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Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC
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How Civil Lawsuits Are Instrumental in Promoting Better School Safety

Parents have traditionally assumed that their children are safe when they send them to school. That assumption has been severely undermined by gun violence in recent years. The debate on how to stop gun violence in schools has become as complex as it is contentious.

However, other dangers also lurk in schools, during extracurricular activities and while taking school-provided transportation. Children fall on slippery floors, have accidents in gym, are hurt by collapsing cafeteria tables, are burned when lab equipment catches fire and are hurt in traffic accidents involving school buses. Their injuries can be serious and sometimes fatal. A Parent who pursues litigation because of a school-related accident may stand a greater chance of losing a case than winning it if the attorney representing the child is not able to satisfy key components of the laws determining school liability. These components include:

  • Standard of care — Did the school exercise a reasonable standard of care? In other words, were necessary safety precautions taken?
  • Breach of standard of care — Did a person in authority (teacher, driver, sports coach, etc.) breach the standard of care?
  • Negligence — Was the injured student negligent in any way that may have contributed to the accident?
  • Damage — Was the injury substantial and did it cause expenses or a loss of future enjoyment of life?

Parents who get involved in their schools do what they can to improve safety in all regards. Sometimes, they may need to reinforce the school’s responsibilities by way of the civil justice system. When a child is injured because of irresponsibility by school administrators, maintenance supervisors, poor design or an irresponsible teacher, a personal injury lawyer can promote the implementation of better precautions with the pursuit of a financial judgment to cover a family’s medical and emotional costs. 

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