School Accident Claims *
An accident in a school * that causes injury to a child is treated differently to an accident involving an adult. A child cannot make a claim themselves until they reach the age of 18, however, a parent or guardian of a child (known as the ‘next friend’) can pursue a school injury claim * on their behalf.
When a pupil is attending a school, the parent or guardian expect the highest level of care towards their children. This includes how the staff interact with the pupil, to staff to pupil ratios at the school. If your child has sustained an injury as a result of an accident in a school you may be entitled to make a school injury claim on their behalf.
What is a ‘Next Friend’?
With claims made for a child under the age of 18, a parent or guardian may stand in to represent them because a minor cannot make a claim themselves. The individual who steps in to represent them is known as the ‘next friend’. All information regarding the child and their claim is then passed through this person. Prior to making a claim for them, it is important that the child has received medical attention as the health and well-being of the child is the number one priority in this process.
Who is Liable?
An important first step in the personal injuries claims process * is determining who is liable for the injuries which have been sustained by the child. In cases where an accident occurred because of the actions/inactions of the staff then the staff of the school may be held liable. They may have acted in a negligent manner which led to the accident. School employees should ensure the health and safety of the children in their care at all times. They have a responsibility to do so and should follow all health and safety regulations which are in place, as this will help to prevent accidents from occurring. It is important to note that if another child has contributed to the cause of any injuries sustained that it can be quite difficult to determine who is at fault.
Employees in a school have certain responsibilities and guidelines which must be followed at all times. These guidelines include:
- All employees should be fully trained and qualified.
- There should be health and safety regulations in place.
- At least one member of staff should be trained in first aid.
- A report of any accidents that occur should be kept in the record book.
- Follow adult to child ratio regulations.
There are strict regulations in place in regards to the number of responsible adults who should be caring for a group of children. If these ratios are not maintained the chance of an accident occurring increases.
- Breaks and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Food poisoning
- Injuries to the legs and feet
- Head injuries
- Damage to teeth
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
Causes of School Accidents
Lack of supervision
When it comes to the care of children it is very important that there is adequate supervision at all times. There should be the correct ratio of adults to children as this can help to prevent accidents and injuries. There should be supervision at all times throughout the day and especially during sport activities where the pupils will be most active.
Faulty and Defective Furniture
Faulty furniture includes any chairs, desks or outdoor equipment which is faulty or defective in some way. Faulty furniture should be disposed of so that no injuries are sustained as a result. It is important that employees check all furniture and equipment on a regular basis and any damaged furniture should be repaired or replaced in a timely manner.
Poor food preparation
In some schools, employees prepare food for the pupils. If this food is prepared in an unsafe manner or in an unhygienic way, pupils could become ill as a result of food poisoning. This is a common illness which is caused by eating contaminated foods. It can have serious consequences for both adults and children as it weakens the general health of a person, especially if symptoms persist.
Spillages and wet floors
There should be procedures in place to deal with the cleaning of wet floors and spillages. They should be cleaned up in a timely manner so as to avoid accidents and injuries to both pupils and employees. Wet floor signs should be displayed to notify pupils and employees.
Tell Us About Case
To make a claim for an accident at school or to find out more information on any aspect of this topic, feel free to call our team of personal injury solicitors * on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon. We can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.