What to Do If Your Child Has Been Injured at School
School injuries by the numbers
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, anywhere from 10 to 25% of injuries due to accident that occur to children aged 14 years and younger happen at school. Thankfully, Safe Kids also reports that the majority of these injuries are accidental rather than intentional.
This fact gives little solace when it's your child who is injured while at school or on school property. All you can likely think about is how much pain your child is in and how to handle the injury. You rightfully want those responsible to own up to their responsibilities and hopefully learn from the occurrence. And since school injuries can cover nursery school to college aged children, there are numerous instances when we want to best protect our children throughout their educational lives.
How our children are injured at school
Even teachers are being injured in higher numbers than in the past. In the UK, the teacher's union NASUWT has won a record number of claims for its members, totaling almost $25 million in US dollars. If the teachers are being injured in higher numbers, our children are also at a higher risk of becoming injured.
There have also been record awards made here in the United States. In 2010, a New York football player sustained a neck injury during a football practice and he was paralyzed from the waist down. He was awarded $8 million in damages as a result.
The two main ways children sustain school injuries is through falls and school sports. These types of accidents can happen in a variety of ways, including:
•On the way to or from school on a school bus
•Lack of adequate training for teachers and coaches
•Inadequate equipment and maintenance on equipment
•Not being properly supervised
•Children taking risks
•Ignorance of safety procedures
Despite the statistics on school injuries, especially those sustained by school athletes, the court system does not always support the families and victims of school injuries. One notable case was that of a high school cheerleader who sustained a brain injury during practice. The lawsuit her family filed against the school to make the school take responsibility for having the cheerleaders practicing dangerous stunts on a hard surface was thrown out of court. Various other cases initiated by families of student athletes have been dismissed.
What can you do to protect your child?
In light of student injury cases being dismissed, as a parent, you must remain diligent about protecting your children from school injuries. There are things you can do to keep your children safe while they are at school, including:
•Discuss safety procedures with your child. Many schools send home information or post information on their websites about various safety protocols, including science lab safety to gym equipment guidelines. Go over these details with your children to make sure they understand how to use school equipment and facilities safely. This includes making sure they know who to contact if they or a schoolmate are injured while at school.
•Emphasize the importance of safe play. Children will take risks as a part of their growing identities, and certain age groups are more liable to engage in risky behavior, as are boys. Make sure your children understand the safe way to play with their classmates and on school playgrounds.
•Seek immediate medical attention if your child is injured at school. You will want to make sure to understand the extent of your child's injuries immediately after the initial injury occurs. Only a medical professional can make an accurate assessment on your child's injury and recovery. If you later decide to take legal action, you will need these medical records to support your case.
•Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately if your child is injured at school and you believe the school may be at fault. Because it can be difficult to bring a school injury lawsuit to fruition and win an award, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner you can start getting the help you need in documenting your child's accident and the responses from school officials. If you wait too long to seek legal counsel, crucial steps may be missed and your case may be jeopardized.
If your child is injured at school in Colorado, you may become
overwhelmed by the complexities of seeking treatment and getting answers to how the injury occurred. Here at Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we can help you with personalized attention as we get you and your child the award you will need to fund medical recovery and treatments. You will have your hands full with caring for your child and you shouldn't have to also worry about the legal aspects of a school injury lawsuit. Let us take care of that for you. We love to help and want the best for you and your family.
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