When a child suffers a significant injury at school, parents have the option of suing for compensation to help pay for medical bills and other expenses associated with the injury. The type of lawsuit that may be appropriate will depend on the specific facts of the case. In most cases, there are some general principles that will matter for parents in this circumstance.
Public versus private school
The option to sue a school for a student’s injuries exists regardless of whether the school is public or private. However, there are important distinctions between the two. As a subdivision of state government, a public school district is subject to the damages limits imposed by Nevada’s governmental entity liability laws. A plaintiff seeking damages in a negligence lawsuit against a school district cannot recover more than $100,000 in compensation. This damages limit doesn’t apply in cases involving deliberate acts.
A private school does not have the same statutory protection as a public school, meaning the potential damages that a plaintiff could recover are substantially more. A private school may have required parents to sign waivers or other limitations of liability that could limit the amount a plaintiff could recover. Such waivers should not discourage parents from exploring legal options. Many waivers can be overcome by plaintiffs.
Potential causes of action against schools
Lawsuits for personal injury typically are grounded in a claim of negligence. Negligence involves the defendant’s failure to take a legally required degree of care toward the plaintiff. It can apply to a wide variety of circumstances. As a general rule, Nevada schools owe their students a high duty of care to prevent injuries and ensure safety. An act of negligence could give rise to a lawsuit in cases such as these:
- Negligent maintenance of playground equipment or school infrastructure leading to injuries from slip-and-fall accidents, cuts from sharp edges, and so forth.
- Negligent food safety practices leading to foodborne illnesses.
- Negligent hiring of individuals who pose a foreseeable safety risk.
- Negligent supervision of students leading to injuries from fights or other issues.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases. If your child has been injured at school we can help you examine your legal options and develop a strategy to seek compensation. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.