We expect our children to be safe at school.  But if they get hurt, you may be able to sue the person or party responsible.

Who Is Responsible If My Child Is Injured At School?

As children across the country head back to school this fall, their parents breathe a sigh of relief.   But as happy as parents may be to have their kids in school, many worry about their child’s safety while at school.  What happens if your child is injured at school? The answer to that question depends on many factors, such as how your child was hurt and what type of school your child attends.

Intentional Acts

While rare, it is not unheard of for a child to be intentionally injured while at school.  This could come from another child bullying or harassing him or her, or even from a teacher or another school employee hurting your child.  If your child has been physically harmed through the intentional act of another person while at school, you may be able to sue the person responsible, along with other parties that could have prevented the harm.

If another student hurts your son or daughter, you can probably sue the child’s parents for the resulting injuries.  But if the school knew about the bullying behavior and did not intervene, you may also have a valid claim against the school.  A seasoned personal injury attorney can evaluate your case against the school and the bully’s parents to determine if you have a viable case.

If an adult employee hurt your child — perhaps by physically disciplining him — then that person and the school might be responsible for his injuries.  This could be possible if the school did not do a background check and the employee had a history of abuse or other criminal activity, or if the school did not properly train or supervise the employee.

Negligent Acts

Negligence is the failure to provide reasonable care.  In this context, that means that the school or school district did not do what it should have done to present an accident or injury.  When students are present, the school is responsible for providing a safe environment.  If they fail to provide a reasonably safe environment for the children in their care, they may be liable for negligence.

Negligence at a school can be expressed in a number of ways — a school bus driver not driving safely, defective playground equipment, improperly cleared walkways, or perhaps even a failure to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies.  If your child’s school administrators did not meet a reasonable standard of care — that is, they did not do what a reasonable school would do — then any responsible parties may be liable for any injuries that result from that negligence.

For example, if your child’s school provides lunch, then they have a duty to provide food that is safe for the children to consume.  If a cafeteria worker does not follow safe food handling procedures — perhaps by failing to wash their hands or store food at the proper temperature — then children may become sick as a result.  The school’s negligence — failure to properly store and prepare food — could be grounds for a lawsuit.  An experienced California personal injury attorney can assess the particular facts of a case to see if the school was negligent in any way.

Who Can Be Sued

When it comes to suing a school, the big question is whether the school is public or private.  If the school is privately-run, then you can sue them just as you would sue any other entity or organization.  But if the school is public, then it is considered a governmental organization.  There are special rules for suing the government, including different time limits for filing a lawsuit.  Contact a California personal injury attorney as soon as possible if your child has been injured at a public school.

If your child has been injured by an intentional or negligent act while at school, you may be able to receive compensation for their injuries.  Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or to learn more about how we can help you.  Our attorneys are skilled at handling all types of school injury cases, and will vigorously litigate your case to make sure that your losses are covered by the responsible party or parties.  We never charge a fee unless we get a favorable outcome, and we offer free initial consultations to all of our potential clients.