Arizona

Phoenix School Injury Lawyer

It’s no surprise that thousands of school and playground accidents occur every year. Although most are minor, sometimes a child can be seriously injured. If your child has been hurt, and you suspect it was caused by poor supervision or abuse while at school, please contact our Phoenix school injury lawyer immediately. We will schedule a free consultation with you to evaluate your case and advise you on your legal options.

Why Choose Us?

  • You will be benefiting from a firm with an extensive history in the field of personal injury law, which gives us an edge when it comes to successfully resolving cases.
  • We are well-equipped to provide the spectrum of legal services to both English and Spanish speaking clients alike.
  • We do not pass our clients off to paralegals or assistants; you will be able to speak to a Phoenix child injury lawyer every time you call.

Phoenix child injury lawyers

What To Do When Your Child Suffers a Playground or School Injury

First and foremost, take care of your child and have them seen by a physician if they are not already at the hospital. Depending on the severity of the injury, the school may call you and ask what you want to do.

When your child is injured, the school district must be notified. Check if the school has filed a report, and if not, ask for a form. This is a vital step, due to the state’s statute of limitations, which creates a deadline for how long you have to file a claim.

There may be instances where you have signed a waiver releasing the school from liability, for example, if your child plays sports. However, there may be exceptions to this type of contract. An injury attorney who has experience handling cases involving injuries at school will be able to advise you on whether the waiver is binding in your child’s specific situation.

When is a School Liable for Injuries?

When playground and school injuries occur, parents often wonder who should be held responsible. Schools are required to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of students and staff, but that does not mean that a school is liable for all injuries that occur there. They may not be responsible, for example, if a child is running and trips. For the school to be liable for damages, it must be proven that there was negligence involved, resulting in the injury. Whether it was a wrongful action, or a failure to take action. Some examples of instances where a school may be held accountable are:

  • A teacher knew about a student being bullied and did not intervene.
  • A student was injured due to a lack of supervision.
  • A school did not have enough properly trained adult supervisors on a playground when an injury happened.
  • A school failed to maintain its playgrounds and school property so that it was safe and free of harmful defects.
  • A school failed to ensure equipment was in safe and proper condition.
  • A student did not receive the medication they needed.
  • A student was injured due to a danger on the premises.
  • A student suffered a foodborne illness from the food they were provided.
  • A student was injured in a bus accident.
  • A school failed to conduct a thorough background check on an employee.
  • A school that fails to have proper evacuation plans in place.

In some situations, a school may not be responsible for an injury caused by an intentional act, whether it was by an adult or a student. An intentional act, for instance, could be one student punching another student in the face. In such a case, the assaulting student and his or her parents may be liable.

What is School Negligence? 

When a parent or guardian drops their child off at school or sends their child to school on the bus, they trust that their child is in competent hands. Parents and guardians rely on teachers, administrative staff, and other school staff members to provide a reasonably safe environment for children. Schools do have a responsibility to keep the students under their care safe. However, despite these responsibilities, many children suffer injuries on school grounds every year.

In just about every personal injury case, we will see that the claim revolves around the negligence of one or more parties. However, the word negligence is thrown around often in these situations without being properly defined. Negligence is typically defined using four different elements, and we want to look at these four elements in the realm of school responsibility:

  • Duty. In society, everyone has a duty of care to act in a way that will not endanger others. For example, any person who has a driver’s license has a duty not to operate a vehicle in a reckless manner that could cause an accident. When we turn this to teachers and school staff, we see that these individuals are in total control of classrooms and schools. It is generally assumed that school staff members have a duty of care over the students to protect them from foreseeable harm.
  • Breach. After a duty of care has been established (the child is a student under the care of school professionals), it will be necessary to show that a staff member acted in a way they breached their duty of care, either by their actions or inaction. When establishing a breach of duty, it will be necessary to show that a reasonably prudent person would have acted in a different manner and been able to uphold their duty of care in the same or very similar circumstances. In other words, how would another teacher or school staff member respond?
  • Causation. After showing that a breach of duty has been established, it needs to be shown that the breach resulted in the injury to a child. It is understandable that teachers and school staff cannot foresee and prevent all possible injury scenarios for children. Generally, proving that a breach of duty caused an injury is not as difficult as establishing the actual breach of duty.
  • Damages. The final element of negligence in a school injury scenario will be to establish that a child suffered an injury with calculable damages. This can include medical bills and pain and suffering losses.

How do Child Injuries Happen at school? 

Our Arizona school injury attorneys understand that a child can sustain injuries in a wide variety of ways in a school setting. This can include:

  • Uneven or poorly maintained flooring that leads to trip or slip and fall accidents
  • Broken playground equipment that can cause lacerations, contusions, or broken bones
  • Uncontrolled mold inside of the building that can lead to various respiratory infections or other illnesses
  • Broken or missing tiles or handrails in stairwells that can lead to child falls
  • Torn carpeting that causes tripping hazards
  • Unsafe desks or other classroom equipment
  • Physical education or sports class injuries caused by faulty equipment or a lack of equipment
  • Bus accidents
  • …and more

Compensation for School Injury Lawsuits

When a school is found to be liable for an injury, parents may be able to recover compensation for the medical bills, lost time at work, emotional distress, and other costs created by what happened.

Free Consultation with a School Injury Attorney

Our team at Torgenson Law is dedicated to making sure your child receives fair compensation for injuries suffered in a school setting. Let us help you, call (602) 759-0012 to request a free consultation today with one of our school injury lawyers in Phoenix.