Many parents in Louisiana have a reasonable expectation that sending their children off to school in the morning means they will be in safe circumstances for the remainder of the day, but the unfortunate truth is that kids of all ages can end up suffering serious injuries in several kinds of accidents that could occur on school property. Parents are often left completely clueless about what legal rights they have in these situations and who can be held accountable, which is why your first move needs to be to contact an experienced New Orleans child injury attorney.
Parents need to understand that child injury cases can be much more complex because the type of school (public vs. private) can impact the statute of limitations (or time limit) in these cases, and many parties who end up being defendants often claim that the children themselves were at fault for their injuries. You will want to have legal representation for assistance in presenting the strongest possible claim for damages in any kind of legal action.
Common Causes of School Injuries
Children spend a majority of their days on school grounds, so it is not uncommon for most injuries involving children to occur at schools. While many people working at schools certainly try to keep kids safe and avoid accidents, there are a number of situations in which some form of negligence leads to a child suffering injuries in an accident.
Some of the most common kinds of accidents involving children include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Sports injuries
- Food poisoning
- Playground accidents
- Toxic exposure
When a parent knows a school is responsible for their child’s injury, holding the school liable can be a difficult task. You need to understand that the traditional statute of limitation that allows people one year to file injury claims in a court of law may not always be applicable.
Public schools are governmental entities, and certain parishes in the New Orleans area may impose limits much shorter than one year. You may have to take legal action within 90, 60, or even 30 days, so it is incredibly important that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
The other area of primary concern with a personal injury action involving a child is that the party who is a defendant is very likely to claim that a child was at fault for their injuries, and Louisiana recognizes the doctrine of comparative negligence, which allows a court to reduce a plaintiff’s award by their share of negligence for an accident so a person who is found to have been 50 percent responsible for their accident only recovers half of their actual award. You will want to have a lawyer who can argue that your child should not be held to this same standard since children simply do not have the same appreciation of risks an adult should have, and school officials have an obligation to ensure that children do not expose themselves to unnecessary risks.
Types of School Accident Injuries
Children can suffer a wide range of injuries in school accidents, and perhaps no injury is more devastating than a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can lead to a lifetime of struggle for a child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were approximately 640,000 TBI-related emergency department visits, 18,000 TBI-related hospitalizations, and 1,500 TBI-related deaths among children 14 years of age or younger in 2013, and the leading causes of TBIs were unintentional falls and being struck by or against objects, while sports and recreational activities accounted for an estimated 325,000 TBI-related emergency department visits among children and teens in 2012.
Other kinds of injuries can include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Black eyes
- Broken bones or fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Internal organ damage
- Burn injuries
- Illnesses such as those from toxin exposure or food poisoning
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Eye injuries
- Chemical injuries
- Nerve damage
- Severed limbs
- Hearing damage
- Head and face injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Emotional or psychological injuries
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Did your child suffer severe injuries in an accident at their school in the New Orleans area? Make sure you get in touch with Egenberg Trial Lawyers for diligent legal representation in the handling of a personal injury claim.
Our firm understands how complicated these cases can be and will work tirelessly to make sure you are able to get a measure of justice for your child. Call (504) 229-3117 or contact us online to set up a free consultation so we can evaluate your case and answer all of your legal questions.