Articles Posted in Injuries at School

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Parents of an Oklahoma boy have filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their young son, alleging he suffered a brain injury while at day care.rocking horse

Of course, our injury lawyers know that kids are prone to getting hurt. They can be clumsy. They don’t always pay close attention to where they are walking or climbing or running. They often fail to appreciate the danger in every day situations. But that’s all common knowledge, and that’s precisely why a company running a daycare has the responsibility to keep a watchful eye. They have a duty to make sure their staffers are fully vetted, properly trained and carefully watched. They have a responsibility to make sure they hire enough staffers in ratio to the number of children in their care and that appropriate action is taken to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses that are foreseeable.

Plaintiffs in these cases need to show that the child’s injuries were the result of negligence, which means the daycare facility and/ or staffers failed to exercise due care to prevent a foreseeable injury. Accidents that involve falls from playground equipment, illnesses caused by unsanitary conditions or slipping on some substance that wasn’t quickly cleaned – these are all incidents that were probably foreseeable. Similarly, a child injured by a daycare worker with a violent criminal background or a lack of basic experience would also be a foreseeable injury. Continue reading →

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We send our children to school with the expectation that the grounds are reasonably safe and the kids will be properly supervised. When this is not the case and an injury results, it could be grounds for litigation. icy pond

Generally, personal injury lawsuits against school districts tend to be tricky because, first and foremost, public schools are agents of the government. As such, they are entitled to certain protections, such as sovereign immunity, which is only waived under certain circumstances. Still, it’s usually accepted that there is a special relationship between school staffers and students, and thus a duty to protect.

In a recent case out of Wyoming, the question was whether a school district should be liable for injuries suffered to a child who fell while playing on a patch of ice on school grounds during school hours. The Wyoming Supreme Court, in reviewing the lower court’s ruling, analyzed four different elements of this case and determined the answer to the question of liability was: No.  Continue reading →

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The family of a Florida high school student who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of oxygen loss after collapsing on a school soccer field has won the right to continue their civil lawsuit against the school district.soccerball

Continuation of the case, Limones v. Lee County School District, which had previously been dismissed via trial court’s summary judgment favoring defendant last year, hinged on whether the school employees owed a reasonable duty of care under F.S. 1006.165 to diagnose the need for, locate and use an automated external defibrillator.

What the law says is the every public school that is a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association has to keep a defibrillator on school grounds and all employees and volunteers who may reasonably be expected to use the device need to know how to use it.

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Given that school is where students spend roughly a third of their day, it’s no wonder it is the site of many injuries. School districts can be successfully sued for negligence resulting in child injury, but cases must overcome assertions of sovereign immunity, damage caps and denial of duty owed. lockerroom

The kinds of injuries for which schools may be responsible include playground injuries, sports-related injuries, bullying-related injuries, school bus accidents or general premises liability injuries related to dangerous conditions on school grounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the cost of playground injuries alone in the U.S. is $1.2 billion.

However, as the recent case of Halvorson v. Sweetwater County School Dist. reveals, these cases may be fraught with challenges for plaintiffs. That’s why having an experienced injury lawyer is critical.

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Whether you are sending your first-born off to college for freshman year or you have been through back to school season before, staying abreast of safety concerns can help prevent college campus injuries. No parent wants to think about the potential dangers faced on campus, but having a discussion with your recent high school graduate could save lives.

Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic advocacy to victims and their families. In the event of a campus-related injury, we will conduct an immediate and independent investigation, determine the cause of the accident, and hold all responsible individuals or entities accountable.


Here are some common campus safety issues and tips to prevent injuries and accidents:
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Sexual assault on college campuses is a major problem, in Florida and nationwide. The U.S. Justice Department reports that in an average year, one out of every 20 female college students will suffer a sexual assault, with roughly 80 to 90 percent of those involving an acquaintance.
As West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys, we recognize that beyond the criminal aspects of a case, there is often a question of civil liability. Sometimes, this surfaces in the form of failure to provide adequate security or have appropriate policies in place. We would also look at the possibility of a violation under Title X of the Education Amendments of 1972, specifically whether there has been an issue of deliberate indifference regarding the rape (or sexual harassment).

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a college or university that receives federal funds could be held legally liable to pay compensation to a victim of student-on-student sexual harassment or rape if the victim can prove that university officials acted with deliberate indifference to known acts in its programs or activities.
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A reporter for The Atlantic recently spent a year delving into the “Dark Power of Fraternities” on college campuses. This investigation involved not only the way that universities use these organizations to market college as a “party” to students soon-to-be-saddled with enormous debt, but also the power these operations wield in the legal sphere when serious problems arise. beersoftheworld.jpg

Cases of injury resulting from hazing and excessive alcohol consumption at college fraternities in recent years have been numerous. Just recently, the case of Yost v. Wabash College was heard before the Indiana Supreme Court, after a fraternity brother tried to sue the school, the local and national chapters of the fraternity and one of his “brothers” for a hazing incident that left him with serious and permanent brain damage. The court upheld only his right to pursue the claim against the local fraternity chapter and the fellow fraternity brother.

Our Fort Lauderdale injury lawyers recognize that on-campus Greek organizations can be an incredibly positive experience for many students. However, when injuries or illnesses do occur as a result of negligence by the organization or school leadership, victims must be prepared to put up a fight. These organizations often have a considerable amount of influence, power and resources.
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Despite all that we’re hearing about the fight against bullying, there are still far too many children who are seriously injured while on school grounds, according to a recent study published in Pediatrics. According to NBC News, there are more than 90,000 school children who are the victim of “intentional” injuries that are serious enough to land them in the E.R.

While there has been a decrease in this number in the last decade, it’s been very small. It’s important to point out that the study only observed incidents in which a school child wound up in the E.R. The true number of injuries is likely much higher.

Our child injury lawyers in Vero Beach understand that bullying is largely unreported. Oftentimes, children are hesitant to come forward to an adult about bullying and little is ever done about it. Officials are hoping that this recent study shines more light and attention on the problem.
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Sadly, reports of mass shootings have become commonplace news nationwide. Recently, some mass shootings have even failed to make a headline. As law enforcement agencies gear up for criminal proceedings after an attack, victims and their loved ones will try to restore their lives. In some cases, a shooter will take his own life in the act. Regardless of whether the shooter survives or is convicted and sent to prison, victims and their families want answers. While a criminal investigation and prosecution can relieve some pressure in a community, many of those affected by a tragedy will still ask, why did this happen? How could it have been prevented? Who is at fault?


Theories of liability
In the event of negligence, recklessness, or even intentional homicide, an experienced advocate can investigate to determine the cause of injury or death and identify responsible parties. Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers are experienced in handling complex injury cases and pursuing full benefits on behalf of victims. Mass shootings and the associated liability remains a developing area of law.
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More than 300 Broward County public schools faced an afternoon-long lockdown on Wednesday after the wife of a disgruntled resident called a local radio station and said her husband planned to shoot randomly at students and teachers, the Miami Herald reports.

Broward County Public Schools is the sixth largest school system in the country and services more than 257,000 students. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers understand that for parents and families few things are more frightening than learning their child may be at risk – not of academic failure – but of exposure to an act of random violence simply by being at school.
The lockdown began shortly after 10:30 a.m., quickly spread countywide, and ran through the end of the school day. Adult education and after-school programs were also canceled for the day. Schools in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties were closed Thursday in observance of Veterans Day, but classes resumed on Friday as normal.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 55.5 million students attend K-12 programs and another 15 million students are enrolled at college-level institutions across the U.S. While our nation’s schools are considered safe, almost 40 percent of public schools reported at least one act of violence on campus to police in 2006 and nearly a quarter of students say gangs are active on campus.

One in 10 teachers in urban districts admit to having been threatened by a student, while more than 12 percent of students have engaged in a physical fight on campus. Between 6 and 8 percent of students have either brought a weapon to school or been threatened with a weapon on school property. On average in 2006, there were 29 acts of violent crime – rape, robbery and sexual or aggravated assault – per 1,000 students.

While the homicide and suicide rate for school-age children represent less than one percent of all violent deaths faced by this age group, 116 students were killed in 109 incidents during the last seven years. In fact, since 1996, U.S. school districts have reported 44 separate incidents of school shootings. During the same time frame, 14 school-shooting incidents were reported internationally, the Family Education Network reports.

With all that said, school officials and administrators have an obligation to their employees and students to provide a safe learning environment. Aside from teaching, campus staff should be focuses on ensuring protection of students and staff from potential acts of violence. When a student is injured at school, whether on a school bus, in a sporting accident or through assault or other acts of violence or accident, a family can and should seek legal representation and compensation for injuries and loss.
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