If my daughter was accidentally injured in her public school, what legal recourse do we have?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my daughter was accidentally injured in her public school, what legal recourse do we have?

My daughter was sitting on the floor in a public school classroom, my daughter sustained trauma to her neck/back from a girl falling on her head, forcing it downward towards her chest. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital where she recieved treatment for a severe ligament strain to her back.I have contacted the school, which has indicated they have no insurance to cover costs for my daughter’s treatment, and said it was up to my medical insurance provider and me to cover the costs of treatment. Since my daughter was sitting minding her own business and was injured by the actions of 2 other students in a classroom setting, is the school correct in it’s stand on this or would the school’s liability insurance need to cover costs?

Asked on October 14, 2014 under Personal Injury, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether the school would be liable, or financially and legally responsible, for the injury. The school is not the insurer of its students; it is only liable when it is at fault in some way. The most common way for a school to be at fault is through "negligent supervision" of the students, or carelessly failing to supervise them correctly and keep them safe.

If the girl who fell on your daughter was obviously doing something dangerous, like "horsing around" a lot before she fell, climbing on the furniture, or something like that, so that the teacher or administrator or aide in the classroom should have seen that there was a risk and stopped what was going on, then the school could be liable for the failure to stop the risky activity. If this was the case, tbhey could be liable for all the medical costs, for example, though if they will not voluntarily pay, you'd need to sue them.

But on the other hand, if the girl just tripped or fell without warning, which certainly does happen, the school would not be at fault, because they did nothing wrong: no person, school, or other institution is required by the law to stop all accidents, because that is impossible. So if there was no reason for the school to have stepped in before the accident occured, there would be no liabilty.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption