September to May. That’s the nine months of the year that our schools take care of our little ones five days a week. School should be a fun, happy, and safe learning environment, but of course, that’s not always the case. Kids can be wildly unpredictable and rambunctious, as any parent knows. But when accidents occur, who is responsible? If your son comes home with a broken collar bone from falling down the stairs, is that the school’s fault? Maybe. But was he running down the stairs, or dancing down the stairs, or trying something crazy like walking on his hands down the stairs? Were the stairs damaged? Was there standing water? There are lots of questions when kids get hurt at school.
Our schools are required to provide a safe place for the students. This means that the school should take steps in preventing bullying, maintaining the physical safety of the structure of the school and outdoor areas, and securing the school from people entering without permission. In nearly all cases where kids are hurt at school, it comes down to a question of negligence. Did the school fail to uphold its pledge to provide a safe place for the kids?
Here are some examples of when the school may be responsible for child injury:
- Evacuation plans were deficient or alarms did not perform properly in an emergency
- Bullying was known to be taking place, but the teachers and staff did nothing about it
- A vehicle strikes a child who was playing outdoors, but the area was not properly secured and/or a teacher or administrator was not adequately supervising the situation
- A child needing medication did not receive it properly
- Damaged stairs or walls were not cordoned off, or the school knew of the damage and did nothing about it
- Negligence on the part of the cafeteria personnel led to food being spoiled and then being served to the students
- The school bus was involved in an accident, or the bus struck the child while entering or exiting
- A person entered school grounds without being identified and monitored by school staff
If your child is injured at school, it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Always follow your doctor’s advice and complete the treatment. But you should also contact legal assistance immediately. Lawsuits against schools are tricky, and having a lawyer with you at each step of the way is a great help in the long run. You may receive compensation for your child’s injury and expert legal advice is critical throughout the process. Call the Birmingham child injury lawyers at Guster Law Firm, LLC today at (205) 386-6844 if your child has been injured at school.