Accidents in Schools

Children spend much of their time at school. Parents put their trust in teachers and other school officials to keep their children safe during the day. Of course, there are many different ways that accidents involving children might take place at school. Some of the injuries are minor, while others might be severe. Below are a few of the common injuries that take place at schools:

  • Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Dislocated joints
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains or strains

Many of these injuries might occur on a playground or in gym class. However, children can injure themselves in the classroom as well, by slipping and falling, or tripping over equipment.

Daycare Accidents

Children in daycare are typically younger than school-age children and, therefore, require additional supervision and care to keep them safe. Although children of all ages could be at risk of choking or strangulation from faulty or misused playground equipment, these types of injuries are often a more significant concern when the children involved are particularly young. 

Children in daycares are also at risk for the same types of injuries listed above that frequently occur with older children in schools. It is important to remember that preventing injuries and keeping children safe should be the number-one priority for daycare staff. If your child suffers injuries at daycare because these caregivers are failing to provide a safe environment, you might be able to recover compensation. It will be essential to discuss your claim with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Athens.

Public Schools and Immunity from Lawsuits

If your child is injured at school and you want to pursue action against the school for your child’s injuries, one of your first considerations should be whether the organization is a government entity, such as a public school. In Athens, your child’s public school probably has some degree of immunity from lawsuits when children suffer injuries, meaning you might not be able to sue them for the harm to your child. This immunity is called “sovereign immunity,” and it restricts lawsuits against government entities. If your child attends a private school, the school will not have this immunity.

There are a few ways in which you might be able to recover damages even if your child attends a public school. School employees may face liability if their negligence caused harm to your child. For instance, if a teacher violated the school’s rules and caused your child to be injured, you might be able to use that information to build a claim. For example, suppose your child’s school has rules that requires its teachers to supervise students on the playground. If the teacher on duty failed to provide such supervision when the injury occurred, the teacher might be liable for the harm.

Requirements for Lawsuits Against Schools

If you do decide to file a lawsuit against a school, there are strict procedures that you must follow. The time limits for filing a claim against a public school are shorter than the two years normally afforded injury victims. You also must file a notice with the school before bringing the claim. That notice will need to provide information regarding the basis of your lawsuit.

Bringing a lawsuit against a school for negligence can be challenging. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side could help you understand the process and how to develop your claim.

Private Schools and Daycares

If your child attends a private school or private daycare, you may avoid some of the obstacles that you would face with a public school. Instead, you might be filing your claim against a nonprofit organization or a religious organization. The procedural rules for these claims will be the same as for other personal injury lawsuits, meaning you may have two years to file your lawsuit. Regardless of the amount of time that you have, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident so that they can assist you in preserving evidence and can have ample time to come up with a strategy for the case.

Liability for Student Bullying

In some cases, schools may be held responsible if a student bullies your child. If the school takes reports of bullying or harassment seriously and tries to address the issues, the school will be less likely to face liability for the harm that the bullying caused to your child. If the school does not to try to stop the bullying, the school is more likely to be held accountable.

If the bullying becomes physical and involves an assault or battery, you could file a lawsuit against the bully. In some situations, if the bully’s parents know that their child tends to behave violently and they failed to take action to prevent their child from bullying, you may also have the ability to file a claim against the child’s parents.

School Bus Accidents

Although safety advocates generally consider school buses to be the safest way for children to get to and from school, accidents happen.

Georgia law treats school bus accidents differently than other school-related incidents. If your child is injured on a school-operated vehicle such as a school bus, you may be able to sue for damages under an exception to the sovereign immunity that public schools usually enjoy. Whether the school board purchased bus insurance, plays a critical role in this analysis.  However, the lawsuit can still be tricky since it involves a public school, so you should speak to an attorney.

If a private school owns the school bus, filing a lawsuit might be less challenging. You may be able to file a claim with the insurance company that provides coverage for the school, file a lawsuit against the school for its negligence, or take other types of action depending on the facts of the situation in which your child was injured. In many scenarios, you may be able to reach a settlement with the insurer without filing a lawsuit. Still, it is smart to consult with an attorney in Athens who is familiar with such claims, even if you are just dealing with an insurance company. Your lawyer may be able to assist you when it comes to negotiations and help you to maximize your settlement.

Williams Elleby – Athens Personal Injury Lawyers

Should your child ever get injured at a daycare or school in Athens, then you could file a lawsuit and obtain compensation from not just the daycare or school, but also certain individuals who caused your child’s injury. The skilled attorneys at Williams Elleby have more than 20 years of experience helping the injured obtain compensation from those who are responsible for their harm. To learn more about how we can help you, reach out by calling (833)-534-2542 or by contacting us online for a free consultation.