Personal Injury at School in SC: When Can a School Be Held Liable?
The school bell has run and summer is over. While parents and grandparents often sigh a breath of relief, the school year also brings stressors about a child’s safety at school. Because parents have little access or impact on students during the school day, schools act in loco parentis. This means that teachers and administrators can make many decisions for students that would be made by parents. Some examples of these are decisions around safety, management, providing food and discipline. There are, however, limitations to the boundaries around in loco parentis. What happens when your child is injured at school? Who is responsible? Can the school be held liable? Under South Carolina law if your child is harmed while in public school, the assaulter as well as the district, may both be liable.
If your student is injured at school, it is important to learn how the injury happened. Was the school or the staff negligent in acting in a reasonable way to protect your child. In legal terms, negligence describes a situation where a person (a teacher or administrator at the school) acts in a careless manner that results in a personal injury.
Unfortunately, many public school students are injured at the hands of another student. Negligence could be cited if a teacher left the room and an altercation happened. Negligence is almost always disputed so it is important to hire legal counsel in order to prevail in a negligence case.
The Farlex dictionary defines foreseeability as “The facility to perceive, know in advance, or reasonably anticipate that damage or injury will probably ensue from acts or omissions.” On a school campus, teachers must make hundreds of decisions on a daily basis. Teachers and administration are charged with ensuring safety when things are changed or go awry. If a piece of playground equipment is damaged and a student is injured playing on the broken playground, it is feasible that compensation could be issued due to a lack of teacher foreseeability. Likewise, if a floor is wet and your student slips and falls, breaking a bone, it would be important that there was caution signage to warn them.
Other claims that arise from danger at school can be caused by food poisoning, chemical presence, mold & mildew, irresponsible staffing, and basic physical violence.
Public schools and private schools can be held liable in different ways. Because a public school is a government run agency, it is important to contact The Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson immediately if your child is injured at school in South Carolina. There are guidelines and time limits that are specific to these organizations. Private schools are usually held to the same standards as any other business when it comes to liability for a personal injury.
If your child has been injured at school in South Carolina, call us today at 803-324-7200 for a free case consultation. Your child deserves the best care and we are #BIGenoughtofight and #smallenoughtocare.