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If your child has been seriously injured in an accident at school, you have a right to be angry. After all, schools have a duty to provide a professional standard of care for your child, and you should be able to feel confident that they are keeping your youngster safe from harm.
However, when a school and its employees are negligent in their duties, you and your child should not have to pay for their mistakes. As parents ourselves, the New York school negligence lawyers at Belluck & Fox are always outraged when we take on cases involving injuries to children. That’s why we fight so hard to hold the at-fault parties responsible and to recover maximum compensation to help your child heal.
Contact us today to discuss how your child was injured and find out what we can do to help. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so you can meet with our attorneys and review the legal actions you may be able to take after a serious school accident.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a School Injury?
During school hours and in after-school activities, teachers and other educators at the school have the important responsibility of supervising your children and taking action to prevent foreseeable injuries.
In the tragic event that a child is seriously injured in a school accident, our dedicated lawyers will work to hold the at-fault party accountable. Depending on the circumstances of your case, that may include pursuing compensation from:
- The public school district
- Private school owners and operators (including nonprofit and religious organizations)
- Day care providers
- Teachers or other employees at the school
- Negligent drivers
- Parents of other children
- Manufacturers or distributors of defective or dangerous equipment
When you are struggling to care for your injured child after a traumatic school accident, you should not be forced to deal with the added burden of figuring out how you are going to afford to pay medical bills and take time off from work. Our knowledgeable New York school negligence lawyers are here to help take that pressure off of you so your total focus can be on your child. Let us be the ones fighting to hold the negligent party accountable.
Common Types of School Injuries
Classroom accidents: All manner of injuries can occur during classroom accidents. For example, dangerous chemistry experiments can leave children with serious burns in science lab accidents due to negligent supervision. A poorly maintained desk can collapse on a child. Or a negligent maintenance person can leave water on the floor, causing a serious fall.
School bus accidents: A standard school bus can hold 72 children. That’s 72 young lives put at risk if a school bus crash occurs due to driver carelessness or negligence. School bus accidents may also be caused by improper vehicle maintenance on the part of the school or a defective part from the manufacturer.
School crossing injuries: School crossing guards have a duty to be vigilant in their efforts to direct traffic and provide safe passage for children at intersections near schools. When they are negligent in that duty, children can be severely injured while crossing dangerous streets. On the other hand, even the best efforts by crossing guards cannot protect children from dangerous drivers who are simply not paying attention.
Bullying or student-on-student assaults: Educators are trained to spot early-warning signs of bullying or other activity that may lead to physical altercations. If they ignore these warning signs and a child is harmed during a fight at school, the school should be held accountable. In addition, New York law allows parents of the offending child to be held responsible under certain circumstances.
School sports and gym injuries: With any physical activity, there is a risk of injury. However, coaches and school leaders should take every precaution to ensure students are protected when playing on a school sports team or participating in gym class activities. This includes properly maintaining sporting equipment and playing fields to make sure they are safe for student use. It also means providing proper supervision over physical activities to prevent dangerous horseplay.
Playground accidents: Every parent has dealt with the occasional scraped knee from a fall at the playground, but there are many serious playground injuries that can require much more than a kiss and a bandage. These injuries can be due to negligent supervision at the school playground or improper maintenance of playground equipment. In some cases, a manufacturing or design defect in playground equipment can lead to severe injuries.
Food poisoning: School cafeteria workers receive extensive training in the safe preparation of food for children. Food that is kept at the wrong temperature, or food that is allowed to be served past its expiration date, can lead to serious sickness for children.
Sexual abuse: In the most heinous of circumstances, a school can be held responsible for the sexual abuse of a student. If the perpetrator is an employee, the school may not have properly investigated him or her during the hiring process. If the abuser is another student, school officials may have ignored warning signs. In addition to seeking justice through criminal charges against the perpetrator, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the school for the terrible abuse your child has endured.
Can I Sue If My Child Was Injured at a New York Public School?
Yes, although government entities generally enjoy more protections than private organizations, you can still file a claim against a New York school district to seek compensation for your child’s injury. However, the process for filing a claim like this is more complicated and thus requires a knowledgeable New York school negligence attorney who understands the paperwork demands and the strict guidelines.
In general, as part of filing a claim against a public school district, you should know that:
- Your attorney will first file a notice of claim, which is required whenever you are planning to file a claim against a government entity. This must be filed within 90 days of the school accident.
- You must then give the district at least 30 days to investigate the claim.
- Once the required amount of time has passed, you must file your lawsuit against the school district within one year and 90 days of the accident that caused your child’s injury.
Due to the strict timeframes required in filing a claim against a public school, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced New York school injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Failure to take action in the appropriate amount of time may prevent you from seeking justice in your child’s case.
We Pursue Maximum Compensation for School Accident Victims
Seeing your child in pain can make you feel helpless, but you are not. When you decide to enlist the help of the dedicated New York school negligence lawyers at Belluck & Fox, we will fight aggressively for the compensation you need to provide the best possible care for your child.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may pursue:
- Payment for medical bills – including any continuing treatment that your child may need in the future
- Future loss of income – in cases where the severity of the injury will prevent the child from working
- Pain and suffering – to help compensate for the physical as well as the emotional trauma your child has endured
- Punitive damages – meant to punish the at-fault parties in extreme cases, such as intentionally harmful behavior
Although every personal injury case is different, over the years, our seasoned attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in damages for people who were injured due to the negligence of another person or a company. We take each case personally, and our compassionate attorneys will thoroughly assess the impact this injury has had ─ and will continue to have ─ on your child’s life.
Our goal is always to demand full and fair compensation for what your child and your family had been through.
Let Us Help Your Family
At Belluck & Fox, we treat every client who walks through our doors with the respect and compassion that he or she deserves. As parents, we understand the panic that can set in when you learn your child has been hurt in an accident. We also know the unbelievable strength a parent can show when trying to protect a child. So let us be strong for you.
Whether we need to aggressively negotiate with an insurance company or take your case all the way through to a courtroom verdict, you can trust that we will always be looking out for your child’s best interests, just as you are.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with our seasoned New York school negligence lawyers.
With offices in New York City, Rochester, Woodstock, and Clifton Park, our firm handles injury cases throughout the state. Our attorneys also frequently travel to meet clients in their homes or in the hospital, whatever is most convenient for your family.