My Child Was Injured at School: What to Do Next
Most people send their children to school with the expectation that it is a safe environment. Unfortunately, injuries at school are more common than most people realize. If your child has been injured at school, you need to understand your legal options.
Understanding School Injuries
The nature of school injuries can vary widely. The most common accidents occur in gym class or on the playground. In these contexts, children are naturally more active, which can lead to injury if supervision is not sufficient. Injuries may also arise from faulty equipment.
Injuries occur more widely from poor maintenance on school property. Children can be injured by cracks in the sidewalk, faulty steps, slippery walkways or broken railings. Many schools are older properties, and upkeep is not always managed properly. When buildings fall into disrepair, accidents are possible.
Bus accidents are common as well. Although many bus accidents may not happen on school property, the school is still responsible for your child during this transit period. Most bus accidents are minor, but injuries are possible during any collision.
Violence from other children or staff members is another possible avenue for injury. School violence has become increasingly visible in recent years due to high profile events on school property. While such events are still not overly common, minor incidents are prevalent. This usually can be classified as bullying, and it can have physical and mental repercussions.
Your Child’s Rights
When you send your child to school, you have the right to expect that the school is taking proper precautions for his or her safety. Schools are legally responsible for the children during the school day. This means that the school should be actively ensuring that the property is safe and that all activities are reasonable. Clearly, accidents can occur in any context, but schools are burdened with the legal responsibility of being proactive for the welfare of the children in their care.
Your Legal Recourse
If your child is injured at school, you are within your rights to pursue legal action. You may want to take legal action for several reasons. First, you may want to ensure that the school makes necessary modifications to prevent future injuries. Legal action can be the best way to ensure actual change with school policies and practices. Second, you may need to pursue legal action in order to cover medical expenses. Medical expenses can be related to a single incident, but they can also be used for ongoing treatment.
When you take legal action, you will most often be suing the school district. However, you may also name specific individuals at the school who are directly related to the case. This could include teachers, bus drivers, custodians, nurses and more.
Winning Your Legal Case
In order to be successful with a legal case, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration. You must show that the school has neglected its responsibility to your child. This is referred to as the duty of care. You must be able to prove that the duty of care was violated. The staff members in charge of supervising your child must be proven to be neglectful in their duties, and this neglect must be linked to your child’s injuries.
This neglect can come in a variety of forms. In some cases, inadequate supervision may have been provided. In other cases, recklessness or misconduct may be the heart of the issue. It is your responsibility to document and prove that the school did not take appropriate measures to protect your child.
Moreover, you must prove that your child was injured. Therefore, you will need reports from medical professionals in addition to any reports from the school. If possible, get accounts from other witnesses. This includes other children, school staff, volunteers and more. If video or photographic evidence exists, procure it as quickly as possible in order to substantiate your case.
Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Taking legal action promptly is important. Since schools are not private entities, the window for legal recourse is limited. Therefore, do not delay and contact The Powerhouse Injury Attorneys today. Our experienced legal team can assess your case and help you and your child move forward. 702-444-2222