Any type of personal injury accident can be more tragic when it involves children, especially if they suffer catastrophic injuries or death. It can be particularly concerning when the accident occurs at a child’s school where parents entrust their children daily to the care of teachers and other school staff. If your child is injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a school, their injuries could affect them for the rest of their life. As their parent, you can pursue a claim for compensation against the negligent school, but it is very difficult to win a case.
Common Causes of Children’s Injuries at School
Schools and teachers have a duty to do everything reasonable to protect students from accidents that could lead to severe injuries or death. This includes properly supervising children and providing them with a safe environment while they are on a school bus, during the school day and when they are engaged in extracurricular activities. When schools breach this duty to the children in their care, a tragic accident can occur, and the school could be responsible for compensating the student for his injuries. Common causes of accidents at schools include:
- Bullying and assaults. Both bullying and fighting are common at school, and a school cannot be held responsible for every conflict. However, a school can be found negligent if it failed to properly supervise students at the time of the incident, knew that the aggressor was a trouble maker and took no action or knew that a fight or other dangerous situation was likely.
- Slip and fall accidents. Water and debris in bathrooms, slippery floors from cleaning, book bags and other items strewn on classroom floors and food and drink spills in the cafeteria are a few of the causes of slip and fall accidents at schools. Children can suffer broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injury, and other serious injuries if they injure themselves in a fall.
- School bus accidents. Negligent bus drivers can cause a tragic bus accident that can result in injuries to students in the bus or when they are pedestrians. Driver negligence, lack of training by the school district or bus maintenance issues are some of the causes of school bus accidents. Many school buses do not have seat belts, which can make the injuries that children suffer even worse. In addition, accidents can happen when children are horsing around on the bus without proper supervision from bus driver staff.
- Playground accidents. Playground equipment gets a lot of wear and tear due to daily use and the weather. When it is not maintained and replaced when necessary or has a design or manufacturing defect, children can suffer devastating injuries in a fall or other accident while playing. In addition, many accidents are caused by the failure to properly supervise children who do not have the capacity to understand the dangers of the playground or the risks of certain behaviors.
- Food poisoning. When cafeteria workers do not properly prepare and store food or an outside vendor provides tainted food, children can become seriously ill from food poisoning when they eat breakfast, lunch or other food provided by the school.
- Sports activities. Some sports, particularly football, include inherent risks of injury, and students who voluntarily engage in the activity may not be able to sue the school for their injuries. However, when equipment is defective, basic safety measures are not followed or the school staff doesn’t provide proper supervision, an injured student may have a claim for compensation against the school.
Outside of school bus accidents, it is very difficult to have a winning case against a school, school staff or the school district. Often the best course is to make sure you have health insurance for the student that can cover the cost of medical treatment in case of an accident. If you do end up needing a lawyer for the accident, make sure you know exactly what you are looking for. You should be picky in your decision.
School accident claims are very complicated due to the multiple parties who could face liability and the challenges of proving the school’s negligence. In addition, when the school is a public school, you may have to follow special laws that govern suing governmental agencies. You need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to obtain the compensation that your child deserves and may need for the rest of his life.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Accident?
If you’ve been injured you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. We help personal injury clients throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and all of Texas.