We all want our children to be safe and well while they are in the care of others, and nowhere is that more important than when they are at school.
Many everyday accidents happen at school, especially in the playground, where children play sports, run around, and let off steam. In most cases, the little accidents that happen within the school gates are exactly that – accidents.
But in some cases, severe accidents and injuries happen because the school did not take its duty of care seriously. Local authorities and educational establishments have a duty of care to protect children while they are at school. They should always try to protect pupils from any risks to their health and well-being.
If your child has been injured at school as a result of negligence on the part of the school, you may be able to make a school accident claim.
What types of serious accidents can happen at school?
The odd bump, scrape, slip or trip in the playground is to be expected, but if your child’s serious injury or illness could have been prevented, this can mean the school was negligent.
Examples of serious accidents and illnesses that may happen to schoolchildren include:
- Serious falls due to faulty or broken play equipment (e.g., climbing frames)
- Severe injuries due to a lack of supervision or safety measures
- Serious injuries due to broken or faulty school equipment (e.g., desks, chairs)
Other accidents that can happen to schoolchildren are:
- Accidents on the school bus or transport
- Accidents during school trips
- Accidents during school-organised swimming lessons
Your child’s safety is the responsibility of the school during school trips and school swimming lessons, but there may be other parties involved (e.g., transport provider, trip organiser or swimming pool), which can make a potential compensation claim more complex.
What to do if your child has an accident at school
If your child has a serious accident at school, the most important thing to do first is to check if the injury needs medical treatment. To make a successful claim, you will need to provide evidence of the required medical care and treatment.
Always make sure the accident has been reported to staff at school and correctly recorded under the school’s policy. If you do make a claim, this report will be important.
It is also helpful if you can collect evidence, such as photographs of the injury and where it happened (especially if it involved faulty or dangerous school equipment), along with the names of anyone who saw it happen.
Time limits for school accident claims
If you are making a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, you have until they reach the age of 18 to seek compensation. Once your child is 18, there is a 3-year time limit. This means they can make a personal injury claim as an adult (if someone has not claimed on their behalf before) until their 21st birthday. There is no time limit if your child lacks mental capacity.
It is advisable to make a claim as soon as you can after the accident, as important evidence can be lost.
How Novum Law can help with school accident claims
Anna Cole, a specialist personal injury solicitor from our Swindon team, and Director of Novum Law, says:
“As a parent or guardian, you could make a personal injury compensation claim on behalf of your child if they suffered a serious injury at school that was caused by someone else’s mistakes or negligence. This is known as being a ‘litigation friend’.
“It’s not always easy to prove that a school accident was due to negligence on the part of the school, but our specialist personal injury solicitors can talk you through the process and give our expert opinion on whether your claim is likely to be successful.”
If your child has sustained an injury or illness at school that wasn’t their fault, our team of specialist personal injury solicitors can help. Contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com or complete our online form for a free, no-obligation chat.