If my son was hurt at school by his teacher, can I sue the teacher and the school?

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If my son was hurt at school by his teacher, can I sue the teacher and the school?

My son and his teacher were wrestling in a classroom. The teacher landed on my son breaking his arm requiring emergency medical attention. The teacher informed me that my son tripped on a cord in the class and sustained an injury. My son eventually told me the truth about what took place. My son was in a lot of pain and missed some school.

Asked on November 25, 2011 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the facts are as you describe them, then you could indeed sue the teacher and the school. It is, at a minimum, negligent (or unreasonably careless) for a teacher to wrestle a student; that negligence could make the teacher liable, and the school could be liable as his employer. You could potentially recover medical costs, for you son's pain and suffering, and other out of pocket costs (e.g. if you had to hire a tutor to make up for missed classes).

Note the following:

1) There are special rules for suing governments or government subdivisions (like school districts) and shorter time lines for taking action; do not try to pursue this legal action yourself (speak with an attorney) and also do not delay.

2) You might first see if any other children or other witnesses corroborate what your son said. As a parent myself (11 year old and 7 year old), I know that children, even the best ones, are not 100% reliable as witnesses and often look for someone to blame for misfortune. Since you'd have to prove what happened in a court if you sue, it would not be a bad idea to see if there is any other evidence or witnesses before beginning the process of suing.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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