Schools are supposed to be safe for our children. Most school administrators and teachers are hardworking and conscientious, and most children have nothing but great memories of their schools and teachers. But sometimes terrible things happen at schools. Preventable injuries. Avoidable attacks. Faulty equipment.
Parents trust schools to protect their children. Schools must do everything that is reasonable to protect the children in their care. When schools fail to act reasonably, when school districts violate the law and when their negligence causes injury, attacks, or death, children and their families have legal rights.
Thousands of Canadian school children require emergency medical care each year following playground injuries. At Hoogbruin & Company, our experienced British Columbia personal injury lawyers can assist you and your child in seeking damages for school yard accidents caused or aggravated by a school administration’s negligence.
What is a School Board’s Liability for Accidents?
Under the B.C. Occupiers Liability Act, all school boards in the province have a duty to “take care” that their property–including school buildings, schoolyards, and playgrounds–are “reasonably safe” for children and other invited guests. This duty of care extends to three things:
- The condition of the premises;
- Any activities that occur on the premises; and
- The conduct of any third parties using the premises.
It is important to understand that the school board is not an absolute guarantor of your child’s safety. Rather, the Occupiers Liability Act protects your children from unreasonable risk of harm arising from ordinary acts of negligence on the part of the school board or its employees. This means that you can hold a school board liable for damages if a teacher or schoolyard supervisor’s negligence causes serious injury to your child. However, the school board is not automatically liable for every injury that may occur to a child on the school’s premises.
What Compensation is my Child Owed?
Even where a school district acknowledges liability for a child’s injuries, there may still be a protracted fight over the issue of damages. Quantifying damages can be difficult, especially when there is a traumatic brain injury or a similar trauma that affects your child’s long-term development. Your child’s prognosis may not be immediately understood, even by a doctor, and even when the physical injuries are healed, the psychological damage may persist into adulthood and beyond.
If your child has suffered serious injuries on a playground, such as broken bones, head trauma, or deep wounds, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is strongly advised. At Hoogbruin & Company, our compassionate personal injury lawyers can handle any type of injury claim involving your minor child.