My Child Was Injured at School. Is the School Responsible?
Kids get hurt all the time. It’s just a fact of life. They run too fast; they aren’t coordinated; and they don’t think before they act. Typically, they get a cut or a bruise and they’re totally fine once you put a Band-Aid and some Neosporin on them. However, sometimes, more serious injuries can unfortunately occur, even when they are under the supervision of an adult, like a teacher. If your child was injured at school, you may be wondering: Is the school responsible? By finding out the answer to your question, you can decide what actions to take now. Don’t delay.
Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that’s rightfully yours.
Who Is Liable for a School Injury?
There are more than 14 million child injuries throughout the country every single year, and over a quarter of them happen in or around school properties. Since children spend so much time in school during the year, this makes perfect sense.
When a child gets injured, the school could potentially be held responsible, depending on the circumstances. Perhaps the playground monitor wasn’t monitoring properly or there was something on the ground that caused injury that should have been corrected previously.
If a bully beat up your child – and the bully was a minor – then the school and their parents may be brought into a claim. If a school did not exercise the proper care, it could be (at least partially) responsible. For example, the school might have left books on the floor and your child tripped and fell, or the school hired a teacher who hurt your child.
If a third party, like a school vendor, caused the injury, you may be able to make a claim with their insurance provider, as well. A third party could also include another driver on the road; perhaps they got into an accident with your child’s school bus, causing injury to your child and maybe other students. If your child got injured on the playground because a piece of equipment collapsed, that could be the manufacturer’s fault. There could be one or more, or multiple, parties in your claim.
Since there are so many different possibilities when it comes to liability, you’ll need to talk with a personal injury lawyer for help. You may not think of all the parties who could be held liable. If you don’t, then you might not get as high of a settlement as your child deserves.
Proving Negligence in a School Injury Case
You will have to show that the school, or another party, was negligent (had a duty of care and failed to uphold that duty), and that negligence led to your child becoming injured. The school has a reasonable duty of care for your child, and when they don’t adhere to that, they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit.
The word “reasonable” can be confusing, so it’s important to consult an experienced lawyer right away.
Injuries That Could Occur in School
Children could get injured in school in a number of different ways, including the following:
- Hit by a vehicle or involving vehicles
- Lack of security/supervision
- Getting on or off or riding the school bus
- At recess
- In gym class
- Hurt by a teacher or others; following staff instructions
- At school events (on or off campus)
- Even going to/from school
If an injury occurs, your child may become frazzled and not remember everything clearly. You can always contact the school and see if anyone witnessed what occurred. Some schools may have video cameras capturing footage, which could be helpful proof in your case. As soon as the school calls you to inform you about the injury, it’s important to take steps to preserve proof of what happened. Of course, of primary import is that your child get immediate medical attention.
Damages in a Child Injury Lawsuit
If your child got injured at school, you may have had to pay expensive medical bills, take time off work to get them to doctor’s appointments, and cover the repairs to their personal belongings. Plus, your child could have gone through emotional turmoil due to their injuries. Your child may need extensive treatment, school accommodation, restricted activity, tutoring to keep up, and other needs and expenses. You and your personal injury lawyer will go over the damages that could apply in your case so you can pursue a proper settlement.
Public vs. Private School
If your child goes to public school, then your time limit to bring a claim may be more complicated since you’ll be dealing with the government.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers will typically do a free consultation with you to find out how they can help with your case. They will work without asking you for money until they can an award or settlement; and when the settlement comes in, they will take a percentage of that. You don’t have to worry about paying anything up front. All you need to do is make sure your child keeps getting proper attendion and medical care, and focus on your child’s health and wellbeing during this difficult and stressful time.
Get in Touch With Heiting & Irwin for Help
If your child got injured at school and you want to take legal action, then it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with many personal injury cases and will work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.