Accidents at School

Children who are injured during school activities or on school grounds may be able to receive money damages for their injuries.

School are charged with protecting children as if they were their parents. They must provide adequate supervision during recess or in the cafeteria to make sure that our children are safe. If the teachers or monitors observe children acting in ways which may endanger other children, they must do what is reasonably necessary to stop the activities and protect the children under their care. If the school knows that a child has a history of causing injuries to other children, the school has a special responsibility to supervise that child so that injuries can be avoided.

Gym classes create a special situation. Normally, if a child is injured during a normal sports activity, the school can argue that the child assumed the risk of an injury. A child engaged in a baseball game may assume the risk of being hit by a baseball or bat or being tripped or pushed by another child. A child engaged in gymastics may assume the risk of falling from an apparatus. Cheerleaders may assume the risk of injury from their cheerleading routines.

However, where a child is engaged in a new activity and is not expected to appreciate the risk of an injury, where a teacher or coach makes the activity more dangerous, or where there conditions in the gym, athletic fields or play areas which are not the normal types of conditions encountered, the school may be liable.

At Norman M. Block, P.C., we have recovered money for many children involved in school activities. Some of these include:

  • A teenage girl injured when she was required to engage in a timed run which ended on wet grass, causing her to slip and fall and fracture a bone in her arm
  • A seven year old boy who was scalded when an unattended pot of boiling soup spilled on his leg causing second and third degree burns
  • A teenage girl injured during gym activities where the padding normally placed on the walls of the gym had been removed
  • A high school senior subject to inappropriate sexual comments by a teacher

In all school cases, a notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the date of the accident. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the case, unless it can be proven that the school knew about the circumstances of the accident during those 90 days.

If you child is injured at school, contact Norman M. Block, P.C. as quickly as possible so that we can assess the merits of the claim and make sure that the notice of claim is filed within the required time limits. We will then represent you through the claim process and, if necessary, through any lawsuit you may bring for your child.