It is not uncommon for a child to experience an injury while at school. When a child has an accident at school, the school is not automatically at fault for what transpired. Whether or not you can hold the school responsible depends on the details of the accident. If your child was injured at school, here is what you need to know.
When Is the School Responsible?
Schools have a responsibility to provide adequate supervision of students. What is deemed adequate supervision depends on several factors, including the age of the child, the activity involved in the accident, and whether or not a school employee or representative had the ability to control the situation that led to the accident.
A child's age is important because the age of the child often dictates how much supervision he or she needs. For instance, a child who is in elementary school usually requires far more supervision than a teenager in high school.
The activity in which the child was engaged matters because some activities require a higher level of supervision than others. For instance, a child engaging in a water sport at school needs more supervision than a child sitting in the classroom working on a computer.
What Can You Do?
In the event that you believe the school is responsible for your child's accident, you can file a claim with the school district. School districts typically have sovereign immunity, which can make it difficult to take legal action without following a certain set of steps. The first step is usually a claim.
Contact the school district to determine where to file the claim. It is important that you file the claim as soon as possible. The district most likely has a statute of limitations in place that restricts how much time is available for filing claims.
Once the claim is filed, you have to wait for the outcome before you can take any further legal action. If the district agrees that you are entitled to payment, compensation could be limited to actual damages, such as your child's medical bills. Pain and suffering might not be factored into the claim.
If the claim is denied, you can file a lawsuit. You will need to prove how the school is liable for your child's accident and that your child suffered injuries to prevail in your suit.
Working with a personal injury attorney can help improve the odds that you receive compensation for your child's injuries.