A school is meant to be a safe environment. As a parent, you hope and trust that your child will not return from school injured or harmed in any way. The school staff is responsible for keeping your child safe and under supervision at all times, which includes ensuring that the environment itself is safe, and they are not at risk of injury from unaddressed hazards. However, there are many more children than there are staff members, and sometimes they are unable to provide complete supervision and safety. In Rome, Georgia, slip or trip and fall injuries are very common in schools, but it is often difficult to determine whether or not negligence played role and whether you have a claim against the school.
Types of Injuries Your Child Might Sustain from a Slip and Fall Accident
The injuries caused by slipping or tripping and falling are often no worse than mild bruises, bumps, or scrapes. Yet there are cases where the injuries are much worse than this. Some such injuries that could occur include spinal injuries, neck injuries, broken bones, and even internal bleeding. If a child hits his or her head very hard, it could even result in traumatic brain injury. These types of injuries can have long term effects and require extensive medical treatment to address.
What Causes Children to Slip or Trip and Fall in Schools?
Slip, trip and fall injuries may not be the fault of the school or the staff. There are times when children trip over their own shoe laces or lose balance while running or playing. Children are prone to injuries. However, there are situations where negligence or a lack of supervision are the cause of slip, trip, and fall injuries in children. It is the school’s responsibility to provide every child with a safe and hazard-free environment. Any safety hazard must be discovered quickly and corrected by the school. Some safety hazards that can lead to slip, trip, and fall injuries include:
- Wet floors
- Slippery tiles
- Broken pavement
- Furniture with pointed ends
- Extremely steep or dangerous stairways
- Uneven ground
- Potentially dangerous object hazards in hallways
- Worn or torn carpet
- Unsecured windows
How Can A School Prevent Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries in Rome, Georgia?
Children spend six to eight hours a day in school, and it is important for the school to be safe. The school premises are completely safe only when there are no safety hazards present. All dangerous situations must be addressed as soon as they are found (and must be found quickly, through regular inspection), and all of the children must be properly supervised until they leave the premises, with an authorized adult. If the children leave in a school bus, there must be supervision in the bus, too. Further, any extracurricular activities, off the school premises, must involve adequate supervision.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim Against the School?
If your child has been injured in a slip or trip and fall accident in a Rome, Georgia school, then you may be able to file a premises liability claim. However, to do so, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the owners or proprietors of the building or other authorities or employees (such as a principal, teacher, groundskeeper, bus driver, or janitor). Each person assigned to provide care to the children or maintain the property must act with reasonable care. If such reasonable care is not exercised, then they are considered to have acted negligently and are likely liable for the injury.
Further, to file a premises liability claim in Rome, Georgia, you must also be able to prove that the slip and fall injury suffered by your child was foreseeable. For example, if the child trips on a broken piece of pavement on the school premises, then the injury was foreseeable. Anyone could predict that such a hazard might cause an injury. However, if a child sneaks onto a part of the premises where they shouldn’t be and trips over a hazard in that area, then this might not have been foreseeable.
It is also important to note that public schools are controlled and maintained by government entities, making them government agencies. To file a personal injury claim against a public school, you will have to follow the rules associated with government claims. First, you must file a notice of the claim with the city and the school district. This means that you will have to notify the government entity about the personal injury claim that you are about to file. The notice allows the government entity to first accept or deny the claim before the lawsuit is filed. You must file this notice within a year of the injury.
If the school district denies your claim, then you may be able to file a claim against the teacher, bus driver, or other individual who was in charge of your child at the time that the injury occurred. In private schools, the school board, the principal, and the teachers are all responsible for the safety of your child. The school board is also responsible for finding any safety hazards in and around the school premises.
It is much easier to bring a lawsuit against a private school than a public school. Apart from the process being more complicated, public schools are also protected by several government immunity laws, which makes it much more difficult to hold them liable.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for Advice and Representation
If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been seriously injured in a slip or trip and fall accident at school in Rome, Georgia, then you’re probably wondering if you might have a valid personal injury claim against the school. If your child goes to a public school, you may feel that you have no chance of prevailing in a personal injury lawsuit. However, each personal injury claim is different, and consulting a compassionate Rome, GA personal injury attorney can increase your chances of receiving compensation. Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to explore your options.