Personal Injuries Happen at School
With the beginning of the school year quickly approaching, many parents will send their children off into the care of other adults each weekday for the next several months.
Parents should be able to trust that their children will be safe from harm while at school; however, injuries do occur on a regular basis in a wide variety of school-related accidents, many of which occur due to a school's negligence. In certain cases, an injured child has the legal right to receive compensation from a school or party that was responsible for the child's injuries.
Common Types of Injuries at Schools
Children can sustain injuries in several different ways. The most common school injuries include the following:
Assaults due to inadequate security;
Food poisoning; and
In some cases, children simply fall down and get hurt and no one is at fault. In other cases, however, children may fall because a dangerous condition existed in a hallway or on a school playground. A lawyer can help identify whether any negligence existed that may have contributed to a child's injury.
School Bus Injuries
In addition to injuries that occur during school hours, children may also suffer a range of injuries on the way to and from school on a school bus.
When you think of school bus injuries, you likely think of collisions with other vehicles. It is true that collisions do have the potential to cause serious injury to bus passengers, especially because passengers often do not wear seat belts or have air bags or other protections that cars and SUVs provide.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), school bus collisions that result in serious injury are relatively rare. Instead, children are more commonly injured by school buses when they are pedestrians, when they are boarding or getting off of a bus, or due to the actions of another rider while on a bus.
Legal Issues in Cases Involving School Injuries
Children who suffer school or school bus-related injuries may require costly medical treatment and can experience both severe pain and suffering as well as emotional trauma. Just like adult injured victims, many students can financially recover for their losses by filing a personal injury claim. However, Wisconsin law treats personal injury lawsuits involving minors differently from cases involving only adults in several ways.
For example, minors have a different statute of limitations—the time limit one has to file a legal claim. Courts also have a varied standard for negligence if a negligent party was another young child. Finally, courts may appoint a guardian ad litem to ensure that any settlement agreement is fair, that settlement money is held for a child until he or she turns 18, and to protect any other interests or rights of a child.
If your child happens to be injured at a public school, there may be statutory notice requirements that have to be followed to preserve your right to bring a claim against the school or school district. Because the statutory time frame for filing these notices is extremely limited, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible if you are concerned about an injury your child sustained while at school to ensure that enough time remains to meet the statutory notice requirements.
Consult with a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney Today
Because of the unique legal issues in cases involving children, you should seek help from a passionate Green Bay personal injury lawyer or Appleton personal injury lawyer who understands this type of case. Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. has office locations in Appleton, Green Bay, New London, and Oshkosh, so please call 920-739-7366 and schedule your consultation today.