Children, by their very nature, are often unaware of the many dangers that lay in wait for them at school. They think nothing of hanging upside down on a set of monkey bars, messing around with chemistry equipment, or running with their hands in their pockets when out on the playground. This does, however, mean that the onus cannot be on them to take care of their own safety. Schools must do everything that they reasonably can to protect children from harm.
The Most Common Accidents at School
There is a whole variety of accidents that children can be involved in at school. The two most common are covered below:
Any playground equipment should be well maintained and suitable for your child’s age. For example, if the school playground contains a climbing frame, there should be sufficient padding underneath it to cushion a child if they should fall. Children should also be supervised at all times while using it. If a child should fall from the equipment with these safety measures in place, it is unlikely you will be able to make a claim.
However, if your child’s school did not ensure that the equipment and the surrounding area were as safe as it could reasonably be, did not provide any guidance on how to use the equipment, and did not provide any supervision, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. You may also be able to claim if another child fell off the equipment and injured your child in the process.
Slips and Falls
The second most common way that children are injured at school is by slipping or tripping. Schools are responsible for ensuring that their premises are clear of any hazards that could lead to an accident. This includes ensuring that slippery floors are blocked off, and that any holes in the playground or sidewalks are filled in. If a school fails to keep hazards to a minimum, and your child is injured, you may be able to make a claim.
Again, it is important to take into account the age of the child and the circumstances that led to the accident. For example, while a sign illustrating a slippery floor may be enough to prevent a teenager from walking on it, the same cannot be said for a kindergarten student. In this case, the parent of a kindergarten student could make a claim, but the parent of a teenager probably wouldn’t be successful.
Speak to a Lawyer
The best way to work out whether your child has a personal injury claim is to speak to a personal injury attorney. You’ll want to speak to someone who has experience with child and school injuries where possible, so make sure to ask about previous cases and the outcomes. Your attorney will be able to give you advice on whether you have a claim, and how the claim’s process will progress. Don’t be afraid to get legal advice.