School Personal Injury Claim for Your Child in NYC
As a parent, you only want your child to be safe. When you place them in the care of another trusted adult, you hope they have the same priority. While your child is at school, you expect that teachers and other authorities in the school system are supervising your child and keeping them safe. Unfortunately, four million children are hurt at school each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The School Owes Your Child a Duty of Care
Your child’s school legally owes your child a duty of care to ensure they are kept safe. This means protecting them from multiple forms of injury and death. To fulfill this duty of care, schools must ensure they have an appropriate number of staff members that can provide adequate supervision that prevents injuries. School staff carry this legal obligation when children are on school grounds, in the building, on school premises, and any other place children are engaged in school-related activities.
Any time a school official does not fulfill their duty of care, they are considered negligent. Just like any other time a person is careless and causes harm to another, the school official or the facility can be held liable for paying damages. Parents can file a personal injury claim against the negligent party to recover financial compensation for your child’s medical expenses, your lost income, and more.
Types of Accidents that Happen at School
No one wants to think that their child will become injured while they are at school, but the stats show that it happens much more often than people think. The most common types of accidents that happen at school are as follows:
- Slip and fall accidents, which can occur when the property is not cleared of ice and snow properly, handrails are missing or broken, or when a floor is slippery and not property cleaned
- Sports injuries due to negligent coaching or supervision
- Playground injuries caused by faulty playground equipment or improperly maintained school grounds
- School bus accidents, which are often the result of bus driver negligence
- Injuries sustained at crossings due to negligent crossing guards
- Injuries sustained from fights with other children due to improper supervision
- Food poisoning when school kitchens are not properly maintained and food is not properly prepared
The above accidents are usually caused by the negligence of the school or the school board. When that is the case, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent party on behalf of your child. The process of filing these claims, though, is slightly different from other types of personal injury claims.
How to File a School Accident Personal Injury Claim in NYC
If your child has been hurt while attending school, it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer who can help you through the process of filing a claim. The process sounds straightforward, but there are many challenges that can arise. The steps of filing a school accident personal injury claim in New York are as follows:
- File a Notice of Claim: Due to the fact that you are filing a claim against a government entity, you must file a “Notice of Claim” within 90 days of your child’s accident. You must file this notice with both the Department of Education of the City of New York and the City of New York.
- 50-H Hearing: After you file the Notice of Claim you will have to attend a 50-H Hearing. If your child is old enough, they may have to attend the hearing to testify. The hearing is essentially an interview regarding the Notice of Claim you filed with the City of New York. The school district may also order you to obtain a full examination of your child’s injuries by a qualified physician.
- Settlement: Once the 50-H Hearing is complete, the school district has one month to consider a settlement and offer it to you. If you have not reached a settlement agreement within that time, you will have to file a lawsuit against the school district.
- Lawsuit: If you have to file a lawsuit against the school district to obtain the full damages you deserve, it will proceed just like any other lawsuit. It is not uncommon for these cases to go before the Supreme Court of the Burroughs in which the school district is located.
It is important to act quickly in any personal injury case. When you are filing a claim against a school, though, this becomes an even bigger priority. You only have 90 days to file your Notice of Claim and if you miss that deadline, it can place your entire claim in jeopardy. However, you also have only one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the school district.
Due to the fact that these cases are so complex and present many challenges, a verdict at trial or an acceptable settlement offer often takes between one and three years after the lawsuit has been filed to achieve. Still, it is important to take this legal action to obtain the justice you and your family deserves.
Call Our School Accident Lawyer in New York City Today
You should be able to trust that when your child goes to school, they will remain safe while they are there. Unfortunately, school staff and school districts can act negligently, and that places the health and well-being of children at risk. If your child has been hurt, our New York City school accident lawyers at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you through the complex process of filing a claim. Call us now at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.