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Can schools be liable for a student’s injuries?

As any parent knows, accidents happen. Unfortunately, accidents can happen when your child is at school. Some accidents are truly just accidents, such as your child tripping in the hall or bumping his head on a desk. But what if your child is injured because of a dangerous condition on the school property? Can a school be legally responsible for these types of injuries?

Under the theory of premises liability, business and property owners can be held legally responsible for injuries that occur on their property. The theory of premises liability extends to schools as well. In California, schools have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for students, staff, and other people who are allowed to be there. This means that schools have a duty to correct and prevent any dangerous conditions on the school premises. Dangerous conditions include slippery floors caused by leaks, unsafe playground equipment, and icy sidewalks. When a child is injured due to an unsafe condition, the school may be liable for the child’s injuries. 

In general, schools are not responsible for injuries that occur off school grounds, though it is possible. In one case, a car in a crosswalk on her way to school hit a student. Even though the student was not on school property when she was hit, the court held that the school district was still liable for her injuries. The reason for this was that the school knew the crosswalk was dangerous because it did not have any signals. Multiple parents and employees had already complained to the school about the crosswalk. Because the school knew about the danger and failed to do anything about it, the district was held liable for the student’s injuries even though the accident occurred off school premises.

If your child was injured at school, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Your child may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. The attorney can look at the specific facts of your case and help you decide

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