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New York School Accident Lawyers

When most people think of negligent security, they imagine apartment buildings with broken doors or nightclubs without security guards or trained staff. Sadly, many premises liability cases in New York involve children who are injured at school due to the negligence of the school officials or staff.

At Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers, we have more than three decades of experience representing injured children and their families. We are committed to holding negligent school districts and officials accountable when a child is hurt.

School Accidents & New York Premises Liability

While your child is at school in New York, the school must legally act in loco parentis. This is a legal term that means “in place of the parents” and it means they have a legal duty to protect children in their care and exercise the same degree of care as a reasonably prudent parent. Schools essentially take the place of a child’s parents or guardians when they assume control and physical custody.

New York schools can be held liable when a student is harmed due to staff negligence, unsafe conditions, or inadequate supervision.

The legal doctrine of “respondeat superior” also allows the school to be held liable for the actions of a teacher or staff member its employees as long as the acts are performed within the scope of their employment.

Examples of reasonably prudent behavior expected by school districts and staff include:

  • Ensuring the building, exterior areas, and playground equipment is well maintained
  • Ensuring proper food handling protocols are in place to prevent food poisoning
  • Breaking up fights and stopping roughhousing or other dangerous behavior before someone is hurt
  • Hiring enough staff to adequately supervise children
  • Ensuring floors are safe without slip hazards
  • Adopting proper hiring and supervision practices for school staff including background checks
  • Properly supervising sports activities

To prove school negligence, your case must generally prove the school knew or should have known about the hazard or dangerous condition that caused your child’s injury. The accident must have been reasonably foreseeable, not the result of an unpredictable and sudden event.

Foreseeability can be challenging to prove in cases involving student-on-student assault. A school can argue that they could not have foreseen a fight that happened without warning. However, there are ways to establish the school was put on notice of a threat to a student in these cases. You may show the school had actual notice of threats made by the offending student before the incident but failed to take sufficient action. You can also show that the school had inadequate supervision when the assault occurred, and adequate supervision would have prevented it.

Types of School Negligence Cases We Handle

Goidel & Siegel represents injured children and families in all types of school accidents caused by the negligence of the school district or employees. Cases involving school negligence include:

  • Sports accidents caused by inadequate supervision or dangerous conditions
  • Playground accidents
  • Dangerous behavior among students
  • Bullying
  • Sexual abuse by school staff
  • Certain injuries off school grounds such as releasing students into foreseeably dangerous conditions

Sovereign Immunity & Claims Against New York School Districts

A New York school system is a “political subdivision” and has sovereign immunity. Along with government entities, the school district and its employees are generally immune from all lawsuits. However, there are specific exceptions.

Sovereign immunity is waived when the negligence of a school district or its employees causes injury to a student. This allows families to seek compensation through a lawsuit.

These cases still have unique facets. Suing a negligent school district for negligent security or dangerous property conditions requires following specific procedures.

Contact a New York School Accident Lawyer

Has your child been injured at school due to the school’s negligence? If your child was injured by a bully, unsafe playground equipment, while playing sports, or through staff assault, the school may be held liable. Goidel & Siegel Injury Lawyers is committed to helping injured students and their families hold negligent schools accountable and recover fair compensation.

Our multilingual trial lawyers have a well-earned reputation at the negotiation table and inside the courtroom. We will give you the tireless representation you deserve. Contact our law office for a free consultation with our New York injury lawyers in our office, through a virtual consultation, or somewhere else you are comfortable to discuss your case.

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