Your children spend a lot of their time in school. When you send them off to school, you’re entrusting the institution with your most precious possession. You trust that your children will not only be educated but also be kept safe. It is earth shattering to learn that your child has been seriously injured while on school property.
Some accidents on school grounds are just that, accidents. Children are active and are likely to get hurt every now and then. Most of the time, the injury is minor, just a simple bump or bruise. Sometimes, a child may suffer a broken bone. And some injuries are even more serious. If your child suffered a serious injury on school property and the injury was caused by the school’s negligence, your child may be eligible for compensation.
How injuries occur in schools
Educational institutions are entrusted with children by their parents to educate and nurture. Schools are legally required to put in place stringent safety measures to ensure the safety of their charges. Despite this, serious injuries still do happen on school. These incidents may be the result of the following:
- Negligence of staff or maintenance crew resulting in unsafe conditions
- Lack of proper supervision
- Poor maintenance
- Inattentive teachers
- Lack of or inadequate security
- Food poisoning
- Unsafe conditions on the playground
If your child suffered a serious injury resulting from any of the above or any other form of negligence, you may be entitled to sue for compensation on behalf of your child.
Suing for compensation
If your child’s injury on school property was the result of negligence by the school, you will have to prove that:
- It was the school’s duty to protect the student
- There was breach in the standard of care
- The school’s negligence resulted in the accident that caused the injury
As with any other lawsuit, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. You will need to show that the defendant was negligent and that this negligence resulted in the accident that caused the injuries. This is known as proximate cause.
However, there are instances when the injury suffered is considered unpreventable. The school cannot be held liable if it is found that the injury would have still occurred even if better supervision were given.
You will also have to show that the student was actually injured and that the injury was a direct result of the accident. It is important to note that the injuries don’t always have to be physical. However, physical injuries are easier to prove with medical documentation.
One thing to keep in mind is that, because many schools are associated with the local government, there may be a very limited time period within which to file a lawsuit.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney near you who can evaluate your claim and advise you on the best course of action moving forward.