Parents May Be Able to Hold the School, the District, or the Staff Accountable When Their Children Suffer Accidents at School in New Jersey.
School provides New Jersey children with more than just academic opportunities. Education and development happen in many ways, through relationship-building with other students and with adults, school and classroom culture, and extracurricular activities. Throughout all of the various activities of the school, responsible adults, the school, and the school system have a duty of care to ensure that children experience a safe environment. However, they sometimes fail at this integral mission, a concept rooted in negligence, which may provide the basis for a personal injury claim. If your child has been injured at school in New Jersey, you may be able to recover financial damages for your child’s medical expenses and much more. Contact our legal team at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh to receive a complimentary review of your case, and read on to learn more about the myriad of potential school injuries and who can be held liable when these tragic incidents occur.
Understanding the Duty of Care in NJ School Settings
Every adult working at the school, the school’s administrative and maintenance branches, and the school district have a strict duty of care obligation. Duty of care is a person or entity’s responsibility to follow a standard of care that prevents foreseeable harm to those in their charge, in this case students and staff. Charged with a duty of care, a school or school district may face negligence claims if someone is injured due to preventable or negligent circumstances.
The Role of Negligence in School Injury Claims in New Jersey
Part of a school’s duty of care is to maintain the premises in a clean, functional, and safe manner that prevents injuries. A school must provide regular maintenance, quickly clean spills or repair impaired handrails or lighting, and prepare for or clean up after adverse weather conditions that create unsafe walkways or fixtures. Failure to do so could result in a premises liability claim arguing negligence.
The school is also responsible for all behavior that occurs on school property and must ensure that proper supervision occurs to prevent injury. For example, in the case that a child is injured by another student in a fight or due to roughhousing, the school could be held responsible for covering medical expenses if negligence in supervision is proven. The same is true if repeated bullying occurs that leads to a student being harmed; if the bullying took place at school, staff were aware of the issue, and failed to properly discipline the perpetrator, the school could be held liable for any injury accident that occurs as a result.
Frequent Causes of School Injuries
Injuries Suffered by Students in a School Environment
As a result of the above accidents, students often experience minor injuries, though severe injuries may occur. Injuries include cuts, scrapes, and bruises; fractured and broken bones; twisted joints, including ankles and wrists; burns; head and neck injuries such as concussions; and spinal injuries.
After a Child Sustains an Injury at School, What Steps Should Their Parents Take?
If your child has been injured in school, after seeking immediate medical care the important first step is to seek the support of a child injury attorney. Our lawyers at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh can be integral in helping you determine if the school or school district can be held liable for covering your child’s medical expenses or if there are barriers to filing a lawsuit, such as governmental immunity.
Dealing with the Complexities of Filing a Lawsuit Against a School in the Event of an Injury
As government entities, a school and a school district are often difficult to litigate. The first challenge to bringing a case against a school is that they may have good faith governmental immunity, meaning that one cannot bring a negligence claim against the school even if their action or non-action directly caused the injury. If it is possible to file a negligence claim against the school, the second challenge is to prove that the school had a duty of care, did not meet it, and as a direct result, your child was injured.
Additionally, all personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations. This is the time frame within which a claim can be filed to be valid. In New Jersey, one must usually file a claim within two years of the date of the injury-causing accident for it to be considered. However, for claims against government entities such as the child’s school district, these claims may require notice of claim under the Tort Claims Act, which must be filed within 90 days of the incident’s occurrence. Following the 90-day period for notice of the claim, an explanation of the accident, and a demand for compensation, the statute of limitations to file the lawsuit is normally two years, as is similar to other personal injury cases.
Contact our Southern New Jersey Law Firm Regarding Your Child’s Injuries at School in Monmouth County, NJ
Bringing a personal injury claim against a government entity is a trickier matter than a standard matter against an individual or private company. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Our team at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh works passionately to ensure that you receive full compensation for your child’s injuries in a school-related accident, using our experience litigating and negotiating claims against government entities to best serve you. Contact us at 732-440-3950 today to learn more about how we have helped clients across Hazlet, Wall, Red Bank, Asbury Park, Belmar, Lavallette, Middletown, Neptune, Tinton Falls, Howell, Colts Neck, and throughout Monmouth County, and we are prepared to support you, too.