When you send your child to school, you expect them to be safe. However, every year thousands of students are injured in accidents. If your child has been injured in an accident you need to take action today to protect their rights.
Who Counts as a Student?
Schools and colleges often have special duties to students that go beyond the duties a business owes to customers. Part of the issue in student accidents is in determining exactly who is a student. There is not an age limit on students. All that is required for a school to have special duties towards another person is that person is enrolled in the school, or is visiting the school in preparation of enrollment.
Even if you only take one class at a community college, you have all the protections extended to all students. When adults are the victims of student accidents, the adult student is responsible for finding a lawyer and making a claim.
When a student is under 18, there are special issues. A child is not able to make their own claims, even when they are the ones that have been injured. Most of the time a parent or guardian will need to make claims on the child’s behalf. In some circumstances a court must enter an order authorizing an adult to settle a claim on behalf of a child.
If your child has been injured, it is crucial that you get the help of an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer right away. If you make a mistake you could cost your child the chance to ever recover damages.
Types and Causes of Student Accidents
Because schools are so different, there are many different types of student accidents. Some of the most common types of accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Bus accidents
- Slip and fall cases
- Desk collapse
- Lead poisoning
- Food poisoning
- Allergic reactions
- Athletic injuries
Many times these injuries are caused by the negligence or intentional actions of teachers, administrators, janitorial staff, or district employees. Schools are required by federal law to train and supervise employees. They must also have safety plans and make efforts to keep school property safe. When these duties breakdown, accidents occur. Some common causes of student accidents include:
- Distracted drivers
- Poorly maintained facilities
- Failure to properly clean school property
- Failure to supervise school employees
- Inadequate background checks
- Contaminated water or food
- Failure to properly train employees
- Failure to properly supervise students
- Defective equipment
Student accidents may have more than one cause. School districts, contractors, and employees may all have some level of responsibility for causing an accident.
Common Student Injuries
While many injuries from student accidents are minor, serious injuries sometimes result. If you or your student has been involved in even a minor student accident, the student needs a medical exam. Sometimes things are only discovered after an exam. Some neck, back, and head injuries will not show any symptoms until days after the accident.
Getting a medical exam if you do not need urgent care helps to document the accident and makes sure your student can begin healing as quickly as possible.
Common types of injuries in student accidents include:
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Internal bleeding
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries
- Heart attacks
Claims and Compensation
What happens after a student accident? Often the school will conduct some type of internal investigation. But the results of that investigation will probably not be shared with the student or the student’s family. From the second the accident occurs the clock that governs how long you have to bring a claim begins ticking. It is up to you as the adult student or as the parent of a child student to start the claims process.
Schools have no desire to pay out on claims if they do not have to. Schools and school districts will usually give very little information about how to make a claim. Your best bet is to retain a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your claim.
Because most schools are also governmental bodies, having a lawyer on your side is even more important. Most states have created special procedures and short time frames to file claims against schools and other governmental bodies.
Most claims are settled out of court. Even if a lawsuit is filed, most claims do not go all the way to a formal trial. Your personal injury lawyer can evaluate your claim and help you get the compensation you are entitled to. This may include money for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.
We are here to help you find the right lawyer for your case. Once you contact us, we can put you in contact with a skilled personal injury lawyer who understands student accident cases.