Sending a child to school should not entail concern about whether he/she will get injured. However, when accidents do happen that result in a child being injured, it is crucial to determine if the fault lies with the child or the school. In cases where the school holds responsibility, retaining the services of an experienced premises liability or personal injury attorney can help recoup some of the costs associated with recovering from any resulting injury.
One source notes the potential for some 300 lawsuits to be filed against the NCAA relating to concussion-like symptoms suffered by football players at colleges across the country. Although the source looks at liability at the college level, it nevertheless does bring up the general question of when a school can be liable for injuries suffered by its students.
In most cases, liability to the school will be based on either the legal theories of personal injury or premises liability. In both cases, an injured plaintiff, in order to be successful, will have to show that the school did not adhere to its responsibility to keep the student free of any dangerous conditions. In either case, if it can be shown that this dereliction of duty directly caused the injury to the student, the injured student may be able to hold the school liable.
However, in Illinois, as in other states, government-based schools are able to potentially claim immunity from liability. Specifically, a local public entity, such as a school, while it has the duty to exercise a level of ordinary care to maintain the school property in a reasonably safe condition for its intended use by persons permitted to be on the property (i.e., students), cannot typically be held liable for any injury that occurs on school property. Nevertheless, an exception exists – if it could be proven that the school had actual or constructive notice of the existence of an unsafe condition, and had time to remedy the condition, but did not do so, then the school may be held liable for any injuries caused by that condition.
As can be seen, while it may be relatively easy to find liability on behalf of the school, the issue that can derail any compensation is whether the school is immune from liability. Based on the law, a plaintiff must prove that the school knew of the dangerous condition, but took no steps to correct the condition.
In the premises liability arena, dangerous conditions may manifest in the following examples:
As this is a very subjective matter, talk to an experienced personal injury or premises liability attorney for advice as to whether the school can be held liable.
If your child suffered an injury while on school grounds or in conjunction with a school-sponsored event, and you are curious about whether the school can be held liable, contact an experienced personal injury or premises liability attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Dupage County personal injury attorneys at Mevorah Law Office, LLC have years of experience in personal injury matters, including injuries occurring to students while involved with a school function. If we decide that responsibility for the injury can be attributable to the school, we will work to ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible. Contact us at 815-727-4500 for a free consultation.
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