Who is Liable When Your Child is Injured?

Who is Liable When Your Child is Injured?

An injured child is every parent’s worst nightmare. When your child is injured at school, at a friend’s house, or on a field trip, you may be unsure of your rights and legal options as a parent.

Depending on the circumstances of your child’s injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation on his or her behalf.

Injuries at School

A toddler playing with sand toys at a preschoolChildren spend over a quarter of their lives in school. It stands to reason that many children, as a result, sustain injuries while on the school playground, or as a result of other students.

When your child is injured at school, your legal options can be complicated. In general, public schools are considered government entities, and usually have immunity from most lawsuits. For example, if your child trips and falls in the hallway, you usually cannot file a civil lawsuit against the school seeking damages.

However, there are many exceptions to this general rule. For example, if your child was injured because the school negligently failed to protect him or her from a foreseeable danger, then this immunity may not apply.

Injuries at School-Related Activities

A mother and son waiting in a crosswalk as a car is comingIf your child is injured on the way to or from school, or on a field trip, you may have an easier time recovering payments for your child’s medical bills and suffering. Often, students are transported by companies with substantial insurance policies, who will quickly settle cases where a child is injured.

In addition, field trip locations like zoos or museums may also have insurance meant to cover injuries sustained on their properties. However, if these locations are also government entities, it may be difficult to recover damages unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Injuries at a Friend’s House

Children running after a young boy carrying a rainbow flagIt may be uncomfortable to consider filing a lawsuit or seeking damages from friends and family. That is precisely the reason that most people carry homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance.

When your child is injured at someone else’s residence, the person’s homeowners’ or renters’ insurance is your first resource for compensation. These policies are meant to cover the medical bills for injuries on the property.

Unfortunately, if your child was injured at the home of someone without insurance, you may have no recourse but to sue the property owner personally.

Know Before You File a Lawsuit

A family of four riding bicyclesPersonal injury lawsuits are complicated, regardless of where your child’s injury occurs. In addition to determining which parties might be responsible, who has insurance, and who is immune from suit, your child’s own actions may determine your chances of recovery.

When considering issues like negligence and fault, the actions of your child have significant importance. Your child’s actions will be judged on a “reasonable child” standard, meaning that he or she may not be able to recover if the actions were unreasonable for a child of that age.

For example, the actions of a 15-year-old should be more reasonable than the actions of a 5-year-old. If your child should have known better than to do what he or she did, then his or her chances of recovering compensation will likely be reduced.

Inkelaar Law Will Help You Fight For Your Child

Inkelaar Law is recognized nationally for its efforts at fighting school bullying and standing up for the rights of injured children. We have the experience you need on your side if your child has been injured.

To learn more about your family’s rights after a childhood injury, call 1-877-537-4665 today.