Personal Injury Law
Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer. Get an Answer ASAP
Hello. My 13 year old son was using a weight machine during gym class at school last week, and when he let the weights down, a narrow bar on the machine severed his finger off, with only very small piece of skin holding it together. The nurse from the school casually called me, telling me my son's "finger was gone" and that I should come pick him up and take him to the doctor. When I picked him up, his tshirt was covered in blood, and he had a single, crumpled up bloody paper towel wrapped around his finger, which he was holding onto. I proceeded to take him to the emergency room (he was feeling woozie and nauseous on the way down there) where the ER doctor did a nerve block (extremely painful) in his finger, took a look at the finger, xrayed it, and said he wasn't sure the severed piece could be saved. Then he made an appointment for us to see a hand surgeon later that afternoon. I took him to that appointment, where the surgeon did another nerve block, cleaned the finger and severed piece, and said, while he couldn't guarantee the severed finger piece will heal or "survive," he would go ahead and stitch it up and we'd just have to wait and see. He did say even if it did heal, the finger would never look the same as it did so there would be some permanent damage in that regard. This is where we are now... Since this has happened, my sister, who is also a public school teacher in this same school district, checked with her school nurse about how this was handled, and she was APPALLED that the school nurse at my son's school didn't call 911 for an ambulance, had only a crumpled up paper towel wrapped around his finger, and didn't seem overly concerned that my son had obviously lost a lot of blood. My question is - with this little bit of information I've provided to you (there are obviously other details related to this situation) do you think this situation would warrant filing a personal injury lawsuit against the school/school system? I appreciate your insight and guidance. Best, -XXXXX
Hi Ely - thank you for the great advice. A quick followup question if I may: Would the gym teacher, who was in the weight room at the time of my son's injury, also be potentially liable as well? Since he was responsible for overseeing/watching the boys during this time? Thanks again.XXXXXX
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).