Did you know that about 30 million American children are taken to the emergency room every year? That’s a staggering statistic that could make any parent worry about their child’s safety.
When you send your child off to school, you should be able to have the peace of mind that they’ll be safe until you pick them up later in the day. However, accidents are a part of life and if your child was hurt while at school due to negligence, you might have a case on your hands.
If you think someone should be held legally responsible for your child’s injury, then you should know whether your not you can and should sue.
Are you asking yourself, “Can you sue a public school?”
Keep reading to learn about whether you can and should sue because of an injury at school.
When it comes to your child’s safety, you’ll be glad to know that schools have a legal duty to protect them. This duty means that a school must take all precautionary measures to ensure that your child doesn’t suffer from any harm, injury, or even death.
Classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, and all other places that children visit at a school should be made as safe as possible. If a safety hazard does occur, such as an electrical problem or slippery floors, then the school faculty must address it within a reasonable amount of time and prevent students from being exposed to it.
With this in mind, there’s no reason a school should let equipment go unrepaired and spills uncleaned. Even when everything is in tip-top shape, the school must provide the children with adult supervision while they’re on the premises of the school.
The same legal responsibilities apply when a student is on a bus provided by the school and when a student is attending an event that is sponsored by the school. Extracurricular activities planned by the school, such as football games and camping in the woods, also fall under the school’s legal duty.
This makes teachers responsible, as well as additional faculty, such as principles, guidance counselors, and others.
Unfortunately, there are many ways that a child can commonly get injured while at school.
Did you know that 1 out of every 5 students between the ages of 12 and 18 have reported being bullied at least once during a given school year? Bullying is a rampant problem that can lead to injuries that are either psychological, physical, or both.
Whether during bullying, a disagreement, or some other situation, physical fights on school grounds can also lead to serious injuries. Depending on the school, they can happen quite often.
While sports are a great way for children to exercise, make friends, and more, it’s still possible for students to get injured while playing basketball, soccer, football, or something else. The school might be responsible if the injury can be traced to a lack of adult supervision, a dangerous environment on which to play, or faulty equipment. When it comes to younger kids, the same negligence can be applied to certain injuries that happen on a playground.
Many parents rely on the school to properly feed their children during lunch. However, it’s possible that a child can become sick with food poisoning. The school could be liable if the food went bad because of improper storage, preparation, or if it arrived already tainted from where it was purchased. There’s still a legal duty that employees working in the kitchen shouldn’t have contagious sicknesses.
Slip and falls are also common accidents and the school could be responsible for too much ice or snow, inadequate handrailings, wet floors, and other scenarios.
In the case of natural or man-made disasters, a school should be prepared with practiced evacuation, shelters, and other emergency plans.
These are just a handful of possible and common school accidents. The exact nature of a legal case, if any, will depend on several factors. The specific rules also vary across states.
If you’re wondering how to sue a school district for negligence, you should keep in mind the different reasons for suing.
One reason you can sue a school district is for intentional harm that was afflicted upon your child, including assault, battery, sexual abuse, and false imprisonment.
Suing for negligence, on the other hand, means that school made a mistake that resulted in an unintentional injury. This can be trickier to make a case out of because it depends on many factors, but you’ll want to gather as much evidence about the incident as you can.
Witness statements, security camera footage, medical bills, and photos can all work toward making a presentable case.
If you believe that the injury was caused by intentional harm or negligence, then you should probably sue. Once you’ve decided on suing, you should seek out a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you build and present your case in court.
Depending on what school district you live in, you may need to file certain governmental paperwork and file a Notice of Intent with the school. The notice will let them know that you plan to sue the school.
In other states, you may need to bring your case to the school district before filing a lawsuit. In any case, you should act quickly and have a legal professional at your side.
Now that you know all about whether you can and should sue because of an injury at school, you can hire a lawyer to represent your case in the court of law.
The Dante Law Firm is where justice begins. We can consult you on your case and have your back when it comes time to present it to the judge and jury. From premises liability and children’s accidents to nursing home abuse and traumatic brain injury, we can handle it all.
Best of all, we don’t get paid until you do.