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Who is responsible if my child was injured at school?

During the school year, children spend about a third of their time at school or doing school-promoted activities. Parents should reasonably believe that their children will be safe in the hands of their teachers and school administrators. However, if a child is hurt while at school or at a school-related event, parents often wonder who should be held liable. 

Besides sustaining injuries on playground equipment, school children may also get injured by participating in school sports, being exposed to food-borne illnesses, or from the result of negligent teachers and administrators. It is estimated that a quarter of the 14 million child injuries that occur in the U.S. each year happen at school. 

Who is liable?

To determine who is liable for your child’s injury, first, you must find out whether the act was intentional or due to negligence. An intentional injury could be caused by an abusive teacher or fellow student, such as bullying. If a teacher intentionally caused harm to a student, then the school district would be held liable for not conducting a substantial background check and for hiring an irresponsible and harmful educator. If your child is being bullied, then the parents of the bully may be liable. 

A school is expected to provide a certain level of care and attention to its students, so if it fails to meet that standard, that could be considered an act of negligence, thus making the school itself liable. Examples of negligence at schools are:

  • Inadequate supervision by school staff, including teachers and administrators
  • Inappropriate food handling by cafeteria workers that led to foodborne illness
  • Inadequate emergency planning in the event of a natural disaster

Contact a New York child injury attorney

If your child was injured at school due to the negligence of teachers, administrators, or others, you could be eligible to seek justice and fair compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our team will fight for you and your loved ones. Call our office at [phone number] to discuss your legal options today.


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