Injuries At School: Who Is Responsible?
With kids heading back to school, many parents are rushing around trying to prepare backpacks, think about meal planning, and talk to their kids about the dangers of social media. What most parents don't consider is injuries on school grounds. Childhood injuries on campus playgrounds, hallways, and in classrooms are fairly common. Some accidents are unavoidable, but some school ground injuries are the result of unsafe physical conditions or the actions of other students or staff. Read on to learn about the issues of legal liability and whether or not you can hold the school responsible for your child's injuries.
Injuries on School Campuses
Keeping our children safe while at school, preschool/daycare, and at after-school programs should be of utmost importance to the individuals and businesses responsible for these young lives. During the school day, school officials act in loco parentis, or "in the place of parents", when children are in their care at school and are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for students. Schools have a legal responsibility to prevent foreseeable dangers from harming children and whenever children are around equipment of any kind — a playground slide, folding chairs, or a pair of scissors in art class — teachers, program administrators, bus drivers, etc... have a duty to ensure that equipment is always in top condition, maintained regularly, or taken out of service when in need of repair.
Dangerous conditions on school premises may include:
- unsafe playground equipment
- frayed electrical wiring
- wet floors
- unhygienic cafeteria conditions
- mold and other toxic materials
This list is not exhaustive. If your child was injured while at school and you believe the negligence of the school or someone acting on behalf of the school (such as a teacher) caused his injuries, reach out to an attorney experienced in handling cases involving injured minors.
How Do I Prove the School was Negligent?
When a minor child is injured on school property and the legal claim is negligent supervision, the child (or his parents, on behalf of the child) are going up against the school. As the plaintiffs, they are more likely to win their case when the school or daycare facility fails to maintain its campus, does not have an inspection plan in place, and/or does not instruct and supervise students in the safe and appropriate use of equipment. When a school has clear policies and enforces them, it is more challenging for the plaintiff to prove negligence.
A school’s responsibility for injuries occurring on its grounds is a type of premises liability. In premises liability, the person in control of the property is accountable for certain injuries that happen on the property. This could be a school district or a private institution. To discuss your potential school injury premises liability case, contact the skilled injury attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.