Children tend to be extremely energetic and active. Just the fact of being in school might not be a barrier in stopping a child from being that way, especially in social events such as recess, or physical education. Their activities range from running around, to playing kick ball. These activities become more intense and dangerous as they get older. Sports such as, basketball, American football, and soccer are some popular sports that children start to want to play at a certain age. Often times, injuries from playing these sports are unavoidable. If a student gets hurt while at school, is the school liable for the injuries?
Who Takes the Blame?
If a student gets injured while performing a school activity, the school district might be the ones that will be blamed, and held accountable even though none of the school employees caused the harm directly. Determining who is liable can prove to be strenuous.
If a child was injured as a result of a baseball being pitched at their head by another student, the perception may be that it is the student’s fault who threw the ball–they are the one’s responsible. Well, that might not be the case. If the baseball was not supposed to be obtainable by any student because the teacher did not securely put it away, or the student already exhibited aggressive behaviors previously and was not being monitored, then the guilt might fall on the school district.
A civil suit would have to be brought against the school district if there is belief that the negligence of the school caused the injury to the child. The civil suit would be based off of a personal injury claim, which will compensate for the injuries and damages done. Yet, there are very few circumstances that allow a school to be sued.
Sovereign immunity is applied to all the political subdivisions such as, federal government, state agencies, county agencies, and municipal levels. The school district falls in this group. In other words, these parties are basically immune to being sued, and can only be sued under extreme situations.
Still, some forms of lawsuits are permitted to be brought against a school district in certain states. The downside of filing the lawsuit is that they expect meticulous procedures to be followed prior to the filing. The lawsuit may be dismissed if the procedures are not followed accordingly.
Claim before Lawsuit
Every state has their laws regarding filing a lawsuit against a school district. In most cases, there has to be a claim before a lawsuit can be processed. This clam must be formally done with the school district.
The claim will contain information on what injury was endured, and how it happened. The claim is filed with a clerk of the school district and must be in formal writing. Claims are made so that the school is able to investigate what happened. For school districts, there is a time frame of about two to three months to file the claim after the accident happened.
The person filing can be completely restricted in placing any lawsuit against the school district if they do not file within the time period specified. The lawsuit will not able to take place until the claim has either been denied, or the school district has not done anything preceding the claim. They usually give about three to six months in order to see some action done by the school district.