in school athletics, a common fear is that those children may get seriously injured.  The stories of kids being permanently or fatally injured while participating in football or gymnastics, for example, are not unusual.  But, where does potential liability for catastrophic sports injuries lie?  The reality is, the athletic trainers, coaches, and schools all face potential liability. A general duty of reasonable care Tort cases are typically based on a general duty everyone owes of “reasonable care” to others.  Whenever someone fails to act “as an ordinary and reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances,” and that failure causes injury to someone else, there may be liability. Beyond that general duty, if an individual possesses a greater degree of skill and training in a particular field, he or she must act as a reasonably prudent person who possesses similar skill and training would act. For instance, a licensed physician would obviously be held to a higher standard of care, based on his or her special knowledge and skill.  The duty in that case would then become to act as a reasonably well-qualified physician providing professional services under same or similar circumstances would act.  The standard becomes higher the more specialized an individual’s skill may be.  So a cardiac surgeon may be held to a higher standard of care than an internist. The duty a school has for its students There is also a standard of care that public and private schools must meet in caring for the students under their care.  So, a high school would have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care toward its students.  Many courts have held that this duty includes the duty of coaches and athletic trainers to exercise reasonable care for the health and safety of student athletes. Areas of potential liability relating to sports injuries Although not a complete list, there are numerous recognized areas of potential liability in the area of organized athletic events at the high school level: Physicals and screening examinations Initial medical clearance to play in an athletic activity Adequate facilities and medical equipment Adequate training in the use of safety equipment and gear for the athlete Planning for athletic injuries and emergency situations Diagnosis and treatment of injuries occurring during the athletic activity Return-to-play medical decisions Informed consent regarding clearance to play Recommendations for and follow-up medical care and assessments Inappropriate disclosure of confidential medical information, including Inadequate certification/training/supervision of coaches, physicians, athletic trainers, and others These are just examples of possible areas of liability.  You should discuss the facts of your specific situation with your personal injury attorney to determine whether or not a claim for liability may exist. If you have questions regarding catastrophic sports injuries, or any other personal injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.

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