What to Do Before You Sue a School for Your Child’s Injury
When your child gets injured at school, you might wonder if you can sue the school district for liability in the injury. A reasonable expectation of safety exists for a child going to school. When children get injured, parents can sue a school and receive financial compensation.
However, suing your child’s school or the school district is not as easy as it sounds. Specifically, strict regulations and restrictions in Iowa protect schools and school districts from lawsuits. Here’s what you need to do before attempting to sue your child’s school in the event of an injury.
Get Medical Treatment
The first thing you need to do before even hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit is to get your child medical treatment. During this time, your doctor will make detailed notes in your child’s file. They will describe how the injury occurred and the injury itself. Additionally, they will describe how the injury affects your child’s ability to learn and function, and the recommended treatment.
Once treatment is complete, your doctor will give you all your medical bills and medical reports that you can use for your filing.
Find Out About School District Immunity
Your school district might have school district immunity. By way of definition, immunity grants high levels of protection to government entities, such as schools. In this specific context, immunity can protect school districts from lawsuits. Whether or not you can sue your school district will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
For example, does the school district know if maintenance issues exist at your child’s school and has not done anything to correct them? You could sue them for negligence in this matter if your child was hurt.
Find Out What the School Is Liable For
When your child becomes injured at school, you must prove the school’s fault due to negligence. This must be done any time a parent wishes to sue a school. A certain expectation of care and due diligence on the part of teachers and support staff exists to help prevent children from receiving injuries while in their care.
For example, say your child’s injury came from falling off of faulty playground equipment. In this case, liability lies with the school for not maintaining the playground. If the school is not clean and tidy, if the child has slipped and fallen due to water on the floor, or if they tripped over an object left in the hallways, this is potential for a lawsuit.
Another example relates to bullying. Say that your child’s injury occurred because of a bully, while on schools ground. The school has a legal duty to prevent and intervene when they have student-on-student violence. This responsibility begins the moment the child get onto a school bus and ends when the child leaves the school at the end of the day.
The compensation your child can receive due to damages from bullying can include medical or dental bills or any therapy sessions. The compensation may also include any lost wages for either the parent or if the child is a teenager and has a job, as well as any medications, crutches, as well as pain and suffering.
What If My Child’s Hurt On the Way to School?
If your child was injured while traveling to or from school, the school district still bares the responsibility of keeping your child safe. Especially if they take any school-offered transportation such as a school bus. Most notably, if you child experiences injury because of faulty brakes or an accident, the school has some liability. In addition, if your child sustains any other injury occurring while on the bus, the school holds partial responsibility.
If your child received an injury at school due to negligence or school bullying, contact Galligan Law for a consultation today.