Are Schools Legally Responsible for Your Child’s Sports Injuries in Florida?

school_sportsParticipating in school sporting activities is supposed to be a positive experience for children – allowing them to be physically active, learn new skills as well as learn discipline that also applies to other aspects of their lives. Occasionally, injuries do occur. When they do, it is important to understand who is liable and what you can do as a concerned parent.


Below are some commonly asked questions related to school-related sports injuries in Florida:

Q: My child’s school required I complete a sports waiver at the start of the school year. If I signed the form stating I understand the risks involved and will not hold the school liable for injury of my child, will that hold true in court?


​A: It depends. Each situation is different and sports do have inherent risks, such as getting struck by a ball while playing softball or falling and twisting an ankle during soccer. However, injuries also occur when the appropriate safety precautions aren’t taken. Examples include lack of adult supervision, protective safety gear not provided, or children playing sports activities in an unsafe environment. If that is the case, parents may have cause for legal action with the help of car injury attorneys in Woburn as long as they can prove the injury otherwise could have been prevented. Recklessness and intentional wrongdoing by a school are difficult to prove, however, and rarely exist in the context of school sports programs. The NY personal injury lawyers is whom you can talk to and get the necessary help when it comes to injuries.


Q: Why do inherent risks exempt schools from liability?


A: The law assumes that an individual participating in any particular sport is aware of the risks inherent to that sport. This is why parents are required to sign waivers for young children who are not of an appropriate age to assume such risk. By allowing your child to participate in the sport, you are demonstrating you understand and have assumed all of the risks inherent to that sport and the potential for injury.


Q: When is a school liable?

A: Schools are not exempt from all risks sustained by student-athletes. There will be situations where you will have to approach a local injury attorney. It is the duty of the educational facility to provide a safe environment for your child and they are responsible for protecting students from any foreseeable harm. If a school fails to do this, they could be found to have acted in a negligent manner, thus they could be liable for injury suffered by a child. In order to recover any damages for a Florida school-related sports injury, you must prove negligence on behalf of the school and demonstrate how it directly caused injury.


Seeking legal action against a school can be a long and somewhat complicated undertaking, particularly with public schools which are controlled by the government. If you are unsure whether your child’s sport-related injury merits seeking legal action against the school, contact TJ Grimaldi today.

Study: Parents Don’t Always Insist on Booster Seats

A recent study has concluded that parents are generally diligent about requiring booster seats in their own cars for their children, but are surprisingly lax about insisting on booster seats when their child carpools with someone else.

The study, conducted by the journal Pediatrics, surveyed around 1,600 parents nationwide who had kids between four and eight years old. According to the survey, 76 percent of parents said that their child used a safety seat while riding in the family car. However, only 55 percent said that they require booster seats when driving other children. Twenty-one percent did not routinely ask other drivers to require a booster seat for their child.

Booster Seats Save Lives

Booster seats are important in reducing child injures. Seatbelts are designed to fit adults, so until children reach a certain size, they will not receive adequate protection from seatbelts.
In the event of a collision, ill-fitting seatbelts can cause injury to a child’s spine, bowels and bladder. Booster seats work by aligning the child’s body properly with the seatbelt, giving full protection.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using booster seats reduces the risk of serious injury and death among children by over 50 percent.

The Law on Booster Seats

Florida law requires all children under five years old to be restrained while traveling in the vehicle. If the child is under four years old, the child must be secured in a child safety seat. Children between the ages of four and five may use either a safety seat or a seat belt to restrain the child. It is recommended that children weighing 40-80 pounds and under five feet tall ride in a booster seat.
The penalty for violating the restraint law for children is a fine of $60 and an assessment of three points on the offender’s driving record.

Source: “Carpooling parents don’t always use booster seats”,, 1/30/12

Pinellas Park school accused of failing to report sexual attack

When parents send their children off to school, many do not worry about their safety as they honestly believe the school administration and teachers are going to be doing everything in their power to keep their children safe. At the very least, if there were an incident where a child was injured, the belief is this would be reported to the parents and appropriate action would be taken as needed.
However, as one distraught family in Pinellas Park, Florida, is learning, this is not always the case.

According to the family, their 15-year-old daughter was sexually attacked in school and the school’s administrators did nothing to stop the attack. The school also failed to report the incident to the parents. It was not until the 15-year-old told her parents that action was taken.

By action, the parents have hired attorney TJ Grimaldi. Their hope is that by taking action and telling their story, other children will not have to go through what their daughter did.

According to the family, it was on the morning of April 22. The 15-year-old was at her school getting ready to take the FCAT. She was sitting in the front of the class with roughly 30 other students getting ready to take the test. This was when a boy in the class tried to touch her bra strap before putting his hand down her pants.
The 15-year-old said she told him to stop and threw his hand out of her pants. Again, she told him very loudly to stop. However, the claim is the administrator in the room did nothing about the situation.
The 15-year-old ended up telling a friend about what happened. This friend told another teacher. The 15-year-old also reported what happened to her parents.
Now the family wants answers, which is why they hired an attorney. They want to know why the school did not notify them of the attack.

Grimaldi said he wants immediate action to make sure the teen feels comfortable and safe. He thinks relocation may be the best. Additionally, Grimaldi and the parents want to see the school held responsible for not reporting the alleged attack.
In reading about this case it is normal for any parent with a child to become nervous. As was mentioned at the beginning of this post, parents put a lot of trust in school officials. When that trust is broken, it can be hard to trust again.

Going forward, the hope is that something is done and that school officials face some sort of repercussions for not reporting the attack. For the boy accused of attacking the girl, the family’s attorney said he was suspended for 10 days, but could end up coming back to the exact same homeroom as the victim.
The case has also been referred to the State Attorney’s Office, where police are requesting battery charges be pressed against the boy.

Source: ABC Action News, “EXCLUSIVE: Family of teen demands action after they say daughter was sexually attacked during FCAT”, Sarina Fazan, July 29, 2013