According to studies completed by other states, more than 14 million child injuries occur every year throughout the United States. Over 25 percent of these injuries happen in or around school property. This isn’t exactly surprising, as kids spend most of their days in school or at school-related activities.
If you have a child who was injured at school or during a school-related activity, you need to know who can be held legally responsible. Like any sort of case dealing with liability and injuries, yours will be unique and the outcome heavily dependent on the specifics of what happened. Contacting an experienced child injury lawyer at the Heslin Law Firm can help.
Intentional Act vs. Negligence
An example of an intentional act that causes injury includes bullying, when a child physically harms another child. It can also be harm that is inflicted by an adult.
In a bullying situation, the parents of the bully can be held liable for injuries depending on the circumstances of the harassment. The school can also be held liable if it fails to resolve the issue or if it had reason to know the bullying was taking place and didn’t do anything about it.
If an adult employee is the bully, the school district can be held liable for failing to conduct a proper background check or failing to provide supervision and/or training for the employee. Many of these issues fall into the category of negligence. If the injury to the child was because of an accident and not an intentional act, it can still be argued that the school failed in some way to keep the child safe.
Acts of Negligence by a School
A school is obligated to provide shelter, food, transportation, and a safe environment for the children who attend. However, there are many ways in which a school fails to live up to its responsibility. If a school does not provide proper care to a child, and the student is injured as a result, the school can be deemed negligent.
The following are examples of how injuries can happen due to possible school negligence:
School Bus Accidents
- The bus driver or school district is deemed negligent.
- The bus driver was not properly trained by the school district.
- The bus was improperly designed or malfunctioning.
- The other driver involved in the crash was negligent.
- The school failed to provide adequate supervision by employees.
- The playground equipment was defective or dangerous because of improper maintenance or bad design from the manufacturer.
- The school prepared the food improperly.
- The vendor or manufacturer provided tainted food.
Slip and Fall
- The school failed to maintain equipment on the premise or properly install the equipment.
- The school failed to clear snow and ice, causing slip and falls.
Private and Public Schools
If your child is attending a public school, the school is considered a governmental entity under state law. Since it is government-related, there are very strict rules to follow if you are bringing forth a child injury case. These rules are usually laid down by the state legislature.
If your child belongs to a private school, it’s possible that it’s a non-profit organization. Usually, there isn’t a special procedure to follow when bringing forth an injury claim. If you think a private school or one of its employees acted negligently and thus caused injury to your child, you can proceed by filing a personal injury lawsuit in your state’s civil court system.
If you’re a parent and your child has been injured due to negligence at school, contact Philadelphia lawyer, Gary Heslin at the Heslin Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.