Class is in Session: Today’s Homework – Back to School Safety Tips

August 29, 2017


For the next four months of the year, between the hours of 8am and 3pm Monday through Friday, Parents around the country will be enjoying their annual extended vacation. That’s right, summer is at its end and school is back in session.

All joking aside, we certainly know there is no “vacation” for parents…even when they are on vacation…or packing their kids’ lunches…shuttling them to practices…etc…we at Torgenson Law believe there are few things more important than education. Our primary objective is to provide the most effective and efficient legal representation for Arizona personal injury victims. However, our mission does not stop there. We also strive to keep you informed as to your legal rights and educate you in ways that will help you avoid personal injuries altogether. So, today, we will provide three back to school safety tips to keep in mind as your children head back to the classroom.

1. Assignment #1: Be Attentive on the Roads

It will surprise few to learn that most morning automobile accidents occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Even less surprising is that the majority of all daily car crashes occur between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Most will likely associate these time periods as morning and evening rush hours. It is no secret that when more cars are on the road, more accidents are likely to occur.

However, one may not be aware that these daily car accidents rise drastically during August through May of the following year. On average in Arizona, there are over 1700 more car accidents and over 1500 more vehicle related fatalities per month when school is in session. The explanation is simple:there are more drivers and more distractions on the roadways. Parents and bus drivers are distracted by their kids in theirvehicles; teenagers are texting and driving on their way to school; pedestrians and cyclists are more abundant; and tempers flare as traffic increases. Even if you are following every traffic law in the book, you must remember highway and road dangers are out there and even more frequent during the school year.

We simply ask that you be vigilant and attentive when driving yourself or your children to and from school each day. Unfortunately, we, as Arizona personal injury lawyers understand that accidents will happen. Nonetheless, if you are injured in a car accident, we will fight for your rights to full and fair compensation. That being said, we hope you never have to call us.

2. Assignment #2: Read Your Child’s Liability Waivers

For many students, education is incomplete without participation in extracurricular activities. These activities may come in the form of sports, clubs, academic teams, and student government. Undoubtedly, if your child is involved in extracurricular activities, he or she will likely present to you a liability waiver or release for your signature. These waivers are written and designed to protect the school from legal liability. Often times schools require parents to sign these when a child travels for a field trip or an athletic competition with the school. They may even require such a waiver for the student’s participation in the activity itself.

If you do sign such a waiver, and your child suffers an injury, do not fear.It is possible, if not probable, that you still have a personal injury claim. In Arizona, these waivers will only shield schools from liability for injuries directly related to the specific activity in question. In other words, these liability waivers are not effective when your child is injured due to the school’s negligence, or their injury is wholly unrelated to the student’sextracurricular participation. However, we ask that you remember to carefully read such liability waivers to understand exactly what you are signing so as to better avoid these situations altogether. Regardless of the circumstances, there is no harm in seeking advice regarding the legal rights of you and your child.

3. Assignment #3: Remain Proactive to Combat Hazing and Bullying

Hazing and bullying are ever-present problems throughout the educational system in Arizona. Sadly, technology and social media has made it even more prevalent and difficult to control. To stifle the spread of these never ending tragedies, we must first recognize that hazing and bullying are very real and very dangerous truths that frequently occur in our schools. Parents must remain proactive to help prevent such conduct by openly talking with their children about the harms and effects of bullying. If your child has witnessed or was subjected to hazing or bullying, do not hesitate to inform the school. Ideally, the school will take matters into their own hands to better prevent this unacceptable conduct in the future. However, if the school fails to adequately respond and your child is further subjected to hazing or bullying, you and your child may have a valid claim against the school. All kids have a right to a respectful, safe place to learn. Torgenson Law makes sure that happens.

Personal injuries can happen anywhere and to anyone. It is your job to take necessary precautions to protect you and your loved ones from injuries. This includes remaining aware of the dangers that coincide with your daily lives.

However, if you or a loved one is injured, we are here for you. We will stop at nothing to ensure your legal rights are adequately represented and your losses are appropriately compensated. If you suffer a personal injury, call Torgenson Law at (602) 759-0012. We will do our homework and protect your rights and interests.

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