My son got injured in school on Mar. 23rd during recess playing football, I just received an invoice from the hospital for $912.

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2009

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My son got injured in school on Mar. 23rd during recess playing football, I just received an invoice from the hospital for $912.

I don’t believe that I should be held accountable nor resposible to pay the invoice as he was in school, in an educational environment. My son ended up with a swollen black and blue eye, two cuts one below and above the right eye, he was vomitting since I picked him up from school, he suffered a minor concussion, etc.

Asked on April 24, 2009 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Look, there are a series of issues, but the first one is whether you would have wanted your son taken to the hospital at all. Of course you would have. Well, someone has to pay the hospital and doctors.

In terms of society's allocation of the costs of such care resulting from ordinary accidents there are 3 basic choices.

  1. the school pays the costs.
  2. the parents (and their insurance carrier) pay such costs. 
  3. government pays all costs and everyone gets free medical care.

Unless the school was negligent, why should it have to pay for your son's care?  Football is inherently dangerous and people get hurt. If the school had to pay for all injuries -- even those it is blameless for -- it would stop all football, and indeed, all sports.

If the school MADE him play football against your wishes, that would be a different story. My sense is you had to consent to his playing and if so probably expressly waived all rights against the school for injuries sustained in ordinary course of activities unless state law already waives such liability. If the school was reckless or grossly negligent that might be another story and in such a case you and your son may have a claim against the school.

In most states you have to pay. Here if you have health insurance I am sure it will pay the bill, less any deductible.

We're not yet at a point where government pays all costs and health case is free for everyone.

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