What Happens If My Child Slips and Falls at School?
Bill Allen | December 20, 2022 | Slip & Fall Accidents
Schools have a legal duty to keep their premises safe for students, staff, and visitors. When a school fails to fix hazardous conditions, inspect the property often, or warn about known dangers, they may be responsible if someone is harmed because of their negligence.
A Gainesville slip and fall accident lawyer can help you navigate the claim process and explain your legal rights.
Common Causes of Slips and Falls at School
The Florida Health Department reports that about every one in ten children is hurt each year seriously enough that they visit the emergency room or are admitted to a hospital. Slips and falls are leading causes of injury to children.
Many slip and fall accidents occur when schools allow dangerous conditions to appear on their watch, such as:
- Wet or slippery cafeteria floors or hallways
- Cracked pavement or tiles
- Cluttered walkways
- Dangerous stairs or railings
- Flooring at different heights
- Bullying or horseplay
Some common reasons for slips for toddlers include:
- Tripping on untied or loose shoes
- Running in dangerous places
- Falling on playground equipment
- Unguarded stairs or drop-offs
- Furniture tip-overs
When young kids are afoot, schools and their personnel must be even more vigilant to protect them.
Common Injuries Caused By Slips and Falls
It can be a scary experience to learn your kid has fallen at school.
A fall can result in serious injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
Many of these injuries are serious enough that they will require emergency treatment. Others may involve a long and painful recovery period.
Complications of School Slip and Fall Accident Cases
Slip and fall cases involving a school may have complex legal issues, including:
- Sovereign immunity – The government generally has the right not to be held responsible for injuries that occur to the public. This is known as “sovereign immunity.” However, Florida law specifically waives sovereign immunity, allowing people to bring claims against schools or other governmental entities when they have acted negligently and caused personal injury.
- Different procedures – If your child is hurt on government property, there may be different procedures and time limits that apply to the case. This gives you much less time to deal with the claim than you would have if the accident occurred on private property. Additionally, you may be required to provide a notice of claim to the school before taking further legal action.
- Confidentiality – If the incident involved staff or other students, you may encounter issues dealing with confidentiality.
Having a Gainesville personal injury lawyer on your side can help you resolve these types of issues. An experienced lawyer can also explain the steps to take after your child suffers a slip and fall.
What To Do After Your Child Suffers a Slip and Fall at School in Florida
Here are a few steps to take after your child is hurt in a slip and fall accident at school:
- Report the accident to the school immediately.
- Seek medical treatment for your child even if they say they’re fine. They may not know they were injured, and prompt medical treatment can minimize harm.
- Ask for the contact information of anyone who saw the accident.
- Ask teachers or other staff about how the accident happened.
- Keep the clothing and shoes your child was wearing at the time of the accident, and do not launder them.
You should also reach out to an experienced Gainesville slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Our Gainesville Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville slip and fall accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: