Elementary school pupils running outside

When we send our children off to school, we place an immense amount of trust in the teachers and administrators who are tasked with ensuring their safety. Naturally, we hope that everyone involved, from the Pledge of Allegiance to the final bell, is both qualified and committed to maintaining a safe learning environment, and dedicated to sheltering our children from danger in the event that a crisis ever presents itself. One of the first questions you must ask yourself is, if your child has been hurt at school, is who is at fault?

Who May Be At Fault:

  • Other Students: Bullying is an epidemic which, though widely acknowledged and historically longstanding in the school system, is more present and problematic now than it may have ever been in the past. Bullies may act alone but more often than not succumb to a sort of mob mentality and form coalitions that single-out their victims based on, usually, unsubstantial criteria. This is why your child, through no fault of their own, may have become targeted by a bully. Bullying is sometimes representative of insecurity on the part of the bully, although there have been instances where poor examples have been passed down from the parental level. Failure to properly instruct and discipline a child that ends up physically injuring one of their peers is grounds for legal action. The parents, in these cases, can be held financially responsible for your child’s medical bills and, oftentimes, must provide compensation for mental and emotional anguish as well.
  • Higher Powers & Outside Sources: If a school district has been found criminally negligent with providing security staff in your child’s school, or has otherwise been accused of some impropriety during the hiring process, they can be held legally accountable for any resultant damage. Failure to adhere to any protocol designed to keep students safe is a breach of their obligation to you. If the school district in question has provided for its teachers faulty equipment, whose eventual malfunction has placed young lives in the line of fire then both the district and the equipment’s manufacturing company may be found guilty of endangerment.
  • Teachers, Counselors, or Other Staff: On a more parochial level, the school’s staff itself is held responsible for injury or other forms of personal harm. Only in the worst-case scenarios do teachers physically assault their students. If this has occurred, though, the teacher or school staff member involved should be immediately terminated and the situation should be thoroughly investigated by police. However, not all cases are so black and white. If a teacher fails to properly supervise a situation that results in your child getting injured, that teacher may still be held liable for the damages.

There are a few things that determine the placement of fault when it comes to injuries that take place in a school. New York City has a detailed and intricate system in place for filing claims against schools. Whether or not a school is public or private determines the authority tasked with regulating it. Depending on the nature and severity of the incident that has taken place, there are different actions you must take in order to complete your claim. Your first step should be speaking with your child’s teacher, or guidance counselor. They will likely be able to point you in the right direction. If not, the school’s principal or assistant principal will be able to help you take the correct steps in order to file a claim. If even a principal is unable to help, you will need to file your claim directly with New York City Board of Education. You may want to research the full list of Chancellor Regulations to see exactly which type of claim you are looking to make. These intricacies are sometimes difficult to understand. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we have a compassionate and dedicated team well-versed in the nuances of these regulations. They can help evaluate your case and guide you down the proper channels as you mount and begin to strengthen your case.

Some Examples

So what are some different examples of school-related injuries? Well, a very popular incident involved a science teacher whose interactive science experiment involving a purportedly “controlled burn” ended with students injured by an unexpected flare up. While accidents are bound to happen, it is a school’s responsibility to maintain safe learning environments, and this science teacher failed to meet this requirement. Here’s another example: last December, a school bus was involved in a multi-car crash in Woodside, Queens. The collision resulted with the bus crashing into a pizzeria. The bus driver sustained a minor head injury, but thankfully, none of the children on board were hurt. For young students, the playground is an area rife with potential injury-possibilities. If your child has been injured on a playground, we covered your options in-depth. Of course, there are many ways harm may have befallen your child, and this impartial list covers only some of them. We’re ready and able to assist you through your legal process no matter what type of injury has occurred.

Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC

At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we want what’s best for you and your child. So, in the aftermath of an incident, once you’ve already sought prompt and professional medical care, please contact us. Our consultations are quick, free and easy. We will analyze your case and present for you a host of options. We’ll stand alongside you throughout the duration of your legal process, providing invaluable advice and unceasing support. Don’t hesitate, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today.