Back to School Month is about more than getting kids to and from school safely. It also includes keeping kids safe while they are at school. Whether your child attends a public school, a private school, a daycare, a preschool, a college, or a university, your child depends on other people to act with reasonable care to prevent accidents and injuries. If reasonable care is not provided then your child may be hurt in a slip and fall, a fight, a playground incident, or a negligent security incident.
Personal Injury Accidents in Public Schools
Public schools are considered government agencies. In many locations, government agencies are protected from personal injury lawsuits and liability by a doctrine known as sovereign immunity. However, in Illinois, public schools may be liable for some personal injuries according to the Premises Liability Act. In order for a public school to be liable for a student’s personal injury:
- The public school must have been negligent.
- The injury must have occurred during regular school hours.
- The injury must have been foreseeable. In other words, the school must have known about, or should have known about, the condition that led to the accident or attack.
- The school must have acted recklessly. This means that the school (or a school employee) must have intended for the harm to occur or showed indifference to student safety.
The law concerning recovery from a personal injury accident at a public school is complicated and should be discussed with an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer.
Personal Injury Accidents in Private Schools
Private schools do not have the same type of sovereign immunity as public schools. Thus, you may be able to recover from a private school if you can prove that the school’s negligence caused your injury.
Whether your child was hurt in a private school or a public school, the actions that you take to protect your child’s physical and financial recoveries should be the same. You should make sure that your child sees a doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment plan. You should also talk to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to review your child’s rights and come up with a plan to protect those rights and your child’s potential financial recovery.