Can a School District Be Sued for Injuries to Students?
Injuries to students while they are at school can be traumatizing, for the parents, the students and even the school staff. Although most school injuries are minor, including scrapes, bruises or cuts, students have been injured severely while at school.
Playground equipment, physical education and even classroom activities can lead to injury. When students begin to get older, they may start playing organized sports, increasing their risk of injury. If your child is injured at school, however, who can be held liable for the injury?
Who Is Legally Responsible?
If your child is injured at school, the liability for that injury can be complicated. Even if another student caused the injury, it does not mean the school district may be relieved of responsibility.
If the students were not being properly supervised or if a teacher didn’t take steps to prevent the injury, you may have a claim against the district. There are many different scenarios in which injuries to students may be lead to liability on the school district, including bus accidents.
Because most school districts are considered a governmental entity, they often have what is known as sovereign immunity. This means that employees are immune from lawsuits except under a few specific exceptions.
The district itself may not be immune from a civil suit, however, after a student injury. However, there are often specific procedures you must follow in order to file a lawsuit and failing to follow those procedures could result in a court automatically dismissing a suit.
File a Formal Claim
Although each district is different, most require that you file a claim after injuries to students. The claim must be in writing and the district may have a specific reporting form you must use. In some cases, you may only have between 60 and 90 days to file the claim, so don’t delay. Failure to file the form in time could result in the state prohibiting you from not only collecting on that claim, but also from filing any type of lawsuit in court for the injury.
Once the claim is filed, you must wait for the outcome from the district. If they deny the claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit. If the district takes no action, you may be able to file a claim three to six months after the form was submitted to the district.
If your child suffered an injury at school, contact Lundy Law today to see if you are eligible to file a claim against the school district. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or by completing the easy form on our website.