Was Your Child Injured at School? Here’s What You Can Do
For a child injured at school, the situation can be terrifying. They attend school with the assumption that their teachers are going to keep them safe, but that doesn’t always happen.
Childhood should be about playing, learning, and growing, not wondering who you can trust.
If your child has suffered an accident at school, it’s time to learn what your options are. Don’t let any injuries go unpunished if someone else was responsible.
Here is a guide to everything you need to know about suing a school for negligence and getting justice for a child injured at school. It’ll help you help your child move forward and live the rest of their life with a clearer mind.
Accidents at School
When you send your child to school, the minute they enter those doors they’re in the care of the school staff.
There are many types of possible accidents at school your child could suffer due to someone else’s negligence or neglect.
Here are just a few possible types of school accidents that could happen both on and off the property while your child is still in the staff’s care:
From the time your child leaves for school until the time they come home, your school is responsible for preventing these accidents.
Injuries on the Playground
Playground injuries are the most common way your child could get injured at school. Playtime constitutes a significant amount of your child’s time at school, and it’s usually one of the highlights of their day.
Slip and falls are the most common type of injury in this case. In fact, 70% of playground injuries are caused by falls, usually from children falling off of equipment.
While many of these playground injuries are just accidents, in some cases they happen because the school failed to meet its duty under of the Ontario Occupier’s Liability Act.
The Child Protection Policy in Schools
Schools are legally required to provide care and protection for the children in their care.
In Ontario, schools are expected to follow what’s known as the “Reasonably Prudent Parent Doctrine.” Under this regulation, schools are expected to provide the same level of care for all students that a parent or caregiver would provide.
This outlines factors such as number of students supervised by one faculty member or consideration of a child’s competence or skill level in an activity that could lead to negligence cases.
A school is responsible for maintaining and upkeeping all of the equipment a child will use or come into contact with during their day. From clearing off icy sidewalks to removing construction equipment, it’s the school’s job to be as preventive as possible.
When the school fails to uphold these duties and responsibilities, they are negligent.
Can You Sue a School?
Suing a school for negligence in Ontario isn’t easy. There are many legislations and legal clauses in place that are designed to protect the school in cases of child injury.
However, it’s not impossible. When your child’s school fails to do its duty in protecting your child, they need to be held accountable.
If a teacher or principal acted negligent, the school board is held liable.
There are three main conditions that must be met or proven to successfully sue a school board for negligence:
- The school staff failed to uphold the duty of care by failing to provide adequate supervision or protection of the student.
- Damage or loss occurred to the student.
- The student’s damage or loss was directly caused by the failure to uphold duty of care.
A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the tricky world of legal terms, insurance claims, and court rules.
School Negligence Cases in Ontario
If you’re thinking about suing your child’s school for negligence, you’re not alone. In Ontario, there have been many cases in the past where parents have sought justice for their child’s injuries.
In 2009, a group of parents filed claims for gross negligence for their children who had been victims of bullying at school. They filed a total of 4 claims against 3 schools in the Bluewater District School Board in Owen Sound.
These parents alleged that the school had not done enough to protect their children from being bullied. In addition, the schools failed to prevent it from happening again.
In 2014, a boy named Winston Karam won a case against his school in Ottawa, in what has been reported as a “precedent-setting case.” He was awarded damages after taking the school to court for preventing to protect him from the traumatic bullying he was enduring.
While both of the above mentioned cases were about bullying, there have been other instances of school negligence cases in the Canadian court system.
The Compensation When Your Child is Injured at School
We know there’s no financial compensation that can replace the sense of fear and distrust you might be feeling right now. However, compensation can help provide a sense of justice and security. Especially so when dealing with medical bills, caregiver costs, and other financial burdens.
When your child has to miss school for medical treatment or emotional distress, you have to take time away from work to assist them. In addition, these treatments could have a high price tag.
Seeking compensation will help to provide you the comfort of being able to care for your child while they are recovering from their experience. Pain and suffering is also another category for which a settlement could be awarded.
Don’t forget about the statute of limitations and the burden of proof that will be required. To file a successful personal injury claim, you need to consider both of those factors.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer who can help guide you through the process. We’ll show you everything you need and what your options are so you get the best settlement possible.
Contact Conte & Associates if Your Child Was Injured at School and You Need Justice
At Conte & Associates, we hate seeing people become victims of neglect, especially children. No one should be subjected to negligence by someone who is supposed to be caring for them.
Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Toronto will fight for the best outcome for you and your family. We won’t rest until you get the compensation you need to move on with your lives and start rebuilding.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact one of our offices in Whitby and Vaughan.