Parents dread getting a phone call from the school nurse or principal that starts off with, “Everyone’s alright, but. . . .”
Children spend a large percentage of their lives at school, away from parents’ supervision. Between playground accidents, after-school injuries, and unintentional injuries during class, kids are exposed to a host of dangerous scenarios every day, and can usually navigate them pretty well.
However, peers and even adult supervisors can be negligent in decisive moments that lead to unfortunate accidents that injure kids at school. When the accident occurs on school grounds, a child’s parents usually have the right to file a claim against the school for negligence under specific circumstances, but must follow a tricky set of regulations to prevent their claim from being dismissed.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against a School
In Indiana, as in every U.S. state, you are allowed to file a claim against a public institution, like your local school district, as long as you submit a notice of claim form before filing the claim itself. This form must include an accident or injury report and be filed as early as 180 days (6 months) of the accident or injury.
This form includes a long list of scenarios in which your claim will be denied because the state of Indiana has immunity in certain cases of loss. Please read this section carefully to determine if your case falls under one of these scenarios, because you cannot file a claim successfully if it does.
Along with these strict guidelines, filing an injury claim for a minor has additional complications that you need to take into account.
Because of the convoluted laws involved with filing claims for children as well as the added layer of dealing with the state government, these cases can become highly complicated. Consulting with an Indiana personal injury lawyer can help your case be filed correctly and address the relevant parties with appropriate evidence.
Common Accidents at School
Schools are complicated organizations that are made up of trained professionals and vulnerable children. Throughout a typical school day, any number of dangerous situations are assessed and made safe thanks to hardworking staff members.
However, parents should still be aware of the common causes of injuries in and around schools, as well as who would be liable in the worst-case scenario.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Recess is the most likely culprit for fall injuries at school, but children may not be aware that they could also be hurt due to negligent maintenance of the school’s property. School maintenance staff may be held liable for injuries due to improperly maintained handrails or steps, and contracted landscaping companies could be held liable for failing to clear school sidewalks of ice and snow.
While some rough-housing on the playground may be caused by other students, injuries sustained because of faulty playground equipment or negligent supervision by adults could make other parties liable.
School Bus Accidents
Accidents involving school buses can be due to negligence on behalf of the bus driver or another driver, or due to mechanical flaws in the bus itself, which could make the manufacturer liable for the accident.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney
Taking care of your children is your number one priority as a parent. This means seeking their best treatment options and ensuring that you only pay for what you’re responsible for. Injuries that involve children and public school property can become endlessly confusing for someone who also has to juggle the responsibilities involved in being a parent.
Hensley Legal Group’s attorneys know the landscape of Indiana’s personal injury laws and will help you file, strengthen, and defend your claim so you can focus on keeping your family safe and healthy. You don’t have to do this on your own. Contact us today for a free conversation with a local attorney.