How to Recover Compensation for Children Injured at School In 2024
Is your child suffering because of their school’s negligence? Filing claims for children injured at school is possible with the help of a trusted children injured at school attorney. As your legal advisor, we will help prove your case and get maximum compensation directly from the principal or school administrator. Check out our complete guide to make your process to get compensation hassle-free.
Causes of child injury in schools
Every child is unique, and the circumstances leading to a kid being injured at school are also different for each child. While the details may vary in each case, here’s an overview of the most common causes of child injuries at school.
These are the most common causes of physical injuries to schoolchildren. Children can easily fall due to broken or missing handrails on the stairs, unremoved ice and snow, slippery gym floors, unmaintained bleachers, and more.
Children could be exposed to asbestos or lead, which are common in older buildings. If their private school failed to remove these dangerous substances or avert children from using the toxic building, then there’s clear school liability for student injury.
These types of injuries can be due to a lack of adult supervision, poorly maintained grounds, and broken or faulty playground equipment.
According to various surveys, as many as 1 in 4 students each year report being in a fight on school functions, grounds, or while traveling to and from school.
Children of all ages suffer from psychological, physical, and emotional injuries inflicted by bullies at private schools. If bullies are not restrained by the school when they have all the power, then parents can file a school negligence case.
Children may become ill when served with food that was unhygienic or improperly stored or prepared. If children are harmed at school due to food poisoning, the school could be liable for compensation.
A private school could be held liable for injuries that occurred due to lack of planning, failure to carry out established plans for evacuations, or inadequate shelters are in place. There is also apparent school negligence if the school fails to notify emergency responders in a timely manner.
Children can be injured in school bus accidents caused by inadequate bus driver training, poorly maintained or malfunctioning buses, and driver errors. If your child sustains an injury as a result of school bus accidents, you could sue a private school for child injury.
These injuries are fairly common, and they can range from minor to major injuries. If your child is injured due to inadequate coaching or lack of adult supervision, or poorly maintained equipment, the private school will be liable for all the damages and injuries suffered by your kid.
Duties of the school to protect your child
To ensure your child receives adequate protection, the courts place upon school administrators and teachers a legal duty of care (obligation). This duty of care means all private schools must do everything reasonably possible to protect their students from foreseeable injury, harm, and death. It includes providing a safe environment for students.
In addition, school authorities must immediately repair any structural defect in the building or school grounds. They are also expected to eliminate dangerous substances and conditions in a timely manner. Finally, schools must ensure students receive proper supervision while they are present on school grounds and school-provided buses, as well as off school grounds during school-sponsored, extracurricular activities.
Types of intentional harmful acts against children
The school can still have liability even if the harm done was intentional, as long as these were committed by school personnel or done within the school’s property. Some of these intentional or deliberate acts include:
This legal term refers to deliberate actions to harm another person. Injuries to children because of intentional acts by a teacher, coach, or any other school staff member can give rise to school liability for student injury. In some cases, criminal charges can be filed against the at-fault adult.
Child sexual abuse is inappropriate physical contact with a child or encouraging the child to touch the adult inappropriately. It also includes showing pornography to a child, exposing an adult’s genitals to a child, and watching a child undress or use the bathroom.
Assault can include grabbing, hitting, twisting hands, arms, fingers, or pinching. In addition, no direct contact is necessary if the child is in fear for their safety because of the adult’s threatening behavior.
Imprisonment includes taping the child’s mouth closed, tying the child to chairs, locking a child in a closet or small space, or in any way physically detaining a child.
What you need to prove to claim compensation
To show your children are harmed in school, you need to prove the following:
You need to prove that the school was indeed responsible for protecting the children under their care from harm.
In this case, you need to prove all the damages to your child. It includes medical costs, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Moreover, children who sustained permanent injuries can also seek loss of future wages and future medical costs.
There is negligence when a school teacher, administrator, coach, bus driver, or other school personnel fails to act responsibly or does something no reasonable person would do.
It is important to establish that the school or the school’s system is indeed responsible for the injury or damage sustained by the child.
Evidence required to file a child injury lawsuit
Strong injury claims are very important to help you get fair compensation for your claim. Along with hiring an experienced children injured at school attorney, you also need to have sufficient evidence to prove your claims. The following are crucial:
Photographs or videos of the incident that caused you to take as many close-up and wide pictures of the dangerous condition as you safely can. You should also take photos of your child’s injuries throughout the recovery period.
Many schools have surveillance cameras operating in the halls, cafeteria, and other common areas. Therefore, it’s better to ask the principal to preserve all camera footage of the particular day when your child was injured.
A witness statement is especially important to prove your claim. You can ask potential witnesses to write down what they saw and heard and to sign and date their statements at the bottom of the last page.
For instance, you can talk to school nurses who treated the child immediately after the accident. However, employees may be reluctant to say anything against the school. Other possible witnesses are the classmates or playmates of your child. Make sure to ask for their parent’s permission before discussing the incident with the child.
You won’t be able to file a lawsuit for compensation unless your child has proof of damages incurred. In addition, you cannot sue a school just because you believe their actions were negligent. Their negligence must have resulted in damages that are calculable and provable.
You need to request copies of your child’s records and bills that directly show the injury at school. It includes records and bills for:
- Dental care.
- Emergency services.
- Medical treatment.
- Mental health services.
Evidence required to prove compensation for expenses and damages
Apart from the list above, it would help if you gathered receipts for all the out-of-pocket expenses related to the child’s injuries. These include medications, bandages, crutches, and even parking fees.
Some children also have lost wages from after-school jobs. Also, you should include proof of your lost wages if you had to take off work to transport your child for medical treatment or while taking care of your child at home.
You should try to keep a diary of your child’s treatment and recovery to record their pain levels, missed social events, nightmares, fears, and behavioral changes. These proper records will help support claims for pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages for particularly egregious negligence by the school.
Don’t hesitate to call Ethen Ostroff Law for a Free Consultation about your school negligence case. As the top attorney for children injured at school, we are committed to getting the justice you deserve. We will help you file your claim and obtain maximum compensation for the damages and losses your child has suffered. Contact Ethen Ostroff Law today.