Schools have a duty to provide a safe learning environment for children. Parents expect to send their children to school trusting that they will be safe from harm. Unfortunately, children can be injured at school in a variety of circumstances in the Bronx, including slips and falls.
Why Do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in Schools?
A child might slip, trip, and fall for several reasons. For example, a child might not be paying attention as they walk across a field and trip over a rock. The child might be horsing around and trip over a curb or other object.
However, some slip and fall accidents at school are caused by negligence. The school or staff members fail to correct hazards that pose a risk of slipping and falling. Causes of negligence that could result in a slip and fall accident at school include, but are not limited to:
- Uneven ground or pavement
- Slippery or wet floors
- Debris and objects left in pathways, halls, and walkways
- Overly-worn or damaged carpeting, tile, and other flooring material
- Cracked and broken pavement
- Dangerous railings and stairs
- Wires or cables that were not correctly secured to walls
When a school breaches its duty to provide safe premises, the school could be held liable for damages if a child slips and falls. The damages the child could receive will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Common Injuries Caused by School Slip and Fall Accidents
Children can suffer devastating injuries if they slip and fall at school. Minor bumps and bruises often heal without causing severe harm or long-term impairments. However, a child could sustain injuries that cause developmental, emotional, cognitive, and physical impairments.
Injuries from slips, trips, and falls at school include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Wrist and ankle injuries
- Internal organ damage
It is best to seek immediate medical attention if your child slips and falls. Depending on the severity of the injury, your child could require extensive medical treatment to prevent a life-threatening condition or permanent impairment. Medical documentation proving the extent of the injuries is needed to recover damages for a slip and fall accident.
What Damages Could a Child Receive for a Slip and Fall Accident at a Bronx School?
The damages your child might receive for a personal injury claim depend on the circumstances and the severity of the injuries. However, children can receive the same types of damages as adults receive for personal injury claims.
Economic damages your child might be entitled to receive include:
- Reimbursement of medical expenses and costs of treatment
- Futures lost wages and diminished earning capacity because of a permanent impairment
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the fall
- Costs related to physical, occupational, and other therapies
- The cost of nursing care and personal care
Your child is also entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. These non-economic damages include the physical, emotional, and mental pain and distress caused by the fall. They also include permanent impairments, disfigurement, and a decrease in your child’s quality of life.
Before your child receives any money for a slip and fall accident, you have the burden of proving negligence or other wrongdoing by the school or one of its employees.
Proving a Slip and Fall Accident Claim for a Child Injured at School
Premises liability and negligence laws require that you prove specific legal elements to hold a party liable for damages. Proving liability for a school injury can be challenging. Generally, you will need to prove the following to hold the school accountable for damages:
- Duty of Care – The school owed your child a duty of care
- Breach of Duty – The school breached the duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for your child
- Causation – The school’s actions or inactions were a direct and proximate cause of your child’s slip and fall injury
- Damages – Your child sustained damages because of the school’s breach of duty
Lawsuits against school districts and other government entities are complex personal injury claims. Therefore, consulting a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible is in your child’s best interest. An attorney investigates the cause of your child’s injury to gather evidence establishing liability for damages.
Your attorney handles all matters related to the action, including monitoring for deadlines to file claims and lawsuits. The statute of limitations for filing claims against government entities can be very short. Therefore, delaying seeking legal advice could hurt your child’s chances of winning a personal injury claim against a school.
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