Injuries to a child can happen anywhere, including when they are at school. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions about whether or not you can sue a school if a personal injury occurs to your child while they are in attendance. Government agencies have what is known as sovereign immunity, which exempts them from being liable in lawsuits. However, don't let that deter you because there are situations where you can win a lawsuit with a school over a personal injury to your child.
Understanding Sovereign Immunity
Sovereign immunity is designed to protect the government from frivolous lawsuits, but government agencies can still be sued if they're very negligent. A school may also have insurance that provides protection against lawsuits, which gives an advantage since the policy is designed to provide financial protection. You'll be more likely to receive the money you win in a judgment thanks to an insurance policy.
Private schools do not have the same sovereign immunity as a government-run school, so you can sue them just like if they were a business in civil court.
Understanding Staff and Teacher Obligations
A school should be an environment that is safe for students, and the staff and teachers of a school have a responsibility to prevent any dangers that are foreseeable. For instance, if a teacher were to notice that a piece of playground equipment was broken and not safe, they have a responsibility to tell the appropriate administrative member so that the children are prevented from playing on it.
Understanding Foreseeable Risk
Kids can cause harm to each other, and it's difficult to predict if there will be a violent incident between two students. However, a school must take preventative measures to discourage this type of behavior. While you may have little chance of winning a lawsuit if a fight happened in a washroom, you would have a serious case on your hands if the fight happened in a classroom with teachers present and nobody stepped in to stop it.
Understanding Statute of Limitation Laws
Each state will have their own laws regarding the statute of limitations for a lawsuit. If you do not act within that time frame, you will lose your right to file a lawsuit against the school. The best way to understand that you are doing everything within the law is to work with an attorney in your area. They can guide you through the process of filing your lawsuit and make sure that you have the best chance of winning your case. Talk to a professional from a company like Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC about your particular case.