Your Child was Injured at School. Now What?

Personal Injury Lawyer

As your child gets on the school bus each morning, you mentally run through a checklist: Jacket, lunch box, extra snacks, letter in lunch box, field trip permission slip signed and in your child’s backpack. Each day we plan for the best possible outcome for our children. We expect that if we send our children off to school, they will be safe and secure. School should be a reliable place that provides education – and safety – to all children. Of course, life is unpredictable. Even with our best efforts, accidents can, and do, occur.

Depending on how and where the accident occurred, the school may be held liable for injuries your child might unfortunately experience. Every state has specific laws as to the duty of care required by the school. These laws are created to protect the students once they are in the care of the school district. Ideally, the duty of care required will be met and will prevent harm to any children. However, if a child is injured due to the school not meeting their duty of care, they may be liable for all ongoing medical expenses incurred.  

One such duty of care is the legal requirement to keep premises safe to those who enter and use the facilities. This is known as premises liability – the owner has a duty to ensure the areas open are kept free of potential hazards that might hurt someone. For example, if you do not fix a broken step on your front porch, if your friend is injured on them heading up for dinner, you will be liable. Some grocery stores now have automated machines that scroll around looking for potential spills that need to be cleaned. Schools also have similar duties to check and maintain the facilities on a regular basis.

If your child is injured at school, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer that will help explain your options to you. The experienced lawyers will be able to guide your next steps and explain the process if litigation should be pursued. One variable is the type of school that your child was injured at – whether the school is private or publicly funded. If the school is a private school, your lawyer will file suit directly against the school itself. However, if your child is injured while enrolled and attending a public school, you will not sue the school directly. Public schools are considered an extension of the government and function in a quasi-agency way. Public schools tend to have more protections from lawsuits in the form of governmental immunity. However, this varies case by case depending on the type of injury, the cause of the injury, and the location of the school. Consider speaking with an experienced premises liability attorney today to learn if your child’s injury may qualify for financial compensation.