Accidents at School: Who is Liable?

While accidents on school grounds are inevitable, parents want to know that their children are safe and secure when sending them to school. According to the law, administrators and teachers must do all that they can reasonably do to decrease the possibility of accidents and injuries. When a child is injured at daycare or school, the first things most parents want to know are: Who is responsible? And Who is going to pay for any medical bills? Answering these questions requires a complete understanding of legal negligence that not only applies to school administrators and teachers, but also to your child.

School Liability After an Injury

The United States courts have placed an obligation upon the school administrators and teachers to provide a legal duty of care. This obligation is set in place to ensure that each student receives adequate protection from accidental injuries while on school premises, and means that schools must do everything they reasonably can to safeguard students from potential harm, injury or death. This includes offering a safe environment for students to learn and play. Any known dangerous conditions on the premises must be eliminated in a timely fashion.

Furthermore, proper supervision must be provided while on school grounds, buses or school-sponsored events off-site including extracurricular activities and field trips. Should a school fail to protect the students from foreseeable harm, they have acted negligently. After being deemed negligent, the school will be held liable for the student or student's' injuries. The student and their parents can then file a lawsuit against the school for negligence, and possibly be awarded compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

In Loco Parentis and The Prudent Teacher Theory

The legal doctrine in loco parentis, meaning in place of the parent, is a doctrine that governs teachers and other school administrators. This legal doctrine states that the school officials in charge of the children take the responsibility in place of the parents. Henceforth, the liability for any accidents or injuries sustained by any child or children falls upon the teacher or administrator who is supervising them.

However, a court will examine the case and determine negligence and liability under the prudent teacher doctrine. This doctrine questions if the teacher or administrator failed to act prudently or carefully.

Proving Liability After an Accident at School

If you have a child who was hurt at school and wish to pursue compensation for the damage sustained, it is important to gather proof to corroborate the claim. Photographs, witness statements and medical evidence will support a case. It can be difficult to collect all of this substantiating information while taking your child to doctor's appointments and maintaining normal, day-to-day life. To ensure the best results when filing a claim, it is highly recommended to consult with an expert school injury attorney first. A school injury lawyer will also assist in assembling the data so you can focus on helping your child recover from any damage endured.

When handling any personal injury claim on your own, it is easy to make a mistake that can jeopardize the outcome. A school accident lawyer, with years of experience, can increase your chance of obtaining a higher settlement to cover all of the expenses caused by the accident. If your child has been hurt at school and you would like to discuss your options with a professional who has years of experience, call The Eason Law Firm at (314) 932-1066 or submit our online contact form today!

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