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What To Know About Your Legal Rights If Your Child Is Injured At School


When your child goes to school, you expect they will be safe from harm and properly supervised at all times. After all, schools are meant to be safe places for kids to learn and play. Administrators and teachers have responsibilities not only to educate, but to keep kids safe and happy.

Unfortunately, we know this is not always the case. Injuries on school grounds happen more often than we would hope, due to numerous factors. These could include:

  • Poor supervision
  • Negligent maintenance of school grounds and fixtures
  • Inadequate security
  • Overcrowded classrooms
  • Abuse by staff or students.

Almost 2,000 injuries requiring ER visits happen at U.S. schools every month, with elementary-age children being the most likely to suffer injuries at school. School injuries can be caused by various factors such as falls, faulty equipment or furniture, or collisions. Common school injuries include:

  • Lacerations
  • Abrasions and contusions
  • Strains and sprains
  • Fractures.

While some school injuries can be minor, others cause lasting damage or even permanent disfigurement. When these things happen, parents are left to wonder what their options are. In many of these situations, parents can pursue a legal claim for damages on behalf of their injured child. If the injury can be attributed to negligence by school staff or others at the facility, a personal injury lawsuit might help a family recover for the damages their child sustained.

To recover personal injury damages in a school injury case, the family of an injured student must show negligence by the school or its staff. To do so, they must demonstrate:

  1. Acceptable standards of care that a school should have followed (their “duty of care”);
  2. Breach of duty by the school;
  3. A causal connection between the school’s breach of duty and the child’s injuries;
  4. Damages suffered by the child and their family as a result.

In a school bullying situation, a family might also be able to sue the parents of the other child involved with injuries related to bullying. These cases are highly fact-sensitive and it is important to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to determine the best course of recovery.

The ease of recovery in court can also depend on whether the injury occurred at a public school or private school. Public schools may be entitled to governmental immunity under Washington State law, depending on the circumstances of the injury and the facts involved. Private schools face a different set of standards as they don’t enjoy the same protections from civil lawsuits as public schools do. An attorney with experience in these situations can help you determine how to recover from either type of school, depending on the situation.

Our Seattle Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Your Family Recover After a School-Related Injury 

When a child is injured at school, it is a traumatic experience for them and for the whole family. If the injury is serious, it might be wise to consider your legal options – not only for the injury itself but for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. The experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys at the Emerald Law Group can help a family on their path to recovery and determine all legal options available. Our legal team has helped many people across the Seattle metro area obtain compensation for injuries including those suffered in a school setting. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please visit our firm online or call for a free consultation at 206-823-0792.


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