Every year, around 3 million kids get injured while on school property. Schools must provide a reasonably safe area for their students, and if they fail to do so, may be held liable by the child’s parents or guardian. The staff at the school have an obligation to protect the kids from any preventable harm, which applies to both private and public schools. If you are a parent and your child endured serious injury due to a slip and fall accident while at school, then it is in their best interest to speak with an attorney quickly for advice.
Here are some common questions parents ask when their child has suffered because of a slip and fall incident while at school:
What areas must be safe for students?
The playground, cafeteria, classrooms, and gym equipment must all be safe to use. Children must also be supervised while playing in groups with their friends. Because the school is responsible for keeping the property safe, negligence may result in a slip and fall injury lawsuit.
Are there any differences when filing a claim when it comes to a private or public school?
Yes, if your son or daughter was hurt at a private school, then you would file action against the school directly. However, if your child had a slip and fall at a public school, then the school district may be held liable since public schools are considered government agencies. Bringing a case against a government entity is more challenging, as there are certain rules that you must follow when filing a lawsuit. For instance, you may only have a certain period of time to file a case before your statute of limitations expires.
What is the first step if I want to file a slip and fall case against a public school?
Anyone considering taking legal action must speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. When pursuing a slip and fall case against a government entity, you first have to submit a written claim to that school, in which they will accept or deny the case prior to an official lawsuit being filed.
Within this notice, contact information regarding the victim, details of the incident, and contact for the victim’s doctor must be provided. The school will have six months to respond by denying the request or agreeing to pay some or the entirety of the damages. If the parent doesn’t hear back from the school within six months, then they have the right to continue with a lawsuit.
A slip and fall accident is considered a premises liability case, so there are three elements that must be proven through evidence in order to win:
- The party being sued is the rightful owner of the property
- The victim who was injured had reason to be present on the property
- Negligence was committed on behalf of the property owner
If you think you might have a slip and fall case, contact a slip and fall law firm, like a Washington DC slip and fall law firm, as soon as possible.
Thanks to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into slip and fall accidents that happen on school property.