Chicago Injury Attorneys Helping Families after an Injury to Their Child
School is a significant experience for children—both for educational and socialization purposes. When parents send their child to school, they rightfully expect that their child will return home at the end of the day in a safe and healthy condition. However, there are many risks at school that can cause serious injuries to your child.Getting the call that your child has been injured in a school accident can be jarring and often frightening. Your first priority will be ensuring that your child receives the medical treatment she needs to be stabilized and to mitigate the effects and complications of her injuries. However, once your child is being treated, you may not be sure of where to turn to learn about your legal rights.Cases involving injuries to children can have unique legal issues and claims against a school can be particularly complicated. It is critical that you discuss the best course of action with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. The law firm of Abels & Annes in Chicago regularly handles injury cases involving victims of all ages—including children—so please contact us to learn more today.
How Children Get Injured at School
From the time they leave the house until the time they return home, there are many opportunities for children to get injured during the school day. The following are only some examples of how children are injured:
- School bus crashes
- Falling while entering or exiting the bus
- Slip and falls at school
- Food poisoning from the cafeteria food
- Playground injuries
- Sports-related injuries
- Injuries from bullying or assaults by other children
- Injuries inflicted by adults—teachers, staff, or visitors to the school
Any of the above accidents has the potential to cause a wide range of injuries—from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries. No matter what type of injury your child has sustained, he should receive a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
Common Losses Incurred Due to Injuries to Children
Injuries to children can result in significant losses for both your child and your household. Such losses can be financial or intangible, and it is important to discuss your situation with a lawyer who can accurately determine the full amount of your losses. These can include the following:
Medical costs – Children often have a more difficult time expressing the exact nature of their pain or recognizing the symptoms of certain injuries. A child who has been in an accident should always be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible, and any recommended course of treatment should be carefully followed. This treatment can result in significant medical bills for you that may continue for some time.
Pain and suffering – Children can be very affected by pain and many school-related injuries can be extremely painful. Such pain can affect a child’s demeanor and ability to participate in regular activities or sit through school. Many medications that relieve serious pain can also cause certain side effects in children.
Permanent disability – Injuries can often affect children differently than adults because their bodies are still growing and developing. For example, the effects of a traumatic brain injury on a young brain can be more severe than the same degree of injury to an adult. Often, these injuries can result in permanent impairments that a child must live with for the rest of her life.
Loss of enjoyment of life – If a child’s injuries cause lasting or permanent disabilities, he may be less able to succeed in school and his entire professional path may be affected. Some injured children must quit sports or other activities that they enjoy.Because the losses from a serious school-related injury can be significant, it is important to discuss who may be held liable for your child’s injury.
Can a School Be Held Liable for Your Child’s Injuries?
In order to hold any party liable for an injury—including schools—you must demonstrate that the party was negligent in causing the injury. If a child simply falls because she was uncoordinated, it is unlikely that another party can be held responsible. However, you may be entitled to compensation if the accident occurred due to any of the following acts of negligence, among others:
- Inadequate supervision
- Existence of dangerous hazards in the school or on the bus
- Improper food sanitation or storage
- Insufficient playground maintenance or repair
- Inadequate security
- Dangerous school bus driving
It is also important that a school handles an injury in the proper manner. For instance, if your child falls on the playground and hits her head, a teacher or playground supervisor should promptly take the child for a medical evaluation—either at the school nurse’s office or an emergency room, if needed. If a school fails to take adequate action to respond to your child’s injury, complications may arise and the child’s condition may worsen. Even if a child was injured in a pure accident that was no one’s fault, a school may be found negligent if it did not respond appropriately to the accident.You should realize that legal claims against schools can be highly complicated—especially against a public school district. This is because of certain Illinois laws on filing a claim against the state. There are strict time limits to file this type of claim, so you should never delay in discussing your child’s injury with a law firm that has experience handling school-related claims.
Contact a Children’s Injury Attorney for Help Today
Few things can be more distressing than having a child who has been seriously injured. At the Chicago law firm of Abels & Annes, we have the skill and experience to successfully represent injured children and help your family recover financially. Our attorneys have seen firsthand the devastating effects that an injury to a child can have on your household and we are here to provide assistance.Our team will evaluate your rights and help you determine the best way to proceed in your situation. For more information, please call 312-924-7575 or contact us online for a free consultation.