Every parent hopes that their children will be free from harm at school, and that the school administration will take steps to make their learning environment respectful and safe.
Unfortunately, injuries frequently occur on school grounds or during school functions. Whether these are the result of negligent maintenance, poor security, or even staff abuse, schools may be liable in the event that a child is injured on its grounds.
A Michigan student injury lawyer may be able to help you to pursue a claim for damage on behalf of your injured child. These claims could demand payments from abusers, as well as negligent government entities that allow an injury to take place on their property. With the help of a tenacious attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., you could understand the rights of you and your child and have a legal professional by your side through each step of the ensuing process.
Examples of Student Injuries
Schools can be hazardous places for children. Separated from their parents, students must take some level of responsibility for their own safety. However, the schools themselves also have a duty to maintain a safe environment for students—as do the teachers and other members of school staff. A failure to provide this environment may, therefore, mean that a school is liable for any resulting damage.
Many of these damages are the result of accidents. For example, if a school fails to clear ice from an entranceway, does not perform proper maintenance on stairs, or does not clear a spill in a hallway, this could lead to a trip and fall injury.
Other injuries are the result of abuse. If a school hires a teacher, coach, or another staff member without performing proper background checks or demanding proper training, that school may be pursued for negligent hiring practices, as well as the injuries or psychological trauma that resulted. A Michigan student injury lawyer could help to evaluate the actions of school employees and administrators to determine if the school is liable for a child’s injuries.
Pursuing Claims Against the Government
If a negligent school is a public school, this creates a difficult legal issue. Traditionally, schools as a government entity were exempt from liability resulting from a personal injury. However, modern laws have taken steps to open the door towards holding government entities liable for damages to citizens.
Michigan General Statutes §691.1407 states that as a general rule, government entities are immune from personal injury lawsuits. However, one main exception is that a government entity may be liable if the injury arises from a public building defect. In other words, if the cause of a student’s harm is due to a broken stair or a faulty handrailing, the school district may be held liable. A student injury attorney in Michigan could help to evaluate the government’s role in causing a child’s injuries.
Demanding Compensation from Private Schools
Of course, not every school is a government entity and many parents choose to enroll their students in private schools. Here, the ability to hold these schools liable for injuries that occur on their land is far more powerful. Unlike public schools, private educational institutions do not enjoy sovereign immunity. As a result, a claim against a private school does not need to meet the strict standards present in state law.
Claims against private schools may allege negligent hiring, poor maintenance of property, or even inadequate security as contributing to an injury.
Retain a Michigan Student Injury Attorney for Help
Injuries that happen on school grounds often leave both the child involved and their parents overwhelmed. Unfortunately, state laws may severely limit a parent’s ability to make claims for damages, depending upon the exact facts of a case. The State’s sovereign immunity laws shield government entities from most types of personal injury claims, and as a result, many parents find their legal options limited.
However, this does not mean that a case will not succeed. If a defect in the property was the cause of your child’s injuries, the government may still be held accountable. Similarly, if your child was a student at a private school, these cases may proceed on a variety of legal theories as to why the school’s administration is responsible. To learn more about how to proceed, reach out to a Michigan student injury lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to schedule a free case review.
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