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My Child Was Injured at School, Who is Liable?

A substantial amount of child injuries that occur each year in the United States take place in or around school property. There is no question that, during the school year, children spend a significant percentage of their day in school or at school-related activities in another place.

If your child has suffered an injury while either at school or during a school-related event, it is instinctual for a parent to wish to know who might be responsible. After determining who is ultimately liable, it is imperative to figure out if the act was intentional or negligent.

In instances of school bullying, where a student physically harms another child, this type of intentional act can result in an intentional tort. Furthermore, the parents of the offending student may be liable for the injury depending on the circumstances of the case. If an adult employee of a school abuses a student, the school district might be responsible for failing to perform a proper background check, or failing to offer adequate training or supervision.

But in most cases, student injury causes fall into the area of negligence, particularly by the school. These academic establishments are obligated to provide shelter, food, transportation, as well as a secure and safe environment. If a school fails to abide by the standards of care in providing those services to children, and a student suffers an injury due to that failure, then the school can be considered negligent.

For example, a playground injury could derive from lack of adequate supervision by a teacher or improper maintenance by the school, making the school district negligent. A food poisoning incident could stem from improper food preparation or storage by school staff.

However, other parties could be negligent in school-related accidents. For instance, a playground injury could also be caused by defective equipment due to a dangerous design by the manufacturer. A food poison incident could be caused by tainted food provided by an outside vendor.

Once you determine who is liable for your child’s injury, it is critical to be aware of whether your child is going to public or private school. If your child’s school is public, it is considered a government entity and the rules for filing a claim are described in the state legislature. If your child’s school is private, such as one that is run by a non-profit organization or a religious entity, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

For more information, contact our Midland personal injury attorney at Dean Law Firm today.