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My Child Was Injured at a School Performance. Is the School Responsible?


There’s nothing like a good school concert or performance to spread some Christmas cheer. Evansville hosts plenty of student-led performances during December, from elementary school plays to high school concerts to university recitals.

Whether you’re hoping your teenager nails their solo or you’re crossing your fingers that your little one doesn’t pick his nose on stage, school performances are delightful partially because of their unpredictability. The songs and the stories may stay the same year to year, but no holiday performance is the same. With so many people of different ages and with so many different talents on display, anything can happen.

Unfortunately, that unpredictability doesn’t just lead to funny stories to share with relatives at Christmas. For some families, school performances can go from darling to damaging in an instant.

If your child is injured at a school performance, you may wonder who’s responsible for your child’s injuries. Every case is different, but there are few factors that can help determine who holds or shares responsibility.

Is the School Responsible After Hours?

If your child is injured at school, it’s easy to believe that the school is automatically responsible. However, that’s not always the case.

If the school performance occurs after school hours, then the school may not be responsible. Some schools don’t have to assume liability for injuries that occur either after school hours or to people who are not students. This protects schools from liability in case students or their families use school grounds or equipment without permission. For example, if a parent takes their child to the school playground on Saturday morning, then the school will likely not be responsible if the child is injured during that morning playtime.

However, that’s not to say that the school is automatically off the hook if your child is injured at a school performance after school hours. An Evansville personal injury attorney can represent your case and argue why the school should have to assume liability for your child’s injuries.

Does It Matter If My Child’s School Is Public or Private?


It also matters whether or not your child’s school is public or private. Public schools are treated like any other public institution, which means personal injury claims work a little differently. If your child is injured at a public school, you must submit a notice of your personal injury claim before filing the claim itself.

This must be done as early as 180 days (about 6 months) after the injury. That’s a much shorter timeline than the typical two years an individual has to file a personal injury claim against a private entity. If it’s been more than 6 months since your child’s injury, then the school may no longer be responsible for the accident.

Filing a personal injury claim against a public school can be difficult. If you’re having trouble determining whether or not the school is at fault, an Evansville personal injury attorney can help.

Who Else May Be Responsible?

If the school isn’t responsible, there’s another party that may be responsible for your child’s injuries: the venue.

Many school bands, choirs, and ensembles travel for performances during the holiday season. If your child is injured at a venue other than the school, the venue may be responsible. However, the venue would only be responsible if its negligence directly caused your child’s injury.

For example, if the venue provided a stage that they knew wasn’t built well and your child fell through the stage floor, the venue would be directly responsible for causing your child’s injury.

If your child is injured for other reasons, such as horseplay with another student or accidentally tripping, it’s unlikely that the school or venue would be responsible.

Help from an Evansville Personal Injury Attorney

We hope your family has a safe and happy holiday season. However, if your child is injured because of someone else’s recklessness, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim.