When parents send their children off to school for the day, they often assume that their children will return home safely. The worst injuries any parent expects are small scrapes from playing in the yard. Sometimes, though, children become seriously injured at school. Perhaps they fell off unsafe playground equipment, or a bully inflicted serious harm on them. When this is the case, what recourse do parents have? Can parents in New York sue schools for child injuries? In some cases, they can. Speaking with a child accident lawyer immediately after an accident is a good idea.
The Duty of New York Schools
Schools in New York cannot guarantee that accidents will not happen throughout the course of the day. For example, if a child is running while playing basketball at recess and falls, the school may not be liable for that accident if the basketball court was properly maintained and safe for play. However, if there were cracks in the pavement or the ground was made of an unacceptable material, schools could be held liable for an accident.
New York schools have a duty to ensure that the school building, playground, and all other areas of the property are safe for the children who use them. When they fail to do this, they are liable for any accidents that result from the unsafe condition. This means floors that have become wet and slippery must be properly mopped and dried, and schools must ensure that their playground equipment is updated and repaired when needed.
Additionally, New York schools are required by law to intervene when they see a child being bullied, or when fights erupt between two or more children. When they fail to do this, parents can hold the school liable for any injuries that result.
What to do if Your Child is Injured at School
It can be confusing for parents and children alike when kids become seriously injured at school. Parents in particular often want to take action, but are not sure how to do it. For this reason, it is important that all parents in New York know what to do if their child is ever injured at school.
First and foremost, of course, the child’s health is most important. It is crucial that the child receives medical treatment for any injuries as soon as possible. Even when a child tells a parent that he or she fell off of school equipment or was involved in a fight but does not seem injured, it is still important to take that child to a doctor. He or she may have injuries, such as a concussion, that will not show symptoms right away.
Children should also write down everything that happened leading up to the injury. They should include what they were doing at the time, who else was there, and any action taken by the school. If children cannot write these things down, they should tell their parents, who can then record the incident.
The next step parents should take is to call a personal injury attorney familiar with education law right away. Many times parents can take legal action if their child was hurt, but these lawsuits work differently than other personal injury claims. They are much more complex, and have a different statute of limitations and other procedural rules. An attorney will know what these are, and how to file a claim properly so parents and children can receive the compensation they need to deal with their injuries.
Was Your Child Hurt at School? Call a Long Child Injury Attorney
If your child was injured in a preventable accident at school, do not try to take on your case alone. Contact the experienced New York child injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe at (866) 878-6774. We will hold school officials responsible when they have been negligent and help you and your child get the compensation needed to help with the cost of their injuries. Call us or fill out our online form today for your free case evaluation.