What to Do if Your Child Was Injured in School

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Studies estimate that more than 14 million child injuries occur each year throughout the United States. Of these 14 million injuries, one-fourth occur in or around a school property. Children spend a lot of their time at school. Parents often ask: who is reliable if their child has been injured at school? This depends on a few factors.

Finding Liability

The first question asked in determining who is responsible is: was the act intentional or negligent? This might include bullying, where a child may be harmed physically by another. It can also be a result of an adult employee of a school abusing a student. If bullying was the cause of injury, the parents of the offending child may be liable for the injury, depending on the circumstances. Otherwise, the school may also be at fault for failing to stop the harassment. If an adult employee is the offender, then the school district may even be liable for failure to conduct proper background checks on their employees or to provide proper training or supervision. Even accidents are often caused by some failure on the part of the school or district.

Schools are responsible for your child’s safety and needs when they are in the employees’ care. Schools are obligated to provide shelter, food, transportation, and a safe environment. If the child is injured because the school came short in providing these services, then the school is said to have been negligent, and is therefor generally liable for what happens to your child.

Here are a few examples of possible injuries and where the legal responsibility lies:

A school bus accident could be due to:

  • Malpractice by or negligence of a bus driver
  • Improper training of the driver
  • A malfunctioning vehicle
  • A driver who was reckless who may be at fault for a collision with the school bus

A playground injury could involve:

  • Inadequate supervision by an employee
  • Defective playground equipment, either due to lack or maintenance or improper manufacturing

Food poisoning:

  • Improper food storage or preparation by personnel
  • Improper food manufacturing by outside vendor

A slip and fall accident could be due to:

  • Loose handrails improperly maintained or installed
  • Falling on ice or snow because the school didn’t clear the sidewalks properly

Exposure to asbestos:

  • Could be due to the school district’s failure to remove harmful substances or to close down the structure all together.

Injuries from natural or man-made disasters could occur due to:

  • Failure to provide training and planning for emergencies
  • Failure to properly carry out evacuation or shelter in place

Injuries which happen during physical activities:

  • Improper supervision
  • Defective equipment due top lack of maintenance or improper manufacturing.

Is the School Public or Private?

If your child’s school is public, it is considered a governmental entity under state law. This means that there is a very strict process to follow if you want to bring an injury claim or a lawsuit. Those rules are usually laid down by the state legislature.There aren’t usually any special procedural rules for bringing a claim against this kind of organization. If you believe that a private school or one of its employees is liable for your child’s injury, you can usually file a personal injury lawsuit in your state’s civil court system.

If your child or a loved one has been injured due to a school property or similar organization’s neglect, call us at 1-800-Injured so we can can connect you to an attorney who will provide you with aggressive legal representation.