Was Your Child Injured At School Or Day Care Or While Playing Sports?
Children spend more of their waking hours at school than they do at home, so it’s no surprise that thousands of accidents occur at school every year. Most are minor, but sometimes, a child can be seriously injured. When these injuries occur, parents often wonder who is responsible and what they can do to get compensation for the medical bills, lost time at work, emotional distress and other costs created by what happened.
If you suspect that your child was hurt by poor supervision at school or is being abused while at day care, please call 888-539-9211 immediately to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers at Pendergast Law.
Dangers At School And Day Care
From the time a child leaves home in the morning to the time they get back in the afternoon, there are a number of things that can injure them. Some of the most common dangers are accidents involving:
- School buses
- Classrooms, particularly during gym or physical education classes
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Sexual abuse
- Defective children’s products, such as playground or sports equipment, and tainted food
Resulting injuries can cause permanent physical and psychological damage to a child and financial and emotional hardships for the parents.
Who Is Responsible For After-School And Extracurricular Activities?
When your child is involved in an after-school or extracurricular activity such as a club, an enrichment activity, a sport or a band, the school is still responsible for your child’s safety and well-being. For risky physical activities, such as sports, you could be asked to sign a waiver accepting responsibility for your child if they are injured while participating. But parents need to understand that this waiver does not eliminate all the responsibilities of the school and its employees. Teachers, coaches and staff members are still required to maintain an acceptable level of safety during all events and activities and get prompt medical help for children who show signs of injuries. When they don’t, they may be held liable in court.
Signs Of Child Abuse In A Day Care Setting
Unfortunately, children who are being injured or abused at day care are often too young to clearly communicate what is happening to them. As a parent, it is important to take signs of unexplained injuries and changes in behavior very seriously. Some common signs of abuse can include:
- New physical injuries, including bruises or wounds
- Sudden changes in behavior, including sudden violent or otherwise negative outbursts
- Recurring nightmares
While traumatic events at day care certainly are not always the cause for the above signs, parents should take these changes seriously.
What About Bullying And Harassment?
Sadly, bullying and harassment within the school environment are continuing to increase. And, more and more, parents are seeking legal assistance to hold the school administration responsible when issues of bullying are not addressed. In some cases, the bullying leads to physical confrontations and injuries, while in other cases, parents are pursuing wrongful death lawsuits after older children have died by suicide due to intense bullying.
Liability In School And Day Care Accidents
Parents may want to file a lawsuit against a school or day care after their child sustained an injury while in the school’s care, but they may not always be able to do so. To have an eligible lawsuit, the parents have to be able to prove that the school or day care was negligent. A school or individual staff member may be negligent if they did not provide proper supervision or if they knew that a child was being bullied or assaulted by another student but didn’t stop it.
But Washington courts also recognize that kids will be kids, and they are likely to experience accidents at school. Because of this, if the child was simply playing on the playground and fell off a swing while there was adequate supervision, the courts would not likely find the school negligent.
In the case of accidents at day care facilities, if the court found that the day care was not licensed, it could be found negligent even if that negligence didn’t directly cause the accident. In Washington, all day care facilities need to be licensed, and if they are not, one could even argue that the accident should have never happened because the day care should never have been open in the first place.
Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Filing a personal injury lawsuit after a child sustains an injury at a school or day care can be very complicated. Because public schools are government entities, there are very strict timelines and conditions on how and when these schools can be sued. If your child has been injured while at school or day care, contact our experienced Seattle child injury attorneys at Pendergast Law. Dial 888-539-9211 or contact us online for a free consultation.