Can You Sue a School for Negligence?

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A neglected child is is left outside at school.You drop your child off at school every day with the expectation that their school is a relatively safe environment. But what if your child is seriously injured there? Accidents happen, but a lack of supervision, poor security, delayed maintenance, failure to address bullying, and other issues may contribute to a child being hurt. Whether or not you can sue the school – or other parties – depends on the details of your child’s injury and the type of school. In this article, we’ll discuss common school negligence situations and possible options for seeking compensation.

How Will a School Negligence Lawyer Help?

Because determining liability in school injury situations may be complicated, many parents aren’t sure if they have a case or not. They may not want to pay a lawyer’s fees only to find out they don’t have a valid claim. Financial concerns are understandable, but they can also be costly if you end up absorbing the expenses of your child’s injury yourself when there are other solutions.

If you believe your child suffered a preventable injury at school, we encourage you to speak with a Georgia school injury lawyer who can advise you on your specific circumstances. At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we’re always happy to offer a free consultation. Our firm was founded by attorney Ali Awad, who quickly turned it into the fastest-growing law firm in the country. When he’s not negotiating settlements for clients, he shares legal wisdom with more than a million followers on social media. If you’re unsure how to handle your child’s medical bills and other damages, give us a call, and let us review your case for free.

Suing a School District for Negligence

Typically one of the first questions we ask is whether the school in question is public or private. The reason is that it’s generally easier to sue a private institution than to sue a government entity. Georgia laws protect government offices and employees from civil suits, except where allowed by specific statutes. In most situations, O.C.G.A. 36-1-4 (2010) means that you can’t sue a public school district for negligence, even if it led to your child being injured.

Exceptions That Allow Lawsuits Against Public Schools for an Injured Child

There are some statutes that allow you to sue a public school district in limited circumstances. For example, when a child is injured or killed in any incident involving a school bus, the family may sue the school district up to the amount of insurance the district carries on their buses. There are other exceptions, so we recommend speaking with a Georgia school negligence lawyer to know if a lawsuit is possible. Even when you do have a case against a public school district, ante litem laws only give you twelve months to file a claim, so contacting a lawyer right away is the best solution.

Can You Sue an Individual Who Works for the School?

Sometimes. In most situations, you can sue a teacher or administrator for an intentional or malicious act, such as abuse or assault, as long as you can show evidence that the act occurred and that your child was injured as a result. But suing a school employee for negligence is much more difficult.

Ministerial Versus Discretionary Function

Georgia laws protect government employees from being sued in the majority of circumstances where an employee’s negligence at work leads to an injury. However, these statutes make a distinction between “ministerial function” and “discretionary function,” and employees can be sued for negligence related to ministerial function.

What is the difference? Ministerial function refers to situations where there is a specific rule or requirement in place, and a teacher or other employee chooses not to follow it. For example, Georgia legislation designed to protect students from active shooters requires schools to follow various safety and security procedures. If a teacher or administrator chooses to ignore one of these rules and a student is injured as a result of this decision, the employee could then be sued for negligence.

Discretionary function describes a situation where there is no specific requirement, and the school employee is expected to “use their own judgment.” If a teacher makes a bad call and your child is hurt, you will probably not be able to sue the teacher under these circumstances.

Suing a Private School

Unlike public schools, private schools are not protected against civil suits, and they usually carry insurance in case a child is injured while at school. Depending on the situation, you may be able to sue the school for negligence, or in some cases, breach of contract. With many private school injuries, we’re able to file a claim with the school’s insurer and work out a settlement without even suing the school. However, this is still an option if the insurance carrier won’t agree to a reasonable settlement.

Are There Other Remedies for a Child Hurt at School?

Sometimes a lawsuit against the school or teacher isn’t possible, but there may be other options for seeking compensation, depending on the situation. For example, if your child was injured by a bully at school, you may believe that the teacher or administrators were negligent in failing to address the bullying problem. But if there is no legal basis for a lawsuit against the school or its employees, you might be able to sue the bully or their parents for compensation. Another example would be if your child was injured by some sort of defective product at school, in which case you might be able to sue the product manufacturer.

The options for seeking compensation aren’t always obvious in these cases, so it’s best to discuss your particular situation with a school negligence attorney. They will let you know any alternatives for recovering your child’s damages.

Examples of Negligence in Education

There are many situations in which negligence in an educational setting may lead to a child being injured. Here are some examples of common situations we see:

  • Negligent security. A school or individual worker may fail to observe safety protocols. Examples include failing to lock a door, neglecting security protocols for identifying and admitting visitors or releasing a child to someone who isn’t on an approved pick-up list.
  • Bullying. A school or teacher isn’t necessarily negligent when one child bullies another. However, if you’ve repeatedly complained to your child’s school about a bullying situation and they haven’t made any attempt to discipline the bully or protect your child, the school may have been negligent.
  • Failing to address safety hazards. This includes a wide range of situations, from slippery floors to fire hazards to toxic chemicals stored where young children can access them. If the school administration knew of a hazard but didn’t do anything to remedy it, they could be negligent.
  • Lack of training for teachers or other staff and/or understaffing. Unfortunately these two problems often go together. Understaffed schools may cut corners on training because no one has time to do it. If a staff member doesn’t know all the safety protocols, or if there aren’t enough adults to supervise the children at all times, the school could be negligent.
  • Lack of planning/preparedness for natural disasters. If your school isn’t prepared for tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters, it may be negligent.

Contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm School Negligence Lawyer

If you have questions about a potential school negligence claim, please contact us at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. Your initial consultation is always free, so you can learn your options at no cost. If we do take your case, we won’t charge you anything until we win. Call our personal injury attorneys today at 833-254-2923 or visit us online to see how much your case is worth.

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Frequently Asked Questions

After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!

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Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.