Mar 06 2020

Schools, Child Injuries and Liability Claims, Part 1

Personal injury and liability cases can arise within many circumstances or locations, including some we don’t often associate with this area. One good example here is your child’s school – one wouldn’t normally think of this as a location where the potential for injury or liability exists, but it absolutely does in a few unique and notable ways.

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, we’re proud to offer child injury attorney services in addition to our wide array of auto accident and other personal injury attorney solutions. No parent ever wants to hear that their child is hurt, but in cases where this happens, we’re here to help you manage the crisis and also receive just compensation in cases where another party – including potentially the school itself – was at fault. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over all the factors you might need to know about school liability for student injuries, plus other injury types that may occur at school and how liability works for them.

schools child injuries liability claims

Dangerous School Conditions

For starters, it’s important for all parents to be aware of their child’s school’s responsibility to provide safe property conditions. This is an area known as premises liability, and it’s one that’s present not only for schools, but also other public areas like restaurants, stores and many others where the public congregates.

Essentially, school staff are expected to act in the place of parents while caring for your children. They must present foreseeable issues on their property, such as slippery floors or poor playground equipment They must also prevent harmful or toxic substances from being exposed to children, and must maintain proper sanitary conditions. If these requirements are not met, multiple parents may have liability claims against the school if their children are hurt or harmed in some related way.

Bullying or Abuse

One particular event that’s sadly still common in many schools is bullying, which is considered an “intentional act” carried out by one student or group of students to another. Bullying cases may involve liability from multiple areas: The bully in question or their parents are often involved in such lawsuits, particularly if the behavior is repetitive, but the school itself may also be held responsible if it can be proven that teachers or other staff knew about the bullying and did not take proper steps to prevent it.

In rare cases where teachers themselves are involved in any kind of abuse or bullying of students, this will be looked on extremely negatively by courts. Teacher liability in these cases is often punished punitively by judges or juries.

Shelter and Other Obligations

In addition to the above, schools are required to provide shelter, food, transportation and a safe environment for students. If any of these standards or services is not met, and children are harmed as a result, the school may be held liable.

For more on schools and child injury liability, or to learn about any of our personal injury or auto accident attorneys, speak to the staff at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates today.