My Insurance Company has Requested that I Sue for Injuries that Resulted in a High School Softball Game, Is it Worth it?

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“About three years ago, I was pitching in a high school softball game. The mound had something hard sticking up and every time I pitched, I twisted my foot. I asked to fix it, but the umpire refused to let me fix it. He told me to “deal with it”. Well, here I am, a senior, and still “dealing with it”. I just had my 5th surgery for an entrapped nerve caused by that mound. I am numb in most of my foot and can’t use a muscle in my foot. I am about to be 18 and I have scars covering most of my leg! Our insurance has requested us to sue, but I do not know if it is worth it. Is this a good case?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

If the insurance company wants you to sue, they should be willing to foot the bill for an attorney to bring a case. If they do that, you have very little to lose by cooperating with them. They will, of course, be suing primarily to recover their costs, so don’t expect to see any money. If they did bring a case, however, you could bring a parallel case to sue for your own damages, which would be separate from the insurance company’s claims.

If the insurance company will not cover the costs for bringing a case, you still need to consider whether it might make sense for you to bring your own case to compensate you for your own pain, suffering, and future possible disability. This will, however, be a difficult case. For example, the defense (presumably the school district?) will argue that nobody forced you to keep pitching under circumstances where you were caused pain and, therefore, you assumed the largest amount of the risk and responsibility for your own injury. There are, of course, countervailing arguments to be made.

The best way to tell whether you have a good case is to go and talk with a handful of lawyers in your area who specialize in personal injury cases. They should be able to fairly easily tell you what your chances are. If they like the prospects of your case, one or more of them might offer to take the case “on contingency” (meaning that they will cover the costs of the litigation and keep a significant percentage of any winnings as much as 30% or more, plus their costs). If they think you have a meritorious case, but not so good that they’ll foot the bill, then you will have to weigh whether you want to potentially be on the hook for potentially tens of thousands of dollars in legal, expert witness, and related fees, by the time it’s all said and done.

You may well have a good claim to recover some compensation for injuries that will be with you the rest of your life. You should not take your rights lightly nor should you walk away from holding others responsible if the law says that they should be held responsible. But you should also weigh the options carefully so that you don’t wind up going down a path that will lead to unnecessary added trouble.

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Author: Ray Everett-Church, Esq.

Ray Everett-Church is a privacy and security consultant with PrivacyClue LLC and is co-author of "Internet Privacy for Dummies"