No matter the size of a school, the entire staff will always have a tough time keeping track of all children at all times. While parents rightfully entrust the safety of their children with the school’s staff, accidents are still bound to happen time and again. In the aftermath of this, medical attention will be needed and the recovery process will begin. However, when it comes to more serious injuries, parents will oftentimes start to think about which legal action they can take, and who to take it against.
Negligence In The Case Of Injuries Sustained During School Hours
Generally speaking, the injured will be entitled to compensation from the negligent party who has been legally found liable for causing the accident – a system which also applies to the cases where injuries were sustained during school hours. However, in order to hold any party accountable, the parents and their injury lawyer in North Bay will first need to prove negligence on the defendants’ part.
Any party, be it members of the school board, teachers, or administrators, can be found liable for the injuries a student sustained, given that they can be held accountable in the legal sense. In order to achieve this, the following will need to be proven true:
• the accused owed a duty of care to the injured student
• the accused breached this duty of care
• the student was injured
• these injuries directly resulted from the breach in the owed duty of care
While it can normally be challenging to prove that someone owed a duty of care to the injured, in the case of an injury sustained at school, there are pre-existing rules to ease the way. In the past, the court has established a doctrine called the “reasonably prudent parent doctrine” in which the duty of care a member of the school staff owes to the students has been defined.
According to this doctrine, all members of the school staff are required to protect each student from any and all foreseeable risks which could cause them harm. This is within reasonable boundaries of course.When applied to real world cases, things can still become complicated, of course, due to the unique circumstances of each individual case and claim. Because of this, the courts have established three factors by which a teacher’s liability under this doctrine will be judged. This includes:
• Students age
• Number of students under supervision
• Activity that the students were doing
Any teacher that is supervising high school students will not breach the duty by going out of the classroom to talk for a minute with another teacher. But any teacher that is responsible for supervising kindergarten students in the playground will be held liable of negligence if they step out leaving the students unattended. Usually, the risks that can harm children or cause them injuries at the school include misfunctioning playground equipment, school bus accidents, lack of supervision and non-maintenance of school premise.