Can You Take Your Child’s Private School to Court Over an Injury?


Every year, there are more than 14 million child injuries all over the country. A quarter of these injuries happen around schools. However, this is not surprising, considering that during a school year, kids spend a significant amount of time in schools, more than in any other place. But what happens when your child, who you have enrolled in a private school, gets injured? Can you take the school to court over the injury? Read on to find what is the legal way to pursue such an issue.

Was the Act Negligent or Intentional?

The first thing you will need to establish is who was responsible for the injury. An intentional act is something like bullying, where a child was bullied by another student and suffered physical harm. It can also be an injury inflicted by an adult in the school. If the student was bullied by another child, it is the parents of that offending child that are liable for the injury.

If it is an adult who harmed the child, the school might be held liable for failure to do a thorough background on the adult or failure to offer proper training and supervision. Negligence often occurs when the school fails to take action that could have prevented the injury. Seeing as this is a personal injury case, most likely, you will settle out of court. About 95 to 96% of personal injury cases get settled before trial. However, if you cannot agree to compensation, you can proceed to trial.

Establishing Liability Against the School

The private school has a duty towards all the kids attending the school as long they are on campus. In the course of the day, school employees wear the parents’ shoes and take care of the kids. That is what most parents expect when they drop their kids off at school. In fact, for private schools, parents expect even more enhanced safety measures. That is why one in every ten children attends a private school with the parents hoping the child will be safe. A school will be found liable for breaching duty of care if it is proven that reasonable or proper supervision could have prevented the injury. That means if reasonable supervision would not have stopped an injury from occurring, then there is no liability.

How Can School Injuries Lead to a compensation Case?

There are many ways that a child could get injured in school. And while these injuries are unavoidable at times, they can also be caused by intentional or negligent acts. When that happens, financial compensation is possible.

Every parent wants to be assured that their child will be safe in school. Most parents take their kids to private schools because of the safety standards they offer. According to a 2016 report by the Condition of Education, about 4.1 million kids were admitted to private schools from prekindergarten to 8th grade in the 2013/14 school year. This was an increase from the year 2011/12 when about 4 million students were enrolled. This just goes to show how much trust parents have in private schools.

But when a child suffers injuries from falls, food poisoning, or bullying in school, a parent is entitled to monetary compensation.

Steps to Suing a Private School

Talk to an attorney when you are trying to sue a private school. But often, these are the parties that are defendants in a lawsuit against a private school:

  • Principals
  • Vice principals
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Counselors
  • Individual school employees

In certain cases, there are even many defendants. For instance, if teachers are bullying a student, their superiors might also be held responsible for failing to stop the teacher’s action. Certain private schools have guidelines for resolving such issues. But generally, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in court for your child’s injury.

If your child has been injured in a private school due to negligent or intentional acts, you have the right to sue. But it is also wise to let a lawyer represent you. You will need legal advice and someone to represent your interests,