School injuries are very common. The majority of children wind up in the nurses office at some point when they are in school because of some kind of injury. In law, school employees are considered in loco parentis which means “in place of a parent.” In some states schools are immune to certain law suits, but in Washington we place a higher burden of safety at a school because the state legally compels your child to attend and thus has a duty to act as their parents would. In a premise liability case, we must prove that the school district had control of the place of the injury and that they acted negligently. Factors we consider depending on the case:
School Injury caused by another child:
· Was there a higher duty of care because the child was interacting with a dangerous object (such as bat).
· Was there a higher duty of care because a child had special needs and the school district was aware?
· Was there knowledge of a troublesome student and were proper precautions made for student safety?
Other school injuries:
· Was there a dangerous event?
· Was there a dangerous condition?
· Was the place of injury a place that the school district should have expected visitors or children to be? If not, was the location an attractive nuisance and were proper steps taken to keep children away from an unsafe area?
· Did the employee know or should they have known of the danger or that their action would have led to a danger?
· Was there equipment that was faulty or designed in a way that was dangerous (playground injury).
· Could the injury have been reasonably prevented without excessive cost?
· Was there a structural defect or maintenance that was ignored?
In most circumstances schools are not expected to be injury free so much as they are expected to exercise reasonable care. Contact our local personal injuries attorneys in Tacoma who have experience in investigation and evaluated school injuries. Consultations are free.