Schools must provide safe areas for children, teachers as well as parents to be in and there are Health and Safety Executive regulations in place to ensure this is so. Every school should have a health and safety policy in place offering details of their responsibilities towards pupils who are in their care. Should your child be involved in a school accident that leaves them injured and there is proof of negligence, it could entitle you to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the negligent third party.
To find out more about child accident at school claims and what to do when filing a personal injury claim, please read on.
Would My Child Accident at School Claim be Valid?
Children often injure themselves at school, but typically this involves a scrape, bruise or slight cut. However, there are situations in a school environment when a child might suffer a much more serious type of injury which could be as a consequence of negligence with examples being as follows:
- Equipment used at school is faulty or badly maintained – examples being chairs, desks or toys
- Loose or torn carpets as well as slippery, wet floors
- Under-prepared or contaminated food served in a school’s canteen
- A lack of sufficient supervision in a school environment
Accidents do happen and children can injure themselves when they are playing or messing about in the playground, however, it is the responsibility of the school to ensure that your child is safe when they are at school and the adequate supervision is always provided which includes when you child goes on a school trip. If the school your child attends does not follow safety procedures and as a result your child is injured, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the distress, pain and suffering both your child and loved ones had to endure.
How Will Filing for Child Accident at School Compensation Help Financially?
If your child suffers injuries in an accident at school, they may require specialist medical care and treatment. Travelling to and from the medical facility would mean paying out of your own pocket which can quickly mount up and as a result lead to you having to cope with financial hardship. By filing a personal injury claim for compensation, it can take all the worry of having to pay for your child’s treatment and other out of pocket expenses you have to cope with.
The level of compensation you could be awarded in a successful child accident at school claim would depend on the severity of the injuries sustained. A solicitor could assess your case in an initial, no obligation consultation which is normally free of charge before advising you of the following:
- Whether negligence on the part of a third party can be proved
- Whether there is enough evidence to support your personal injury claim
Once satisfied, the solicitor would let you know at the earliest opportunity what you may expect to receive in the way of child injury at school compensation. With this in mind, the solicitor who represents you would ensure that you are compensated for the following:
- Private medical care and therapy which could help speed up your child’s recovery
- Home tutoring hold your child be unable to attend school during their recovery
- Your loss of earnings should you have been obliged to take time off work to care for your injured child
- Your expenses which includes medical and travel costs
- Adaptations to your home should these be required to accommodate your child
- Rehabilitation should your child require ongoing rehab both immediate and ongoing
Who Do I File a Child Accident at School Claim Against?
If someone else caused the injury to your child while they were at school, a solicitor would advise you on who could be held negligent with examples being as follows:
- The school or academy your child attends
- Teachers as well as other people who are employed by a school
- A trust that is in charge of the school or academy your child attends
What Can I Include in a Child Accident at School Claim?
You would be able to claim both damages and losses in a child accident at school claim. Personal injury compensation is divided into two parts which are explained below:
- General damages would be paid to you as a way of compensating your child for all the distress, pain and suffering they were put through
- Special damages would be paid to reimburse you for all the out of pocket expenses you paid out as a direct result of your child’s injuries. Special damages are also paid to cover all other costs paid out which includes any loss of earnings you may have had due to not being able to work because you were taking care of your injured child
It is very important that you hold onto all your receipts because these are needed to prove all the expenses and other costs you paid out so that the amount of special damages you receive can be calculated.
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Child Accident at School Claim?
When claiming compensation for your child if they were injured in a school accident, you would have up the time your child turns 18 years of age to file your case against the negligent third party. However, it is far better to seek advice from a solicitor sooner rather than later when things are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Any witness memories of the incident would also still be fresh in their minds making collecting the necessary evidence to support a personal injury claim that much easier.
Should you wish to file a claim for yourself because you were injured at school when you were a child, the statutory time limit of 3 years would begin from the date of your 18th birthday and you would have up until you turn 21 years of age to do so. However, as mentioned previously, it is best to start a personal injury as soon as possible for the same reasons stated above.
How Would a Solicitor Handle My Child Accident at School Claim?
Once a solicitor has established that your personal injury claim against the negligent third party is valid, they would act on your behalf by contacting the person directly to determine whether they accept or deny liability for your child’s injuries. If responsibility is accepted, the solicitor would then negotiate an “interim” payment for you to help pay for any private medical treatment your child may require. This upfront payment can also be used to pay for other expenses that can be directly linked to the injuries your child sustained. The money that is paid out in “interim payments” is then deducted from the final settlement you are awarded.
The solicitor would also help when it comes to gathering the evidence that is required to support your child accident at school claim. This would include ensuring that the following proof is collected in a timely way:
- Witness statements
- CCTV footage if available
- Independent medical reports detailing the extent of the injuries your child sustained and the prognosis
All personal injury claims involving minors must be heard by a judge is what is known as an “infant approval hearing”. Even if a settlement has been agreed by the person/organisation/trust, the hearing must go before the hearing because it is compulsory and ensures that an injured child is awarded an acceptable and fair level of compensation to suit the injuries they suffered.
What Level of Compensation Could My Injured Child Receive?
As previously touched upon, the level of compensation you may be awarded in a successful child accident at school claim would depend on the following:
- The severity of the injuries your child sustained
- Whether your child’s future life is negatively impacted by the injuries they suffered
- Whether your child would require ongoing, long-term treatment/therapy/care
- How much you had to pay out as a consequence of your child having been injured at school – this could include any loss of earnings you had to cope with
- Whether you had to buy specialist equipment
- Whether home adaptations were required
A solicitor working on your behalf would ensure that you are awarded an acceptable level of compensation for the injuries your child sustained and would negotiate the amount through the court or directly with the negligent third party’s insurer.
Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Take on My Child Accident at School Claim?
When you contact a solicitor they would determine whether your claim against a negligent third party is valid and once this has been established, they would typically agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis taking all the financial risks of filing a personal injury claim off the table. You would not have to pay the solicitor an upfront fee for them to start investigating your case.
In short, there is no financial risk involved when working with a No Win No Fee solicitor who agrees to represent you. The only time the “success fee” would be payable for the advice and legal representation the solicitor provided, is when you are awarded the child injury at school compensation you seek and the amount known as a “success fee” is deducted from the money you receive. Should your claim be unsuccessful, you would have to pay nothing to the solicitor who acted on your behalf.
If you believe that a school environment is unsafe and you wish to report it to someone in an official capacity, the following link takes you to the government website where you will find essential reading on health and safety for school children:
To find out more information on how to report a serious incident involving a child, please follow the link provided below: