My Child Was Injured at School – Can I Sue?

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Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in the US, with around 20 deaths per day. Inevitably, some accidents will take place at school.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – getting a call that your child has been injured at school  One in five pediatric injuries happen at school, with lacerations and distal radius fractures the most common moderate to severe injuries.

Beyond the immediate concern for your child’s health and well-being, questions about liability and legal action often follow. This article examines the circumstances under which you may be able to sue if your child suffers an injury at school.

My Child Was Injured At School

When the School May Be Liable

According to George Salinas, a San Antonio personal injury attorney, schools have a duty of care to protect students from foreseeable risks of harm. If the school fails in this duty and it results in injury to your child, the school may face legal liability. Some situations where the school may be liable include:

● Inadequate Supervision – Teachers and staff are required to adequately supervise students during school hours, including recess, lunchtime, and before/after school programs. Lack of supervision that leads to injury could be grounds for a lawsuit.

● Unsafe Conditions – The school is responsible for maintaining safe facilities and equipment such as playgrounds, sports fields, and gym equipment. Injuries resulting from unsafe conditions that the school failed to fix in a timely manner could lead to legal action.

● Failure To Follow Safety Policies – Schools have policies and procedures designed to protect student safety. If the injury occurs because school personnel failed to follow safety policies, the school may be found negligent.

● Bullying/Abuse – Schools have a duty to protect students from harm by other students, teachers, or staff. If the school fails to address bullying or abuse that leads to physical/emotional injury, you may have a case against them.

Limits on School Liability

However, there are limits on when schools can be held liable:

● Schools are not liable for inevitable accidents that occur, even if minor injuries result. For example, occasional scrapes or bruises from playing at recess would not be cause for a lawsuit.

● Schools cannot be expected to prevent all injuries, only foreseeable risks where reasonable care could prevent injury.

● Schools have certain legal immunities that limit liability in some situations. For example, public schools may be immune from lawsuits for injuries occurring in organized sports activities – there are around 1.4 million sports-related injuries in high school athletes each year.

● Plaintiffs must prove negligence – that the school breached their duty and this directly and foreseeably caused the injury. If other factors beyond the school’s control contributed, it weakens the claim.

Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

Determining if you have a valid legal claim against a school often requires consulting an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury lawyers can assess the details of your individual situation, evidence of negligence, the extent of damages/injury, and legal options available in your state. They can then advise you on the viability of a lawsuit and represent your interests through the legal process if you decide to pursue it.

With an attorney’s guidance, you can make an informed decision on seeking just compensation through legal action.

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