We often view schools as a safe place where children can grow and learn in healthy ways. Unfortunately, there are often many dangers present at schools that can cause children to experience serious injuries and even death. Schools have a duty to take every reasonable action to protect the children in their care. When a school fails to do what is reasonable and their negligence causes a child to be injured or killed, the child has the right to seek compensation for their damages.
If your child sustained an injury while at school, reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney who can assist you with your case. California law regarding school liability is complex, and an attorney can ensure you and your child receive fair compensation.
California School Duties
Courts in California have established that schools have a duty to protect children in schools. The school is required to provide adequate supervision for all children in their care. While the school is not considered an insurer of the student’s safety, the school district does have a legal duty to act with reasonable care in supervising children in its charge. When the proximate cause of an injury was due to the failure of a school to exercise reasonable care, they can be liable for the injuries. Therefore, if the school failed to provide supervision and a child suffers an injury, and the injury could have been avoided had the school exercised proper supervision, there may be a liability claim.
Examples of potential negligent conduct by school administrators, teachers, coaches and school districts include the following:
- Failing to properly maintain buses and means of transportation
- A lack of adequate supervision during extracurricular activities, recess, lunch, and breaks;
- Failing to prepare food in a sanitary and safe manner;
- Having inadequate emergency plans for fires, tornados, earthquakes, school shootings, etc.;
- Failing to repair equipment, grounds, and unsafe structures; and
- Failing to supervise and have adequate safety measures for sports and physical activities.
This is not an exhaustive list of potential situations where a school might be liable. If your child’s injury doesn’t fit any of these scenarios, contact us to discuss potential legal action.
WHO IS LIABLE FOR AN INJURY AT A SCHOOL FIELD TRIP?
Under California Education Code Section 35330(d), the law states that anyone attending a field trip, including teachers, students, and chaperones, waives liability in case of an injury or death. In the case of an out-of-state field trip, adults and guardians must also sign a liability waiver. This waiver is not all-inclusive, meaning the school doesn’t have immunity from negligence.
However, you can expect the school will argue comparative negligence. Proving negligence on a field trip is very much like incidents that occur on school grounds. You must provide evidence that demonstrates:
- The school owed your child a duty of care;
- The school breached this duty in some way;
- The breach is what led to your child being injured on the field trip; and
- Your child has actual injuries and losses.
Even if the school is clearly at fault, they will argue your child is primarily to blame. Why? Because the greater the liability percentage they can place on your child, the less exposure the school has. California is a pure comparative negligence state, so the school will argue the maximum fault on your child because it reduces the money they owe your family.
For example, if a jury finds the school was 80% at fault, you’ll receive 80% of your child’s damages. If a jury says the school was only 10% at fault, they only owe you 10% of your child’s losses. That difference can be significant when you’re talking about severe accidents involving an injury at school.
Injuries That May Give Rise to Claims Against a School
Common examples of injuries that may result in school liability include the following:
- Playground injuries,
- Bullying and physical violence injuries,
- Bus accidents,
- Chemical exposure and burns,
- Sexual abuse or assault,
- Shaken baby syndrome,
- Broken bones,
- Scratches, cuts, burns,
- Brain damage and head injuries, and
- Violence leading to injury or death.
If your child sustained an injury at school, it’s important to contact an experienced California school injury lawyer. At Silva Injury Law, we know what a difficult and stressful time this can be for you and your family. Let us help you understand your legal rights.
What to Do If Your Child Has Been Injured At School
If your child has been injured as a result of a school’s negligence, there are specific steps that must be followed. As the required steps and claims include time specific and detailed information, it is best to pursue your claim with the assistance of an attorney. With an experienced attorney at Silva Injury Law, you can be certain that all deadlines and requirements will be met and that your child receives the compensation they deserve.
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law, we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look out for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in-person or remote consultation.
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.