Every parent sends their child to school with the expectation they’ll be safe and protected within the school’s walls. In fact, the California constitution provides children with an inalienable right to safe and secure schools. This is because education is mandatory – either you must send your children to school, or educate them at home. In return, children MUST be provided with a safe and secure learning environment. Jassim Law is here to help you ensure that your child’s school holds up their end of the deal.
Schools are places of learning and growth, where children should be shielded from harm to the best of the institution’s abilities. However, in any environment, accidents can occur, leaving children injured and parents seeking answers. When such incidents occur, it’s important for parents to understand who is liable so they can pursue fair compensation for their child.
Beyond seeking justice for your injured child, holding schools and districts accountable help ensure a safer environment for ALL children. This is because schools, like the students they educate, can learn from their mistakes and either implement new policies or change policies to make the environment safer.
When a Child Is Injured at School, Who Is Liable and Why?
While schools are generally considered safe environments, accidents can happen anywhere. When a child is injured at school, it’s important to understand the complexities that arise during such cases. Multiple people are responsible for a child’s safety while on school grounds, and it’s essential to investigate the circumstances of the injury carefully to pinpoint the liable party.
Every school and every teacher has a duty to supervise students. This is the law set forth in California Education Code Section 44807: “Every teacher in the public schools shall hold pupils to a strict account for their conduct on the way to and from school, on the playgrounds, or during recess… “ This means that teachers, and other school employees, are required to strictly supervise students, to essentially stand in the shoes of the parents while children are at school.
School districts have a legal duty to provide a safe and secure environment for their students, including maintaining the physical premises, implementing safety protocols, and ensuring adequate supervision. A school may be liable for the following:
- Negligent maintenance: broken staircases, slippery floors, and malfunctioning equipment can lead to injury
- Inadequate security: failing to provide adequate security for students can result in accidents or incidents that harm the students
- Negligent hiring or supervision: a school district must do their negligence when hiring staff because when they fail to do so, they may hire someone with a history of misconduct that may create a harmful situation for the students
School districts that don’t do what they can to protect students are putting them at risk, opening them up to being held liable for damages should a student be injured as a result of their negligence.
Teachers, coaches, and administrators are entrusted with the safety and well-being of students during school hours. They can be personally liable for injuries for the following actions:
- Negligent supervision: failing to supervise students properly, especially in activities that require close monitoring, can lead to injuries
- Inappropriate conduct: staff members who engage in misconduct, bullying, or physical altercations may be held personally liable
- Students Injuring Each Other: Sometimes students fight, bully, harass, or injure each other. Schools are aware of this, and are trained to watch for such behavior, prevent it, and report it.
- Failure to report: staff members who fail to report known safety hazards or incidents may be considered negligent, or fail to report abuse
Schools cannot always ensure safety, nor are they required to, however if a child is injured because the school or employee failed to do what is required of them, they can be held responsible.
While it’s understandable to think the school specifically is responsible for a child’s injury, sometimes liability falls on the staff members. It’s important to understand the nuances of liability law, and the best way to ensure you hold the right party or parties accountable is to work with an experienced San Diego school injury attorney.
Contractors and Vendors
Schools contract third parties for various services, such as maintenance, construction, transportation, or food services. Liability may extend to these contracts and vendors if the following apply:
- Negligence: their actions result in an accident or injuries on school premises or during school-related activities
- Defective products or services: injuries caused by defective products, such as faulty equipment or contaminated food
Determining that a third party had a hand or was the main contributor to a child being injured on school grounds is a complex process. Ensure that all angles of your child’s injury case are examined closely by working with a dedicated and diligent San Diego, CA school injury lawyer.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Children are growing, and when they’re injured, it can have an immense impact on their growth, education, social and general development and health. It’s important for the adults in their lives to do what they can to ensure their safety. Schools are entrusted with the care of children and, as a result, can be held liable should a child be harmed as a result of negligence. An attorney can make all the difference in a school injury case, helping parents go up against the liable parties to obtain fair compensation for their child. An attorney can help with the following:
Immediate and Thorough Investigation
From the start, an attorney understands the importance of immediate action. They’ll thoroughly investigate every detail of your case, ensuring no crucial information is overlooked. It’s always important to examine every detail of a case, especially in school injury cases where multiple parties may have played a role in the circumstances that led to the child’s injury.
Evidence Collection and Preservation
Vital evidence and witness statements are the backbone of any personal injury case. A San Diego school injury attorney will take charge of collecting and preserving this critical evidence. Whether it’s photographs of the accident scene, surveillance videos, medical records, or witness statements, they’ll ensure that nothing is lost or destroyed.
Retaining the Best Experts
Complex personal injury cases, such as school and youth sports injury cases, often require expert testimony. Your attorney will have a network of professionals, such as medical experts, to provide insights and evidence that strengthen your case.
Securing Evidence and Documentation
Beyond physical evidence, a San Diego, CA school injury lawyer secures any necessary documentation, including police reports, medical records, and other relevant paperwork. They can also gather additional witness statements as needed to bolster your case.
Access to Quality Medical Care
Your attorney assists you in accessing quality medical care, regardless of your health insurance coverage. They prioritize your well-being and work to ensure you receive the best treatment possible.
Paperwork and Deadlines
Navigating the legal process can be overwhelming, but your lawyer ensures that all paperwork is filed correctly and submitted on time, avoiding any potential delays or setbacks. There are strict deadlines for filing claims against public schools, usually 6 months from the date of injury.
Whether inside or outside the courtroom, your lawyer will advocate aggressively for your child’s rights and best interests. They will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Negotiating with all parties involved is crucial to securing a fair settlement. Your lawyer skillfully negotiates on your behalf, striving to achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact an Experienced San Diego School Injury Lawyer
When your child is injured, it’s natural for emotions to run high; that’s why it’s important to partner with a dedicated San Diego school injury lawyer who can help you successfully navigate the claim process. Jassim Law, with over 20 years of experience, has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to handling high-value, complicated injury cases. We empathize with personal injury victims and actively contribute to keeping our communities safer.
Attorney Pajman Jassim has demonstrated his commitment to legal excellence and justice. As a graduate of the prestigious Trial Lawyers College, Pajam Jassim’s dedication to justice led him to be selected as a SuperLawyer for multiple conservative years, a recognition bestowed upon only a fraction of legal professionals. With an Avvo.com rating of “10.00” and distractions as a “Top Employment Attorney’ and “Top Contributor in Personal Injury,” Pajam Jassim is a trusted advocate for those facing formidable corporate, government, and insurance defendants. When you choose Jassim Law, you choose an attorney with a remarkable track record and an unwavering commitment to your rights and well-being.
Jassim Law offers free consultations and goes the extra mile by coming to you, ensuring your comfort and convenience during difficult times. We also provide video, Zoom, or telephone consultations to accommodate your needs. You don’t need to take our word for it—just read the reviews from real clients who have experienced the difference Jassim Law can make. Contact us today by calling (619) 554-0624 or completing our contact form.