It’s thought that 14 million+ children are injured every year, and more than 3.5 million of these injuries occur around school property, or in a school. Children tend to spend more time at school during the day than they do at home, they may even spend more time participating in school activities than they do elsewhere.
If your child has been injured when they were at school, or when they were participating in a school activity, you may want to know who could be found liable for the accident. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as the responsibility will lay with an entity or individual depending on the circumstances that surround the accident and injury.
Was your Child Deliberately Injured?
This is one of the very first questions that you will need to answer so you can determine who may be responsible for your child’s injury. If your child was deliberately injured the law may state that the person or people who injured your child committed an intentional tort. A tort such as this includes bullying by another child at the school or abuse that has been inflicted by an adult, such as a teacher.
In the case of bullying, the parents of the child who bullied your child could be found liable for their injuries. However, this can depend upon the circumstances, and in some cases, it may be the school itself that is found liable as they may have failed to stop the acts if they had a reason to know that the bullying child may have acted this way.
– Abuse inflicted by an adult
On the case of abuse inflicted by an adult, the liability may lay with the school district as they may have failed to undertake a background check, or they failed to offer the right amount of supervision or training.
Both of the above issues can be as a result of negligence. In some cases, the injury that your child sustained may not have been deliberate or intentional but instead it was a result of an accident.
What is Negligence?
When children are attending school, the school will be responsible for providing food, shelter, transportation, and a safe environment. Unfortunately, there are times when a school may fail to meet the accepted standards. In other words, if a school does not follow the standards that have been set out and a child is injured because of the school’s failure, the school itself could be found negligent.
Examples of Negligence and Legal Liability
Some examples of negligence that could result in injuries include:
- Playground injuries that result from a lack of supervision
- Poorly maintained playground equipment
- Lack of proper food preparation
- Failure to clear snow or ice from a sidewalk
- Asbestos exposure due to a school failing to remove it
- A failure to carry out an evacuation
- Defective sports equipment provided by the school
Liability and Public and Private Schools
If your child attends a public school, under state law the school is considered to be a governmental entity. In cases such as these, strict procedures need to be followed if you wish to make an injury claim. The strict procedures are laid out by the state legislature.
If your child attends a private school, under state law the organization that runs the school is likely to be a not-for-profit organization. In cases such as these, special procedural rules for filing a claim don’t usually exist, which means you could file a claim in your state’s civil court.
If your child has been injured while they were at school or when they were participating in a school activity you could have a claim. Please speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
If you are currently suffering from a personal injury and are unable to read ‘Who is Liable if a Child is Injured While at School?’ please watch our Injury Pedia video so you can gain the Personal Injury Information and Answers you are seeking.