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School Accident Claims

School AccidentIf you are the parent of a child who has an accident at school, or if you have suffered an injury while on school premises, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. An experienced injury lawyer would be happy to assist you in evaluating your potential accident claim during a free consultation. To find out more information about school accidents and the process of making a personal injury claim, feel free to request a call back using the contact form at the top of this page.

All schools have a duty of care to ensure that their pupils are safe and that all parents and visitors to the site are protected from any risks to their health or wellbeing. Should the school fail in this duty of care and you suffer an injury or loss, it is important to initiate your claim as soon as possible to maximise the strength of your case and secure the compensation you deserve.

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What Type of School Accidents Can I Claim for?

School accident claims can be made following a wide variety of incidents that result in an illness, injury or loss for your child or family. The key point to remember is that the school must have been at fault for the accident. Some of the most common reasons for people to request the help of a solicitor in relation to school accident cases include:

  • A trip or fall on school grounds
  • Playground accidents such as falling from climbing frames
  • Injuries caused through children being asked to lift or carry heavy equipment
  • Injuries caused by the use of faulty or dangerous equipment
  • Sports or P.E related accidents
  • Illnesses caused by poorly prepared school food.
  • Asbestos related claims, whereby children have been exposed to asbestos in old buildings.

School accident claims are not limited to school children. Anybody who suffers an injury while on school premises due to negligence may be eligible to make a claim. It may be possible to make a claim for injuries caused through attacks and violence between children, though these claims may fall into different areas of law. So a solicitor would need to assess your case before determining the best course of action.

What Should I do if I or my Child has an Accident at School?

If you or child has an accident at school, it is important to report the incident to a member of staff as soon as possible. The accident should be recorded as per school policy and this will form the basis of evidence for your claim. It can also be helpful to collect any relevant evidence, such as contact details of witnesses, photographic evidence and reports from the school. To be eligible to make a claim, your child will need to have suffered an injury as a result of the incident. It will therefore be necessary for you to seek medical attention following the accident. This medical evidence can then be used by your solicitor to help build a successful claim for personal injury against the school at fault.

If your claim relates to defective or poorly managed school equipment or buildings, it is a good idea for you to take photographic evidence of the offending items if possible. If appropriate, use a ruler to highlight issues such as raised flooring or ill-fitted wall hangings, as this can also help to prove the liability of the school for breaching their duty of care.

Should you aim to claim back the costs of medical treatment and prescriptions related to the injuries suffered from the school accident, it is important to remember to keep receipts and invoices as they will be necessary in order to be reimbursed.

Accidents that Happen Outside of School

Throughout the school year, there are often likely to be situations where your child will be away from school premises during school time. This could be a supervised visit to a local park or educational facility, or while away on a school trip to another part of the country, or even abroad. During these periods, the school continues to have a duty of care to protect the children under their control and keep them safe from foreseeable injury.

Therefore, if your child has been injured outside of school while under their supervision, if may still be possible to make a personal injury claim against the school responsible.

Playground Accidents

Accidents in playgrounds are amongst the most common causes of injuries suffered by children while at school. Of course, the vast majority of these are what you could call genuine accidents, where nobody was particularly at fault. Such as children bumping into each other while running around or being hit by a stray football. Unless the playground was not adequately supervised when the accident occurred, the school would most likely have a valid defence to any subsequent claim.

However, some playground accidents could and should be avoided by taking the necessary steps to safeguard children from reasonably foreseeable injury. This could include playground equipment that is not suitable for the age of children that are using it, equipment that has not been adequately maintained or equipment that does not have the necessary safety measures in place, such as safety matting to protect against falls.

How Can a Solicitor Help me with my School Accident Claim?

The injury solicitors we work in partnership with offer exceptional levels of support to their clients when making a compensation claim following a school accident. Your solicitor will assess your case fully and will be able to offer you support on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you do not need to take any financial risks when pursuing your child’s right to compensation.

Your solicitor will liaise with all involved parties to ensure that your case progresses smoothly and with minimal stress. The process starts with a free initial consultation, which will be used to assess your case and provide a guideline as to likely progression and outcomes.

If you have a valid case, the solicitor will help you gather the relevant evidence and documentation in order to make a successful claim. Furthermore, they will utilise their experience and expertise to guide you through any potential court processes and assist you in managing your expectations with regards to timescales and the likely amount of compensation your child may be eligible for their injuries.

When Should I Make a Compensation Claim?

Many parents are unsure as to whether they can claim on behalf of their child. Put simply, the answer is ‘yes you can’ and if you do claim on behalf of your child, you will be referred to as their ‘litigation friend’. A parent who has any part in the responsibility of the child’s injury through their school accident will not be eligible to act as the litigation friend, as they must be entirely independent of the accident in question.

Claims for school accidents should be made as soon as possible in order to ensure that time limits are observed and evidence and memories are accessible. All personal injury claims must be made within three years from the accident date in order to be an eligible claim for compensation. However, if the child is claiming themselves and they were under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, the three year period begins on the date that the child turns 18. So effectively they would have until their 21st birthday before any potential injury claim would become time barred.