If your child has recently been involved in a slip and fall at school and has undergone medical treatment for the injury, then you may want to recoup your financial losses. If you feel strongly about this, then you should speak with a law firm about the incident. However, you should understand a few things about the potential lawsuit before you file any paperwork.
The School May Be Exempt From Lawsuits
You may already know that you cannot sue a state or federal agency if you feel that the government has harmed you in some way. The government, and all agencies that fall under the government, are protected due to sovereign immunity. Since public schools are seen as state operated entities, the school will be safe from lawsuits under state sovereign immunity. The only time that state immunity does not apply is when the entity has broken state or federal laws.
However, there are some cases where the state may allow an entity that is run by the government to be sued. This means the government has the right to wave immunity if they feel like there is cause to do so. If gross negligence took place at the school and led to the injury, then you may be allowed to sue. This depends on the state and the laws that are set up by the state that outline who can sue and under which types of circumstances a lawsuit can be filed.
For example, if the state allows gross negligence lawsuits, then you may be able to sue the school if the janitor mopped a hallway floor and did not warn that a wet floor was present. This is true if your child slipped on the floor afterwards. In this case, the janitor should have known that this was a likely outcome of the wet floor.
Premises Liability May Apply
Premises liability is a term used to describe an injury that has occurred due to a hazardous, dangerous, or defective situation that caused the injury. For example, premises liability may describe a fall that happened when your son or daughter tripped over a broken sidewalk. A broken sink that has spilled water on the floor may cause a slipping incident and would fall under premises liability. Basically, if the injury was caused by something that broke or was not fixed properly, then this will be seen as a liability issue.
While gross negligence likely did not take place, the school has a responsibility to make sure that the repairs are made in a timely manner so that all children and school employees are kept reasonably safe on the premises. As long as the school did know or should have known about the issue, then they are liable. If the fall can be described as an accident that probably could not have been avoided or stopped by the school, then the school may not be liable. For example, if a child spills a drink in the lunchroom and your child immediately slips on the spill before it can be cleaned, then this is not a premises liability or negligence issue. You probably cannot sue the school in this case.
About a year ago, I was left dealing with injuries sustained during a serious car accident. I was worried that I would never be the same, so I decided to start looking into ways to make things right. After thinking about the wreck, I realized that since it wasn't my fault, I shouldn't be left with all of the medical expenses. I decided that I needed to look into things a little further, and I decided to file a personal injury lawsuit. My lawyer helped me to come to grips with the extent of my injuries and helped me to make things right. This blog is all about understanding personal injury lawsuits.