School accidents can occur in many different ways. Perhaps a student slips on spilled liquid that was not cleaned by school maintenance staff. Or perhaps the playground equipment is defective and results in falls or serious contusions. Maybe there are uneven surfaces in the schoolyard. If your child was injured in a school accident, it is important to retain an experienced attorney. At the Saavedra Law Firm, our Phoenix school accident lawyer may be able to help you.
Types of School Accidents
Dangerous conditions that can result in injuries at school include broken playground equipment, defective school equipment, spills, uneven surfaces, poorly maintained flooring, leaks in the ceiling, broken tiles, missing handrails, broken cement, and torn carpets. Injuries can occur before, during, or after school. Children may wind up with whiplash, eye injuries, bruises, cuts, lacerations, concussions, back injuries, drowning injuries, sprains, or broken bones. Parents may find themselves incurring expensive medical bills. There are even situations in which children die because of school accidents, including those arising out of sports, choking, air quality, or structural defects.
Some accidents at schools are preventable. Even when they are not, it is important that teachers and school administrators be adequately trained to deal with accidents and emergencies. They should follow specific procedures in providing medical attention in case of an on-campus injury. As a parent, you should take photographs and record what your child says about their injuries. A school accident attorney in Phoenix may be able to help you recover damages by filing an official claim with the school or the school district.
Claims Based on School Accidents
The school administration or the school district board should investigate and address your claim. There is a narrower timeline if your child goes to public school because the potential defendant is a government entity. Under the Arizona Tort Claims Act, there are certain situations in which the government has complete immunity from lawsuits in what is known as sovereign immunity, but there are also exceptions. Under Section 12-821.01, civil claims against public schools, public entities, and public employees are authorized, but a notice of claim needs to be filed, and it should specify the amount for which the claim can be settled and facts to support that amount.
A claim usually needs to be filed in writing within 180 days of the date of the injury. However, a minor has 180 days after reaching age 18 to file a claim. A claim should include a description of what happened and how the injuries were sustained, the amount being claimed, and facts to support the amount claimed. A Phoenix school accident attorney can help you meet these requirements. After a claim is filed, you usually need to wait to file a lawsuit in court until there has been a denial by the school district or until a certain amount of time has passed without school district action.
If your child goes to a private school, you should still act promptly, but the timelines are slightly less narrow because the private school is a private entity. The circumstances will dictate the theory under which you should pursue recovery. It may be appropriate to pursue damages for negligence. In that case, it will be necessary to show that the defendant failed to act with the appropriate care under the circumstances. However, it may be more appropriate in some cases to pursue damages under a theory of premises liability or product liability.
If you are able to establish liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages for your child’s injury. The damages may include compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Compensatory damages are meant to put your child and you back in the position in which you would have been had there been no school accident. Economic losses include tangible, concrete losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and replacement services. Non-economic losses include intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Hire an Experienced School Accident Lawyer in Phoenix
If your child was injured in a school accident in Arizona, it is important to discuss the matter with a capable personal injury attorney. Freddy Saavedra represent accident victims throughout Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 753-8917 or contact us via our online form.