Friday, September 4, 2015

Can You Recover After an Injury that Occurs at School?

Millions of adults and children are injured in school buildings and on school campuses each year. Schools, like other public places, are required to keep their premises in a state that does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Unfortunately, this does not always occur, sometimes resulting in devastating injuries that may even result in long-term complications and disabilities. In many cases, people who are injured at school are able to assert a legal claim against the institution in order to recover for the losses associated with their injury. As a result, anyone injured in an accident that takes place at or around a school should retain a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. Injured victims should not hesitate to call the Dolman Law Group today to secure legal representation. Claims based on accidents that occur at school are subject to a strict statute of limitations, so victims should be sure to call our office as soon as possible.

Claims may be based on negligent supervision
Schools that have a student body that is made up primarily of children, such as elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, have a duty to properly supervise the children that attend their institutions. Negligent supervision claims can arise when a teacher or other person in a position of authority fails to supervise a child to the extent that a reasonable person would, and that that failure resulted in a child’s injury. This type of claim can occur when the negligent supervision results in an accident, or when the negligent supervision results in one child harming another.

Public schools and sovereign immunity
When an accident occurs at a private school, a lawsuit will proceed as any lawsuit would between two private parties. If the accident occurs at a public school, a special set of legal rules will be triggered due to the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. Simply put, sovereign immunity prevents the government from being sued except to the extent to which it has consented to such a lawsuit. Fortunately for Florida students and their families, the Florida government has consented to such lawsuits in Florida Statute §768.28.1 It is important for victims to note that the statute significantly limits liability to $200,000 per claim or $300,000 per occurrence, but these may be exceeded if the agency being sued has insurance liability in excess of these limits.

Injuries sustained at school can be extremely serious                                           
Almost every person reading this will likely be able to remember taking a tumble on the playground or during gym class while growing up. These types of incidents are usually not legally actionable and generally result in treatment in the school nurse’s office. In some cases, however, accidents that occur at school can be extremely serious. Some of the more common serious injuries that can be sustained at school include the following:
  • Traumatic brain injuries2
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burns
  • Concussions
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Crush injuries

These and other injuries that people can sustain while at school have the potential to result in complications that may affect them for years or even decades. In some cases, a serious school injury may even result in disabilities that prevent promising young students from pursuing their educational and professional goals. As a result, anyone injured in an accident that takes place at a school should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Contact a Clearwater personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation

People who have been injured while at school or on a school’s campus should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible, as should parents of children who are injured while at school. In many cases, victims of school-related accidents are entitled to significant compensation for their losses, including those related to medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost income, and loss of future earning potential, among others. The skilled Clearwater personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping people who have been injured in preventable accidents recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call our office today at 727-451-6900. 

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756