No parent wants to get a phone call telling them that their child has been injured while at school. When you drop your child off at school, you are entrusting them to the care and responsibility of someone else for a significant part of the day. If your child gets injured during that time, it can be a confusing process trying to figure out what to consider and what to do in the aftermath.
If your child gets injured at school and you are thinking about engaging legal services in Adelaide to find out what your options are, here are some factors for you to consider.
What Are The Most Common Accidents At School?
As you would expect, some of the most common accidents at school involve the usual slips and falls, either at the playground or elsewhere, as well as a child getting their finger trapped in a door and so on. For children of the sporting age, sport-related injuries are common as well. However, there are also injuries that occur due to more specific circumstances, such as because of poorly maintained school equipment, hazardous school grounds, or even food poisoning arising from poor food preparation standards.
What Are The School’s Responsibilities?
The courts have ruled that the school does owe your child an implicit duty of care while they are at school, or during an excursion, camp, or sporting event. This duty of care includes the responsibility to keep your child safe, not only through supervision by the teachers but also by maintaining safe school grounds and equipment.
While this duty of care does exist, it does not mean that you automatically have a case against the school should your child get injured while on the school’s watch. In order to make a successful claim, you need to prove that the school committed a breach of that duty by not acting in accordance with the standards of a reasonable person in those circumstances. Most commonly, this is proven by showing that the school was being negligent in their care.
You must also show that the accident was caused by this breach of duty and that this accident could have been prevented had the school been carrying out their duty.
Where Did The Accident Happen?
The law judges the standard of care differently depending on the circumstances of each case, such as where the accident had taken place. In the classroom, the school’s duty of care is at its highest, as students are not expected to be left unattended in a classroom.
On the playground, the courts may give the school a bit more leeway than in the classroom, possibly due to the fact that it is harder to prevent all accidents from happening when children are meant to be playing with one another. Thus, the courts will not expect teachers to be able to spot and stop all playground accidents from occurring, although they will expect schools to have a certain number of staff carrying out supervision.
Was It Preventable?
The school may not be held liable if it is found that the accident could not have been prevented anyway. For example, if the teacher had left the classroom and the accident occurred during the teacher’s absence, the court will ask whether or not the teacher could have prevented the accident in the first place. If the teacher could not have done anything even while they were in the classroom, then the courts may find that their absence is not the cause of the accident.
What You Need To Do
If your child comes home injured from school, the first thing you should do is straighten out all the facts as well as you can and write them down so that you do not run the risk of forgetting. As mentioned earlier, the facts and circumstances of the situation are imperative when it comes to making a case. When seeking legal advice, it is best not to delay for too long after the incident has occurred, so you should look out for a dependable legal services provider as soon as possible and leave the rest in their good hands.
As a parent, it is important to stay calm and be prepared, especially when it comes to your child’s wellbeing. Keeping these tips in mind will help to protect you and your child from the aftermath.