Parents entrust their children to the Texas school system 180 days every year and expect that the school is a place where children will be free from harm. However, millions of children every year suffer accidents and injuries at school, leaving parents to wonder whether they are able to sue the school for damages. While pursuing a case against a public school for a student’s injuries can be difficult, an experienced child injury attorney will be able to help you build the best case possible for compensation. At DC Law, our Austin school injury lawyers zealously advocate on behalf of our clients and are available now to speak with you about your child’s injuries.
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Austin Lawyers Helping the Families of Students Injured at School
The reason it can be difficult to pursue a case for school injuries is a legal concept called sovereign liability. Under Texas law, a government entity such as a public school cannot be sued for damages without government consent. This also applies to individuals who work for the government, such as a public school principal or teacher. However, there are exceptions to the sovereign immunity rule that may allow compensation to be collected for your child’s school injury.
Accidents and injuries occurring on a school bus comprise the largest exception to the state’s sovereign immunity rule. Under the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA), the government exempted eight types of accidents where a government entity would normally be protected by sovereign immunity, with one of those exceptions being vehicle-related accidents. If your child is injured while riding on a public school bus, those responsible may be held liable for damages.
Another exception under the TTCA is premises liability, when a student is injured due to a hazardous condition on the school campus that those responsible for the property either knew or should have known about. If your child is injured because of dangerous school campus condition such as uneven stairs or faulty playground equipment, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Premises liability also applies to instances where faculty took no action to prevent bullying that led to an injury or failure in their security policies that led to a stranger entering the school and causing harm.
It is important to note that the doctrine of sovereign immunity only applies to public schools and is not applicable to private schools. Private educational institutions may be held liable for any personal injury that takes place on their property or as a result of the negligence of one of their faculty or staff. In order to collect compensation for a school injury that takes place at a private school, the victim must only show that the employee’s actions or negligence was wrongful and that the employee was on duty at the time the injury occurred.