What to do if I was injured during dance practice at my college?

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What to do if I was injured during dance practice at my college?

I was helping my friend with a dance move he was struggling in. I decided to give him a different perspective by standing on top of a table and showing him the move so he can get a better look. As I am doing the move, the table wobbled and I lost my balance. The first thing I see is a big window ledge and I jump on top of it to save myself. As my feet touch the floor, I tried to place my hands on the window for support but it broke so easily. I wounded my hand as glass fell on top of it and I had to get 14 stitches. Along with the pain and suffering, I have a severed nerve on my hand now. My medical bill was very high, and the school is now asking me to pay $870 to pay for the window. It was an accident.

Asked on December 25, 2012 under Personal Injury, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can fila a personal injury claim with the college's insurance carrier. 

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the college's insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the college's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the college's  insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the college.  If the case is NOT settled with the college's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit against the college prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

As for the broken window, you could argue that the college was negligent for not having a stronger window and that you should not be held liable for it.  If that legal argument does not prevail, if you live in a state that has comparative negligence, which means that both you and the college are liable for negligence for the broken window, a court will determine the percentage of liability of both you and the college for the broken window.  This would result in you paying a lesser amount than $870 for the broken window.  For example, if you were found to be 50% negligent for damage to the window, you would only be liable for $435 for the window.  If you were 20% negligent for damage to the window, you would only be liable for $174 for the window, etc.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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