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What Should I Do If My Child Is Injured at School in New York?

Nothing means more to a parent than their children. Keeping them safe and secure is always a parent’s top priority. Unfortunately, as children grow up and begin heading off to school, parents can’t keep their eyes on them 24/7.

Instead, they must trust that their kids will be safe and secure while at school. Tragically, as school shootings continue to plague our nation, the safety and security of our children while they’re attending school has become a hot button topic. However, as horrific as school shootings are, there are other more common ways that kids can suffer injuries while at school, such as slip and fall accidents, drownings, premises liability accidents, and assaults to name a few.

Whatever the case, the bottom line is parents send their children to school with the expectation that they will be safe, secure, and well looked after. When that expectation isn’t met, the results can be catastrophic and those at fault must be held responsible for allowing it to happen. One way to do that is through a personal injury lawsuit.

If My Kid Gets Hurt at School, Who’s Liable?

There are few calls that parents dread getting more than a call informing them that their child has been injured or worse. When a parent gets a call from their child’s school informing them that something has happened to their child, a thousand things run through their mind and all they want as they race to the school is for their child to be okay.

However, once they are reunited with their child, and depending on the extent of their child's injury, parents can catch their breath and think. In many cases, they want to know how their child was hurt, who is responsible for their child’s injury, and how can that person or the school be held accountable for their child’s injury.

When a child is injured at school, several factors help determine who is liable for the child’s injuries, including:

  • When the injury happened – Was your child injured while the school was open or after hours? Was the school closed for summer or spring break when your child was injured there?
  • Where the injury happened – Did the injury happen at school, on the school bus, as your child was heading to or leaving the school, or while your child was on school trip?
  • Who was involved – Was there adult supervision around when your child was injured? Was there supposed to be adult supervision around when your child was injured? Was your child injured by another student? Was an adult, such as a teacher, at fault for your child’s injury? Was your child injured on a school bus because of the bus driver’s negligence? Or did the bus accident happen because of another driver’s negligence? Was your child the victim of sexual assault at the hands of a teacher or another student?

In many cases, the answers to these questions can make or break your case, especially if you determine that the school is liable for your child’s injury.

Can I Sue the School District If My Child Is Injured at School in New York?

This is where lawsuits involving schools and school districts can become tricky. This is because school districts have sovereign immunity. All branches and agencies of the federal, state, county, and municipal government are what’s called political subdivisions.

Political subdivisions have what is known as sovereign immunity, which means that in many instances, the government entity and its employees cannot be sued. Sovereign immunity does not mean that there are no circumstances where a government entity or its employees can be sued. It just means that filing a lawsuit against a government entity or its employees requires specific circumstances. In the case of school districts, all states have waived sovereign immunity for situations where a school district or its employees are at fault for a student’s injury.

In New York, to file a lawsuit against a public school district for a child’s injury, you must first file a Notice of Claim with the court within the first 90 days following the injury. If 30 days pass and that claim is denied, or no action is taken, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the school district with the New York Supreme Court.

For the above reasons and others, if your child was injured at school, you should speak with an experienced school and child injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you determine if it’s possible for you to file a lawsuit against the school district.

If you can, your attorney can help you figure out who is liable for your child’s injury and guide you through the legal process of bringing that person or entity to justice. This includes preventing those who harmed your child from hurting others in the same way in the future and securing compensation for you and your family.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Experienced Child & School Injury Lawyers in Schenectady, NY Today

At DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata, LLP, our clients and what’s best for them is always our top priority. We have been protecting our clients’ rights in Schenectady and the Capital Region since 1948, and as our case results prove, during that time, we have put together a track record of success few other firms have matched.

Our experienced school and child injury lawyers know what it takes to help injury victims and their families get justice and hold those at fault for their pain and suffering accountable, including securing compensation for hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses.

To discuss your situation with our experienced child and school injury attorneys, call us at (518) 299-0314 or reach out to us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re available 24/7.