How To Sue A School?
Nicholas Jervis, Solicitor (non-practising) and Managing Director of Children Accident Specialists Loyalty Law
When you send your son or daughter off to school in the morning you expect them to remain safe and free from harm for the duration of their time spent within those school gates.
Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen while children are at school – whether that is within the school premises or out on a school trip. If your child was not to blame for the accident, you will be able to seek compensation for the injuries your child has sustained.
This article looks at common accidents which happen at school, how to sue a school if your child is unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident at school, and how the law works in relation to child accident compensation.
Accidents at school include events such as falling from defective playground equipment, tripping or slipping within the school premises (either inside the school building, for example on a spillage of liquid that has not been cleared up or out in the playground or on the playing fields, for example, tripping on a pot hole), being injured in some way whilst on a school trip or being involved in a road traffic accident whilst travelling on the school minibus.
Even if you or your child are partially (but not wholly) to blame for your child's accident, you will likely be able to sue. Of course, your compensation will be reduced depending on how responsible you are, but you should not let partial responsibility deter you from pursuing a claim. As long as the school failed in their duty of care to your child, you should be entitled to some amount of compensation.
Accidents At School
If your child has been injured as a result of an accident at school and was not to blame for that accident then you are entitled to sue the school for personal injury compensation for your child. So how do you start to sue the school? What are the first steps that you must take?
You should obtain full details of the accident, including obtaining a copy of the Accident Report Form and details of any witnesses, before contacting an expert personal injury solicitor who specialises in child accidents at school. Your solicitor will then write to the school who will, in turn, respond directly to your solicitor or, more likely, will pass the matter onto their insurance company.
Safety in schools shouldn't be stuck in the last century.
A child is deemed not to have ‘legal capacity’ as they are under the age of 18. As they do not have 'legal capacity', they will need their parent, guardian or another responsible adult to represent them as their ‘litigation friend’. The normal rule in personal injury claims is that the Claimant has three years from the date of the accident in which to pursue a claim. In the case of children who have been injured the three year time limit does not expire until three years after their 18th birthday. However, you should sue a school as soon as possible after an accident to provide your child with the best chances of a successful claim.
If a claim is made, and settled, on behalf of the child before they reach the age of 18, any compensation awarded will be placed in the Court fund until they reach the age of 18.
If your child has been injured and you want to find out how to sue a school and make an accident claim, let us have a free, no obligation discussion now with one of our specialist school accident claims solicitors. Call us free on 0800 142 2775 (or local rate: 01275 75 00 44) for a free no obligation consultation and advice.
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What Happens Next?
Our solicitors are specialists in school accident claims. They will get in touch and explain whether they are able to help you with your school accident claim. If they can, they will then take care of everything else for you.
As specialists in dealing with school accident claims, they are completely aware that you will have experienced a great deal of stress following your child's accident, so they will ensure that the ongoing process is as straightforward and hassle-free as possible.
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