Most children spend a significant portion of each day at school or pre-school. Most parents trust that their children are being well cared for while under a school’s jurisdiction. Yet, the safety of schoolchildren is not always assured. While the majority of school workers are caring professionals, accidents and abuse do occur in classrooms and schoolyards every day.
If your child has been injured while in school or under the care of school officials, call school-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino at 877-875-2927 to learn about your legal options.
Common School Injuries
Every year, about 4 million children and adolescents are injured while at school, and approximately 80% of elementary-school students see a nurse for injury treatment every year.
These injuries can occur in a variety of ways, and for a variety of reasons. Our school-injury attorneys can be of assistance if your child has been injured due to any of the following:
- School Crossing Injuries
- School Playground Injuries
- School Bus Injuries
- Gym/Physical Education Injuries
- Teacher Negligence
- School District Negligence
- Sexual Abuse
School shootings gain a great deal of attention from the media, but do not account for a large percentage of school injuries. Though about 10% of school injuries requiring hospitalization were intentionally inflicted, the majority of such injuries are accidental, with falls and sports-accidents constituting the leading causes.
If your child has been hurt at school due to negligence such as poor supervision, faulty equipment, or faculty abuse, a school-injury attorney can inform you of your legal rights.
Liability for School-related Injuries
The law related to school-injury liability varies from state to state. Different laws apply to private and public schools, as well.
Public schools are generally regulated by state school-board rules, and many states’ laws grant immunity to public schools and their employees for certain injuries sustained by children while in the school’s control. Rules may also require that notice be given to school officials before an action may be commenced against the school.
While many states provide for sovereign immunity on the part of a public school and its employees, that immunity may not be complete in certain states. An action for injuries against such a defendant might be allowed in a particular state, but a cap on damages may limit the amount of compensation that may be awarded to a plaintiff. Time limits and notice requirements may also distinguish such cases from those that might be brought against a private school.
Actions against public schools may also need to be filed with administrative agencies, which may issue an award of damages or other relief intended to address school liability for a child’s injuries. Most states have strict requirements regarding the procedures for actions against public schools and their officials.
Though private schools are not regulated by the same state rules as are public schools, the owners and operators of such schools nevertheless have a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety and well-being of children who are in their care.
Actions in Negligence
Actions against the owners, operators, and employees of schools are generally brought as negligence actions against all the parties responsible for a child’s school-related injury. Such injuries may be caused by other students, teachers, accidents involving in-school equipment or playground equipment, accidents caused by poorly maintained indoor or outdoor premises, adulterated food served in cafeterias or at snack-times, failure to administer needed medications, or failure to provide security sufficient to allow trespassers to access the premises.
A school and its negligent employee may be held liable in an action in negligence for injuries sustained by a child as a result of the employee’s negligent supervision. If a teacher or other supervisor fails to intervene when children are engaged in fighting or rough play, for example, the failure to act may be found to constitute actionable negligence by the supervisor and the school for which the supervisor works.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children between the ages of 5 and 19 experience a substantial number of injuries as a result of intentional rather than negligent acts. When these acts could have been prevented had the supervisors in charge provided adequate supervision, the inadequate supervision as well as the intentional acts of the perpetrator may be found to be causes of the injuries sustained.
In some cases, when bullying or other intentional acts by another child are a cause of a child’s injuries, the parents of the child who has caused the injuries may also be held liable.
Negligent Hiring and Training
Schools may also be held liable for the negligent hiring and training of supervisors, if the negligent or intentional acts of such supervisors are a cause of injuries sustained by a child while on school grounds and within school-employees’ control.
Negligent Maintenance of Equipment
School-children are allowed access to all sorts of indoor and outdoor equipment, most of which may cause injuries if not properly maintained. Thus, an injury occurring as a result of playground equipment that has not been regularly or properly repaired may be considered sufficient to attach liability to those responsible for such equipment’s maintenance.
If your child has been hurt at school due to negligence such as poor supervision, faulty equipment, or faculty abuse, contact nationally-recognized school-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino for advice regarding your legal rights.
To discuss your case with nationally-recognized school-injury lawyer Jeffrey Killino, contact our offices today by calling 877-875-2927.