Liability and school injuries

While attending school, students may sustain injuries a number of different ways. Parents in West Virginia should be aware that in some instances, schools can be held liable for not keeping students safe.

Many of the injuries sustained by students are sports related. However, kids can also be injured as a result of accidents, fights or assaults that take place on school property.

Schools have an obligation, just like any other private or public establishment, to provide a safe environment for its students. Injuries that are caused by hazardous conditions or poor maintenance can be the basis for a premises liability claim.

Even though participating in sports is the most common way students get injured, schools are not typically held liable for these types of injuries. Parents usually have to sign release of liability waivers before their children can play sports. However, if the negligent behavior of the coaches or school staff results in student injuries, they may be held liable even with a signed waiver. These documents also typically do not excuse gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Schools also may be held responsible for bullying, assaults and shootings if it can be proven that the staff had prior knowledge that an incident could occur and took no action to prevent it. Establishing school liability in intruder or shooting cases may be complicated, but it can be done.

If a person gets injured on someone else's property, he or she may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. A personal injury attorney may evaluate an accident victim's case and advise him or her of which legal options should be pursued if falling objects, poor lighting or inadequate security contributed to his or her injury.

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