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Brain injury battles can last a lifetime

Parents in Phoenix, Arizona, hope their children live long, happy and healthy lives. For some children, entire lives can be hampered by the consequences of brain injury. When injury is caused by the negligence or fault of another person, one way to protect the future for a child or injured person is to seek compensation to cover past, current, and future expenses related to the injury.

For two families in another state, the consequences of brain injury have led to legal battles for something besides compensation. They are battling for fair treatment for their children from the local school systems. One student, who attended high school following a brain injury, alleges that the teachers and school officials gave inappropriate assistance to him following a brain injury.

According to reports, the student was absent or late for a large number of classes during the last three years of high school. Even so, he passed his classes with good grades. The student reports that teachers and others wrote papers for him to ensure he would pass. The student settled with the school district for $20,000, which he reports will be used to fund his education.

Another student in the same state is suing his school district for opposite reasons. According to the students' mom, educational recommendations have been provided by his physician that include extra time for tests, more breaks, eating outside of a loud cafeteria and reduced homework. She reports that a school official laughed at her when she asked for these considerations.

On medical advice, the mother arranged for the student to participate in home schooling. The state in question requires the student be taught at least five hours a week by a teacher, but the school didn't send a teacher in a timely manner. According to the mom, the school sent truancy notices instead.

As brain injuries can be life-long issues, it's important for parents to understand the legal rights of their children. Knowing what schools and others are legally obligated to do for a child with special needs helps ensure your child gets the best possible education and care.

Source: 4 ABC WTAE, "Kids with concussions suing Pittsburgh-area school districts" Paul Van Osdol, Feb. 24, 2014

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