A mother of a Houston first grader made the news this week when she publicly complained that her daughter was not properly treated at school after breaking her wrist. According to the girl's mother, her daughter fell of the monkey bars and landed really hard on the ground. She says that none of the teachers checked on her, and other students were the ones who helped the girl over to the adults. The mother was allowed to see a surveillance tape of the incident, and what she saw disturbed her. The girl suffered a fractured wrist, but is expected to recover quickly. The mother is meeting to talk with school officials about how they should have responded.
Accidents at schools happen, especially at elementary schools. Children frequently play too rough or are careless and injure themselves. In the vast majority of these cases, the school is not to blame. School personnel are not responsible for every accident that occurs. They also aren't responsible if they exercise reasonable care in responding to an accident that has occurred.
In some cases, the teacher or school official can be held responsible for an accident. It can be difficult to hold officials or employees of public school responsible for accidents, because of governmental immunity. However, employees of private schools can be held legally liable if the school fails to exercise due care in maintaining the safety of their students.
Two of the primary situations in which injuries occur to children at school, in which the school can be held responsible, are unsafe property conditions at the school and negligent supervision on the part of teachers, bus drivers, or other personnel. Unsafe property conditions could include broken and dangerous playground equipment, lead paint in the school, a dangerous electrical system, and a school bus with worn out brakes. Negligent supervision could include a teacher failing to stop a fight, a school building that failed to keep strangers from entering the school and harming a child, or a teacher failing to notice that a child suffered a medical problem.
Not every school accident will result in a personal injury claim. However, in many cases school personnel at private schools (but not public) can be held responsible. If your child has been involved in a school accident at a private school, and you feel that the school is responsible, call the Houston school accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493. Our attorneys are experienced with personal injury cases and will provide you with a free consultation. Call us today or visit us on Twitter at @KennedyHodgesTX.