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Is a School Liable for My Child’s Injury?

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018 at 4:17 pm    

There are many reasons why a child could be hurt or injured while at school. Both schools and those who work in them are expected to do what they can to prevent school children in their care from being hurt or injured. However, injuries do occur and in many cases, staff members or the school authorities may be considered liable and could be sued for damages.

Typical reasons for school children’s injuries

There are many reasons why a child could suffer harm while at school. In some cases, it may be that the injury was inevitable or not the result of negligence on the part of anyone working at the school or the school itself. In many cases, however, it might be proved that the accident or injury could have been prevented, especially if it happened in a classroom while a teacher was present or outside the classroom in a supervised area such as a playground or sports field. Here are some common examples of school injuries:

  • Fighting or bullying. Teachers may be held responsible if a child suffers from another child’s taunts or violence if it takes place in a classroom, a playground or anywhere else where supervision is supposed to be present.
  • Slip trip and fall injuries. These could be due to slippery floor surfaces, uneven or loose carpets, or other surfaces, food and / or drink spillages anywhere in the school or tripping over objects on the floor which should be neatly stored like school bags.
  • Sports injuries. Schools may be held responsible if an avoidable accident and injury took place on the school grounds.
  • School bus injuries. School bus drivers or other staff may be considered liable for damages if an accident took place on or near a school bus which was due to negligence.

Special problems with suing a public school

In the likely event that your child was injured at a public school, i.e. a school administered by a San Antonio school district you should be aware that suing the school is not as straightforward as suing a privately owned and administered entity. Theoretically, the school and its employees are protected from civil claims made against them by ‘sovereign immunity,’ a caveat which provides protection for all federal, state and city government agencies and those who work for them.

In practice, this immunity is waived when negligence can be proven, but suing a school district can be quite difficult. You are strongly advised to discuss your child’s injuries with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer. You will need to file an initial ‘notice of claim with the school district and wait for their decision to pay compensation. The claim must be accompanied by clear documentation that shows how the injury took place and why you think it was due to negligence. You cannot sue an individual employee of a government owned school. In many cases, your claim will be denied, but this allows you to pursue a personal injury claim instead. You will need legal help with such a claim. You will also need to be aware that Texas has stricter time limits when filing a claim against a government owned entity. The statute of limitations for claims against a government agency is 6 months from the date of the injury.

Your San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer, Dr. Louis Patino, can provide helpful legal advice if your child has been injured while at school and can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the San Antonio office of the Patino Law Firm on 833-210-4878 today.

If you are in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, consider contacting Ponte Vedra Family Law Attorney for your questions/guidance.