School Injury Attorney Serving Riverside & San Bernardino
When parents send their children to school, they rightfully assume the school will take good care of its students. This entails preventing students from wandering off-campus, feeding them nutritious meals, preventing intruders from gaining access to the grounds, and keeping the premises free from safety hazards.
Parents know that if the school or one of its staff members acted outside of these duties of care, it would put the lives of students at risk. Sadly, this is exactly the case in hundreds of school injury accidents every year. If your child recently sustained an injury while at school in Riverside or San Bernardino, the attorneys at DeWitt Algorri + Algorri, PC are ready to help.
When Can You Sue Your Child’s School?
If every child injury on school grounds resulted in a lawsuit, California probably wouldn’t be able to keep its schools open. Not every injury at school is grounds to sue the facility or an employee. Instead, like other personal injury claims, the plaintiff needs proof of the school’s negligence to have a case. The school or one of its employees must have done something that makes it legally responsible for your child’s injuries. Take these examples into consideration:
- A supervisor failing to adequately watch children on the playground or during a field trip.
- A teacher allowing a student to perform dangerous stunts on playground equipment.
- The school failing to maintain its playground equipment.
- The school failing to repair hazards on the premises.
- The school employing incompetent teachers or staff members with criminal backgrounds.
- A school bus driver texting and driving, resulting in an accident.
To uncover the truth about your child’s injuries, you may need to do some digging. Start by taking your child to the doctor. An inspection of his or her injuries may help you understand exactly what happened. Next, go to the school supervisor for details about the incident. Gather information such as the name of the teacher who was watching your child, names of any eyewitnesses, and how the injury occurred. As soon as you suspect negligence, recklessness, or foul play at the school, it’s time to chat with an attorney.
Laws Regarding Suing a School
Often, parents cannot file a lawsuit immediately after hearing about their child’s injuries. Instead, there are legal processes and red tape the parents must go through to bring their complaint in front of the court. This is because most public schools belong to the city – a government agency. Suing the government is different than other personal injury claims. The plaintiff must file a “Notice of Claim” before an actual lawsuit, typically within 60 to 90 days of the incident. The Notice must include:
- The nature of the accident
- The alleged wrongful action
- The student’s injuries
- A demand for compensation
The school will have the opportunity to investigate the accident upon receiving the Notice. From there, it may offer a settlement or deny the claim. At this point, the plaintiff can enter into settlement negotiations or file an official claim against the school with the courts. There are different official forms for injury claims depending on the California school district. Our school injury attorneys can help you with the legwork of these complex claims to maximize your odds of compensation. Call (855) 946-6464 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.