Q: Our son suffered a leg injury in 2019 playing rugby at his boarding school. The sports master made him play on despite being in pain. When my son still complained of pain a week later, the master told him to ‘man up’.
We were not made aware of the accident and only found out during the COVID lockdown, after failing to persuade him to take more exercise. He said he was still in pain and not just in his leg. We have now seen a consultant and discovered his leg was fractured. Because the fracture went undetected, he has suffered nerve damage that can cause a range of different problems, some already apparent. There is also a malunion of the bones. Was the injury too long ago to claim compensation against the school?
A: You usually have three years from when an accident injury occurs to make a claim. In the case of an injured child, a parent or guardian can make a sports injury compensation claim on their behalf at any time until their 18th birthday. If no claim has been made that child as a legal adult has three years until their 21st birthday to start a claim.
All schools owe their students a duty of care and must take reasonable steps to provide a safe and healthy environment, particularly boarding schools where they effectively assume a parental role whilst children are in their care. The school must also have a robust policy for reporting incidents such as your son’s accident. An experienced personal injury solicitor can process a sports injury compensation claim for you. To gain maximum compensation you should gather as much evidence as you can in advance of making an appointment, as your solicitor will want to look at every aspect of the accident and consider the long-term as well as the short-term impact of your son’s injury.
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