A Parent's Guide to Injuries & Worker's Compensation While Volunteering

Posted on: 19 November 2015

As children grow up, parents often try to be involved in their lives as much as possible. This includes volunteering for different functions and activities that the child is participating in. Even though the parent's involvement is unpaid and labeled as a volunteer, an injury may entitle them to worker's compensation. Every situation is different and that is why it's important to break down the elements of a case and work with a personal injury attorney to help you move forward. Use the following guide to understand the different circumstances of a case and what your different options are.

School Functions

Many parents volunteer in their child's school. This includes chaperoning field trips, working in the classroom, or helping out during events like a holiday party. If you're injured during a school function, the responsibility for the injury and worker's compensation could be placed on the school. One of the biggest factors in this is your official "volunteer" status. Many parent volunteers have to fill out forms and get approved by the school. This is especially true for classroom volunteers and school visits.

An attorney can use these forms to help prove your case and collect worker's compensation. Even though you were just volunteering for the school, you were essentially in a working capacity and your injury should be covered. If you're just dropping your child off or at the school for a meeting, then you would not be considered an official volunteer and it may be harder to seek worker's compensation.

Sports Leagues

As children sign up for soccer, baseball, and other team sports, parents often volunteer to coach and assist children. Working in these leagues is typically on a volunteer basis, but the hazards are real. It's easy to get injured with sporting equipment, an errant ball, or through some other physical action. As a volunteer on the team, the sports organization may be responsible for your injuries and worker's compensation. Many leagues have an insurance policy in place to help cover costs of both child and adult injuries.

By working with an attorney, you can negotiate to get the best settlement and worker's compensation to fit your injuries and personal situation. Cases where it's harder to get any settlement is if you're simply a parent spectator at the sporting game. Referred to as the "Baseball Rule," stadiums and organizations are typically protected by injuries caused to spectators from flying balls and other natural occurrences in a sports game.

Private Organizations

Non-profit groups and private organizations offer chances for children to thrive in a variety of activities. This includes groups like the Young Marines and Boy Scouts. As a parent volunteer for these organizations, you are typically leading children through different training activities and events. As an official volunteer for these organizations, you may get injured while working with the children.

Depending on how the organizations are run, an attorney may have to do extra work to seek compensation. Because these groups are often run as non-profits, it may be harder to seek a settlement that you deserve. An attorney will look into insurance coverage, your specific role with the organization, and the extent of your injuries.

Community Events

One of the more vague areas of volunteering is at local community events. Injuries can occur at local fairs, fundraising carnivals, parades, and even large cookouts that are catered to children. If a parent volunteer is injured at one of these events, then the event details must be broken down. One of the main things to figure out is the organization that ran the event. If it was held or sponsored by the local town, then the city and state may be responsible for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can help determine these details, obtain evidence, and move forward with your case. Providing as much evidence as possible will help your case have the most success.

Just because you're labeled as a volunteer, doesn't mean you're volunteering your basic rights to worker's compensation. Consult with an attorney through resources like Modesitt Law Offices PC to find out details and break down the options for your case.


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