British Columbia School Yard Accidents
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Receiving a phone call from your child’s school informing you that an accident has sent them to the emergency room can be a harrowing, nightmarish experience. But for the parents of children who have been severely injured at school, that phone call could be just the beginning of a long, arduous, anxiety-inducing, and expensive road to recovery.
When parents send their children to school, they entrust its teachers and administrators with their most precious loved ones. While accidents can happen to even the most well-supervised students, parents should be able to expect that their children will not be harmed because of neglected maintenance issues in the school yard or a complete lack of oversight regarding the property’s safety.
Unfortunately, accidents involving school-aged children are alarmingly common at British Columbia schools. Recess sessions and organized physical education classes at local schools should be fun, character-building experiences for students. Unfortunately, if these physical activities are conducted on unsafe premises, they could cause serious– even permanent– damage to a child’s physical and mental health. Throughout the province, students between the ages of 10 and 19 sustain the highest number of sports-related injuries. And depending on where and how these injuries occur, their outcomes can be long-lasting and severe.
There are many types of injuries that can be sustained in the seemingly safe environment of an educational facility. Among the most common injuries sustained by children in school yard accidents are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions. Nearly 7000 concussed children are admitted to emergency rooms across the province each year, but the total number of annual juvenile concussion injuries is thought to be much higher. Children and teenagers typically take longer to fully recover from concussions than adult accident victims. Many children who sustain concussions in the school yard could develop prolonged or even permanent forms of brain damage, potentially impacting their in-class behaviour, their long-term educational prospects, and their abilities to create and maintain social connections with their peers.
In far too many circumstances, concussions sustained by children in school yard accidents are not properly diagnosed until it is too late. If your child has been involved in an accident at school and sustained even mild trauma to the head, it is important to be on the lookout for the telltale signs of a concussion. Common symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Sleeplessness or oversleeping
- And more
If your child was injured in an accident at school, you and your family might be facing a truly unthinkable set of circumstances. By working with our British Columbia school yard accident lawyers, you might be able to recover compensation for damages you have incurred as a result of your child’s injuries. To learn more about whether you might be eligible to take legal action and pursue a civil claim, contact our school yard accident lawyers serving British Columbia by calling 1-800-JUSTICE.
When Can Schools Be Held Accountable?
In British Columbia, school boards and administrations are responsible for ensuring that their school’s premises will be a safe learning environment for their students. In accordance with the province’s Occupiers’ Liability Act, the boards and administrators of local schools are required, by law, to fulfill a duty of care to the students who use their educational facilities throughout the year. That means proactive, preventative safety measures must be undertaken to reasonably eliminate the risk of injury-causing accidents for students in the school’s care.
If a school’s administrators, superintendents, custodial staff, or other faculty members responsible for the building’s maintenance are aware of potentially dangerous hazards on the premises but take no action to remove them or repair them, they could be considered negligent if an injury-causing accident ensues. In these situations, the school might be liable for damages arising from the child’s injuries.
Injury-causing accidents can happen anywhere on a school’s grounds if they have not been properly maintained. Cluttered hallways, dilapidated jungle gyms, parking lot potholes, recently mopped cafeteria floors, and other potentially dangerous maintenance hazards on a school’s campus can cause a student to suffer serious injuries in an unexpected accident. But a student does not even need to be on the premises in order to be owed a duty of care from the school’s board and/or administration.
More than 110,000 children in British Columbia rely on school buses to get to and from their places of learning each day. The operators of school buses must comply with a set of safety protocols mandated by the Canadian Standards Association, including:
- Submitting their vehicle to regular inspections
- Undergoing facility audits
- Complying with roadside safety inspections or “spot checks”
- Adhering to service-hour limitations to reduce driver fatigue
- And more
Failure to comply with these federally regulated safety standards could be considered negligence. If your child was injured in an accident on their school bus that was caused by its operator’s negligence, you might be eligible to pursue a civil claim for damages.
In addition to accidents that occur on school grounds or on a school’s transportation service, students could be seriously injured in accidents that take place off-campus entirely. Students who are not adequately supervised can be severely injured on field trips. Even though parents are usually required to sign permission slips allowing their children to attend field trips, they do not necessarily bear the brunt of responsibility when an injury-causing accident occurs off of school grounds. If it can be proven that the school’s negligence was responsible for the injuries your child sustained while participating in their field trip, its board and/or administration might be responsible for providing you with compensation.
Speak with Our School Yard Accident Lawyers Serving British Columbia Today
Hearing about an emergency at your child’s school can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. It can be difficult to know what steps to take next, how to pursue accountability, and who should be held responsible for serious injuries your child has sustained.
Our British Columbia school yard accident lawyers appreciate how emotional and confusing the process of pursuing a civil claim can be, especially when they concern one’s own children. Our school yard accident lawyers serving British Columbia pride ourselves in providing clear, straightforward, and effective communication during each of our prospective clients’ free initial consultation. To learn whether you might be entitled to compensation, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today.