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I fell badly on a dodgy piece of paving at school and they haven'y even apologised.

(169 Posts)
ExLondonite Tue 03-May-16 13:50:11

I'm not a 'pick up the phone and call injury lawyers r us' sort of person, but this really peed me off!!!
To set the scene ... rainy, early evening. I'm late for pick-up, it's dark - before the clocks went back. I'm running because my 7 yr old is going to bollock me for being kept waiting, I leap over a puddle onto 'paving' . 'Paving' is in inverted commas, because 'paving' was actually a very slippery (like ice-slippery) wooden sleeper that 'trims' the side of the length of the pavement. I end up doing a comedy, whole body in the air, landing on my side, in a puddle, car keys flying out of my hand fall. A nice, young guy in his twenties walking past offers me a hand and picks up my keys for me, I'm trying to recalibrate and know something's happened to my knee, a lovely mum I know comes running over and tells me she's mentioned the wooden sleepers to the headmistress ... so I arrive at school entrance limping, my suede coat dripping and feeling like I'm stupidly about to cry!
The first person that sees me is the headmistress who looks suitably sympathetic and tells me she's going to fill in an accident report form. I warn her about the wooden sleepers - they're truly dangerous. And it's great, the next day there's an email warning all parents about them, signs go up, and three days later the metal plates are put on top of the sleepers.
Eight weeks later, after a twisted knee and realigned sacroiliac joint, signed off by my chiropractor, I'm okay but feeling totally peed off. Why should I have to pay for these sessions, couldn't they at least have paid for my dry cleaning and said 'sorry' , an 'are you okay; email wouldn't have gone amiss. I know we now live in a libellous society, but it all felt so wrong.
I called the school and asked them to pay for my four chiropractic sessions. I felt almost fraud-like asking them to do this. I felt like a grabby, faker and very even worse when the accounts dept sent me an email saying 'accidents do happen', no, they wouldn't pay for my chiropractic sessions, their insurance wouldn't cover it and they were glad I felt better. ARGH!!! Just so you know, I've never done this before - claimed for an accident, I have had 3 children at the school - and...and ... argh!
So, I'm left with the sad, realisation - which has probably always been the case with some schools - that they are, after all, businesses, company policy comes in front of all the moral values they say they teach our children - compassion, kindness, respect for others ..and I'm just lucky I came out of it unscathed, but massively peed off/let down/rather sad/disillusioned/peed off etc.

specialsubject Tue 03-May-16 13:52:51

Look where you are going and leave earlier so you aren't running. And suede coats are the wrong outfit for wet days.

MiddleClassProblem Tue 03-May-16 13:52:54

I only read to the bit when you were wearing a suade coat in the rain...

GraysAnalogy Tue 03-May-16 13:55:47

So was the pavement dodgy or was it just slippy I'm struggling to see which it was

PatriciaHolm Tue 03-May-16 13:55:52

Um, you were running and jumping in the rain and the dark. Most surfaces are slippery in the rain, and any insurance policy is going to have required you to take reasonable precautions which quite frankly you didn't. Sounds as if they have reacted well in dealing with the sleeper, just in case.

Sirzy Tue 03-May-16 13:56:37

So it was a border to the path not the path itself? So not something intended for people rushing on?

And surely as an adult you are aware that some surfaces become slippy in rain?

Pootles2010 Tue 03-May-16 13:56:42

They aren't businesses, most of them are really strapped for cash.

They did say sorry - you said the head has really sympathetic. And I can imagine they wouldn't cover you chiropractic sessions as it's a holistic therapy rather than say a physiotherapy appointment.

GraysAnalogy Tue 03-May-16 13:57:07

And personally I think chiropractors are a load of shit so if they were going to pay for anything it shouldn't be for that.

Kr1stina Tue 03-May-16 13:57:32

Is this a private school ? If not , the insurance is held by the local authority and not by the indivual school . No one at the school has the authority or the means to pay you anything, for your dry cleaning or your chiropractic treatment .

You are of course free to claim your own personal accident insurance . Or to take legal action against the council to recover your costs and anything else you may want to claim for .

But this is nothing at all to do with the head teacher, the school board, the governors or the teachers having moral values .

I hope you feel better soon

insancerre Tue 03-May-16 13:58:56

Next you'll be telling us you were wearing high heels too

RidersOnTheStorm Tue 03-May-16 13:59:31

If you run in the rain in a suede coat and you fall over then you only have yourself to blame. Which teacher should they sack to pay for your treatment?

CrazyDuchess Tue 03-May-16 14:03:03

The Head probably was obeying insurance and did not apologise because it would be admitting liability (fully aware I could have this totally wring)

However it did sound like an accident - running in the rain??

Did you inform the school of your injuries?

NannawifeofBaldr Tue 03-May-16 14:03:37

You fell because you were running and not taking proper care where you were going.

The school pretty immediately warned the school community of the potential danger.

But you want a 'sorry' and your dry cleaning paid for and your chiropractor paid for??? angrysad

On the apology - really are you 12? It wasn't their fault.

On the compensation - it wasn't their fault. Quite frankly schools have limited budgets and better things to spend their money on. What if some child's support worker had to be cancelled to paid for your carelessness?

I'm sorry you were hurt, I'm sorry you were in pain but take some personal responsibility

kali110 Tue 03-May-16 14:04:08

Sorry for your accident, it sounds awful but you play a huge part in it.
It was raining, you said yourself it was slippery and you decide it was a good idea to run?
Draw a line under it and remember to be more careful.

bluespiral Tue 03-May-16 14:04:12

If I found out that DD's school had paid out of its own funds for treatment for some silly woman who'd leapt around in the rain in a suede coat I'd be pretty annoyed.

SerialSongSpoiler Tue 03-May-16 14:05:53

It was dark when school finished? confused

herecomethepotatoes Tue 03-May-16 14:06:42

You were running in the rain and slipped over (contributory negligence). The school have now changed it so it isn't dangerous.

The headmaster was sympathetic.

Schools are businesses in many senses and the product they're selling is education. There would be a cost to paying for your treatment eg. fewer resources at the school.

Maybe the lesson they're teaching here (and to children) is that sometimes you have to take responsibility for your own mistakes.

MyKingdomForBrie Tue 03-May-16 14:07:34

I'm with the pp, you can't sprint and leap in the rain then demand compensation for the obvious outcome!

gamerchick Tue 03-May-16 14:12:18

I can't believe you asked the school to fork out money for something that was your own fault. Let it drop man!

FarelyKnuts Tue 03-May-16 14:13:27

Ah c'mon OP seriously? You said yourself you were late and running in the dark and rain. I'm sorry you had a fall and were injured, that must have been very painful, but really? You caused your own injury by not taking due care in the dark and rain.
They owe you nothing.

ParanoidGynodroid Tue 03-May-16 14:13:35

Presume the school is private if you're calling it a business? State schools don't make money, they are funded (shockingly poorly) to provide a service.

Was it necessary to pay for private treatment? Would the NHS have left you hobbling?

Floggingmolly Tue 03-May-16 14:15:54

If wooden sleepers are slippery in the rain; walk on the bleeding path.

Stillunexpected Tue 03-May-16 14:17:22

It is not admitting liability to apologise ( I deal with Public Liability claims at work). However, if you want to make a claim for an injury you need to put it down in writing to the appropriate party which, in this case, is probably the LA, not the school. The school's response that their insurance wouldn't cover it makes no sense. On the face of it, they have asked their insurers if they are covered for injury to a member of the public on their premises and without knowing any of the details, insurers have said no? Doesn't sound likely, either they never spoke to insurers at all, or they misinterpreted what they were told.

If you decided to pursue a claim in these circumstances though, the initial response would be that you were running in the dark and admitted to jumping when presumably you couldn't see clearly. The fact that the school subsequently put up warning signs and sent around an email will help you show that they have admitted a problem but insurers will also ask for evidence of any previous incidents relating to the sleepers and if there aren't any, that will weaken your case as they will then use that to show that XX number of people have use that path 5 days a week since whenever it was laid, without incident.

I have dealt with many more spurious claims that yours, and a lot do end up with a payment being made. If you really want to pursue this, you need to do it properly. No, the school or LA is not just going to bung you a couple of hundred quid, it will all be done formally and will take time. If that is what you decide, fine. You need to weigh up whether you are happy for the staff at school to know that you are taking a claim against school but remember, it is not the school which pays, it is the insurance company making a payout from the premiums already paid.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 03-May-16 14:17:28

Seriously? You seriously thought they'd pay for your chiropractor because you ran and fell over in the rain? confused

It was your own fault so you should pay for whatever complimentary therapies you elect to have.

Although I am sorry you were hurt. Those injuries sound nasty.

MattDillonsPants Tue 03-May-16 14:18:09

It sounds like an unfortunate accident but you were the one running in the rain and leaping to boot!

My DH fell off his bike and broke his hip....there was a slight crack in the road...but...and here's the thing...he was going too fast on a frosty night.

He was turning and skidded and bang!

It was his own fault. He knew there was black ice, he knew he was going too fast so he never even considered suing the council though a lot of people asked him if he would.

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