Sending your children off to school can be daunting. Whether you’re putting them on the bus to kindergarten for the first time or driving them to their first day of high school, putting the care of your children in the trust of someone else can be difficult. Our educators and school districts do a fine job of protecting our children and overseeing their best interests. In some cases, however, they may sustain an injury while in their care. If your child is hurt on school property, is the district liable for his or her injuries? It really depends- but our KCMO attorneys will be able to answer your questions and craft a legal plan.
School Liability and Claims of Negligent Supervision
Nearly 14 million children report injuries in any given year, and nearly a quarter of these incidents happen at school. While not all reports of school injury are due to negligence, some may be. When children are in school, the district is responsible for providing shelter, transportation, food, and a safe environment for learning. School injuries fall under a wide range of scenarios, including:
Bus accidents, which may involve negligent hiring or improper training.
Playground injuries, which may stem from defective playground equipment, improper maintenance of the school grounds, or inadequate supervision.
Food poisoning, which may result from improper preparation or storage of food.
Slip and fall injuries resulting from inadequate maintenance of school grounds or lack of snow or ice removal.
Exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos and lead-based paint.
Injuries resulting from lack of emergency preparedness.
Injuries during extracurricular activities or sports.
While a school injury may fall under premises or product liability, the most common claims are those of negligent supervision. If your child incurred injury because of caregiver inattention, he or she may be liable for any damages. Examples of caregivers include:
A school district failing to hire enough supervisors for recess.
A teacher failing to protect students from dangers on a field trip.
A child ingesting a poisonous substance left out on a counter.
Failure to monitor a violent or bullying child.
School Versus Parent Liability
In some cases, such as instances of bullying, a parent may be responsible for your child’s injuries. The law requires schools to provide a reasonably safe environment, but they may not have reason to believe a student experienced harassment. If a school cannot reasonably foresee harm to a student, then it may be the parents who are liable for damages. Bullying cases vary widely from case to case and depend on the unique circumstances surrounding the harassment.
Your Kansas City School Injury Attorneys
Schools and municipal bodies, and civil suits of this nature, feature a shorter statute of limitations and strict filing deadlines. These cases require an attorney with specific experience in these types of cases. At Wendt Law P.C., our Kansas City personal injury attorneys are committed to helping you hold others accountable for negligence. To talk to us about your school injury case and learn how we can help, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.