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How Much Can I Claim If My Child Has An Accident At School?

The well-being and safety of your child is one of your top priorities. When they’re at school, however, it can be difficult to ensure their safety. When accidents do happen, and a child injures themselves as a result, there may be a case for compensation. If there is a legal case to be made, knowing how to proceed can be difficult.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, children aged ten to fourteen are the age group considered to be most at risk of injury while attending school. Of these accidents, trips and falls are the largest type of accident leading to an injury. If your child has had an accident at school and has suffered an injury, it may be the parents’ responsibility to proceed with legal action. But this is not simple, nor is it straightforward.

Health and safety for children in schools is legislated through many regulations and laws. When these are not adhered to, the school (or someone else) may be considered negligent. This guide is designed to show you both the complicated nature of accident claims at school and beyond, as well as providing you with resources needed before contacting educational negligence solicitors. If you are considering such a claim, it may prove to be an essential resource.

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A Guide to School Accident and Injury Claims

School Accidents

School Accidents

There’s no one type of accident which takes place in a school. Children can trip and fall, they can be exposed to hazardous materials, or they could be involved in an accident while travelling to school. For example, according to research done by Road Safety Analysis, every school experiences an average of six collisions per year with regards to its transportation network. If any such accident has led to an injury, then claiming against a school may take a variety of forms. As such, knowing what to do in the wake of an accident is difficult.

This guide is designed to help. Not only does it seek to establish a clear process to follow should your child suffer an injury at school, it provides advice on how best to contact legal representation and ensure your case is positioned to succeed. Often, accident claims at school are not just about compensation following one child’s accident. They can also prevent future injuries. If you find yourself wondering how to react following an accident, this guide is designed to help you.

Who is Responsible for Child Safety at a School?

When your child is at school, it is the responsibility of the school management to ensure that they are safe and are provided with a danger-free environment. As stated in the Occupiers’ Liability Act of 1957, an occupier of premises has a common duty of care to all visitors to ensure that they are reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which they’ve been invited or permitted by the occupier to be there. While most people are familiar with this law as it pertains to shops or restaurants, it also applies to schools. As such, there is a duty of care on behalf of the school management to provide a safe environment for children.

But this does not mean that the school is always responsible for your child’s accidents. Some of the most common injuries at school occur due to reasons outside of the school’s control. Knowing exactly when the management of a school will be considered negligent can be complicated. Often, it is best to seek legal advice from educational negligence solicitors. However, if you wish to know more, our experts have put together a number of the most common claims made against schools following accidental injuries. These include (but are not limited to):

  • When your child experiences bullying from other students. Situations in which the teachers know about it but fail to act can complicate matters.
  • When your child has received the incorrect medication.
  • When emergency rescue plans are ineffective in the case of fire alarms, bad weather, or other emergency situations.
  • When the food cooked by the cafeteria is not deemed safe for consumption.
  • When the school fails to abide by security policies and exposes your child to external dangers.
  • When accidents are caused by faulty or damaged facilities, including stairs, furniture, or peeling painting
  • When your child gets injured during bus trips to and from school.
  • When your child is involved in an accident during school trips, such as visiting the zoo, and other school related activities.

This list is not designed to be a comprehensive list of all potential school-related accidents. However, it should give you some idea of the breadth and scope of the scenarios in which a child could be injured. As such, it should show how difficult it can be to determine responsibility in such matters. For a more nuanced opinion, contacting our experts might be the best option.

Is the School Always at Fault in an Accident Claim?

Injured at school

Injured at school

In many situations, the school and its management may be considered to have acted in a negligent manner. However, this is not true of every case.

Children themselves can be unaware of the true nature of many warnings and safety regulations, which can make them difficult to implement. Moreover, accidents can also be caused by independent contractors in the school area. If the school has established the competency of such contractors before engaging them, then the contractors might be liable for any injury that they cause to your child. This also applies to tertiary service providers, such as a school crossing patrol officer/supervisor.

What to Do If Your Child is Involved in an Accident at School

If your child has been injured at school, it can be an emotional and confusing time. Before you even begin to consider legal matters, there are a number of steps which you can take in order to improve your situation. Given the nature of matters involving children and our experience with accident claims at school, we provide the following advice for parents whose children have been injured. You can:

  • Seek medical attention – while this might seem obvious, it can often be the case that your child has specific medical needs. In the case of an emergency, you can best ensure that your child is being treated correctly by relaying this information to the school as soon as possible. Even if they are already aware, being doubly sure can be reassuring for everyone involved.
  • Remain calm – following an injury to your child, it can be easy to get distressed. However, this can complicate your thought process. By remaining calm, you put yourself in the best possible position to not only ensure your child remains as healthy as possible, but also to ensure that you can gather any evidence required for a possible future compensation claim.
  • Discuss the matter with others – this can have a number of benefits. Not only can you gather potential witness statements, but mentioning the accident to other parents can help prevent future injuries to children that arise from similar circumstances.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – if possible, taking photographs of the scene of the accident can be very useful. In matters such as an injury at school who pays is often the one whose negligence can be proved. If you can gather photographic evidence of the school’s failure in this regard, this can be very helpful.

How do Accidents happen at a School?

Accidents involving children are incredibly difficult to prevent. It is the nature of children to be unaware of dangers and prone to ill-judged actions. However, this is not to say that the risk of accident cannot be minimised.

Knowing the accidents at school procedures, such as the health and safety regulations, can be very helpful when evaluating a case. In the same regard, knowing how accidents happen at a school can be just as useful when you’re trying to prevent them. If you would like to learn more, we’ve put together a list of the most common accidents at school:

  • Slips, trips, and falls which can be caused by loose handrails or a failure to clear pavement and pathways. Also defective pavement causing tripping on pavement injuries.
  • Accidents involving play equipment, potentially caused by inadequate supervision or defective equipment.
  • Injuries caused by dangerous school buildings, playgrounds, and walkways.
  • Injuries sustained as a result of unsafe school equipment, such as desks and chairs.
  • Accidents which occur as a result of playing sports in school.
  • Food poisoning caused by improper food preparation or tainted food.

As well as this, we have also seen many cases of a school bus accident injury claim, wherein the bus is the location of the accident. We will cover this in greater detail below. It’s important that the threat to a child’s safety is reduced as much as possible when they are at school. If your child has suffered an injury due to one of the incidents listed above – or any other circumstance – then you may have a legitimate claim for compensation.

Accidents that Happen Outside the School

According to research carried out by the Road Safety Alliance and Axa Car Insurance, there were 1,190 child injuries a month which occurred within 500m radius of schools, as averaged over the course of six years. As such, accidents involving pedestrians and road crossings outside a school are not uncommon, particularly among those aged eleven to twelve. Accidents which occur on school trips and on school transport (buses and other methods) can be just as bad as those which happen on school property. Furthermore, they can also be deserving of compensation, even in cases where a child might not have looked both ways before crossing a road.

In matters such as an accident in school how to report it is important. But accidents which take place outside of school are often reported in the same manner. This is in spite of a number of regulations designed to reduce accidents outside of schools, which include:

  • Speed restrictions for motorists passing near schools.
  • A prevalence of road signs warning drivers and others about the proximity of a school.
  • Schools providing with a wealth of health and safety resources dealing with these matters.
  • Strict penalties applied to those who have been found to have broken these regulations.

Note that accidents outside school also applies to accidents that happen during school trips, as well as potential road accidents involving buses. In many cases, the school’s management will be similarly liable. As such, school bus accident claims can be handled in a similar manner to most school-related compensation claims. For more information, contacting a solicitor is advised.

How to Begin a School Accident Compensation Claim

If, to give an example, your child has suffered a broken arm at school compensation might be due. This can help cover the costs of the injury, as well as the physical and emotional pain it has caused. But knowing how to start such a claim can be almost impossible for those not familiar with the law. If you are interested in making a claim and believe you have a case, there are a number of steps you can take to get started. These include:

  • Gathering evidence – this might include witness statements or testimonies from teachers at the school. It might also include medical bills and documents.
  • Consult educational negligence solicitors – once you have your evidence, taking it to a lawyer can illuminate the way forward. When it comes to knowing who to contact and which steps must be taken, this can be invaluable.
  • Take advantage of our free consultancy session – the process of treating your child can take up a huge amount of time and energy. That is why we offer a free consultancy session to determine your right to claim. This can greatly reduce the hassle of mounting a case on your own, giving you an informed legal opinion on your chances of success.
  • Determine the extent of the injury – because the severity of an injury, both now and in the future, is so important, having an informed medical opinion is essential for your case. Often, we’ll be able to book you in with a local doctor to ensure you have the best opinion possible.
  • Relax – if you have the best legal assistance available, the amount of stress and worry that a compensation claim entails can evaporate. Trusting your case to a legal firm such as ours can allow you to relax and give your child the best help in recovering from their injury.

What can be claimed for after an Accident in a School?

Many might be left with questions such as ‘after an accident at school who pays?’ It is not uncommon for people making compensation claims to overlook key costs that have arisen as the result of the injury. As well as the general damages relating to the accident, there are a litany of additional claims which can be made.

In cases where a child has been injured at school, these additional claims are further complicated by the potential need for a parent to make similar claims, such as travel expenses relating to the child. If you would like further details, contacting a solicitor can be the most useful solution. However, we have listed some of the most common claims made in injury compensation claims. These include (but are not limited to):

  • General damages – this is the cost of the pain and suffering that the child has endured. It includes the cost of physical, emotional and mental aspects of the injury.
  • Care claim – This includes the expenses incurred to hire people to care for your child following an injury.
  • Loss of earnings – In situations such as these, loss of earnings can be difficult to prove. Depending on the age of the child affected by the injury, it is unlikely that they will have been employed and thus likely to lose earnings. However, this (and the possibility of a parent’s lost earnings) can be discussed with a legal expert.
  • Travel Expenses – this includes the cost of travel to see doctors, therapists, chiropractors, and other travel costs. It could include, for example, fuel bills.
  • Medical Expenses – this is the cost of ongoing treatment and the bills given by various health and fitness professionals, especially those in the private sector.

How Much Compensation will I get for an Accident at School?

The amount your child will be paid as compensation depends on many factors, including the severity of the injury sustained. However, with the aid of experienced and expert educational negligence solicitors, you can be better placed to ensure that your settlement covers every possible cost. With many people wanting to know more about settlements, we have put together the below table. It lists a variety of injuries, determining factors, and the eventual settlement amounts. It can be a very useful point of reference in your case.

InjurySeverityAmountNotes
Toe InjuryModerate to severeUp to £10,450Soft tissue damage, cuts and bruises.
Toe InjuryAmputation£27,750 to £42,600
Foot InjuryAmputation£63,825 to £153,200One or both feet.
Foot InjuryMinor to severeUp to £83,325Permanent loss of use of one or both feet.
Achilles Tendon InjuryMinor to severe£5,525 to £29,200
Ankle InjuryMinor to very severeUp to to £53,000
Knee InjuryModerate to severeUp to £73,125
Leg InjuryAmputation£74,475 to £214,350
Leg InjuryModerate to severe£21,100 to £103,250
Finger InjurySevere fractureUp to £27,925
Finger InjuryLoss of index fingerIn the region of £14,250
Finger InjuryPartial loss of finger£9,250 to £14,250
Finger InjuryFracture of index finger£6,925 to £9,300
Finger InjuryTotal loss of middle fingerIn the region of £11,875
Finger InjurySerious injury to ring or middle fingers£11,300 to £12,425
Finger InjuryAmputation of one or more fingers£6,575 to £19,000
Thumb InjuryMinor to severe£7,350 to £26,600
Thumb InjuryLoss of Thumb£27,000 to £41,675
Wrist InjuryMinor to severe£2,675 to £45,500From soft tissue damage to permanent loss of use of one or both wrists.
Hand InjuryAmputation£107,000 to £153,200Amputation of one or both hands.
Hand InjuryMinor to very severe£700 to £64,275Loss of use of both hands.
Elbow InjuryMinor to severeUp to £41,675
Arm InjuryAmputation£104,250 to £228,000Amputation of one or both arms.
Arm InjuryMinor to severe£14,600 to £99,500Permanent loss of use of one or both arms.
Shoulder InjuryMinor to severeUp to to £36,500Permanent restriction of movement in arm or neck.
Neck InjuryMinor to severeUp to £112,750from soft tissue damage to permanent nerve damage, partial paralysis or numbness of the limbs.
Back InjuryMinor to severeUp to £122,350
Eye InjurySevere (permanent)£6,925 to £136,700Total blindness in one or both eyes.
Eye InjuryMinor£3,000 to £6,650Impaired vision which will heal fully in time.
Cheekbone InjuryMinor to severe£1,775 to £12,000
Jaw InjuryMinor to severe£4,900 to £34,600
Damaged teethMinor to severe£830 to £29,000
Head InjuryVery severe£214,350 to £307,000Complete loss of life quality, unable to care for oneself, serious degradation of mental capacity.
Head InjurySevere£166,500 to £214,350Significant loss of life quality, permanent impediment to mental capacity.
Head InjuryModerate£32,725 to £166,500Loss of life quality, with the expectancy of full recovery in the future.
Head InjuryMinor£1,675 to £9,700Minor problems with mental faculties such as memory and cognitive ability.
Chest InjuryMinor to severeup to £114,100

The above table is not designed to be a definitive list of compensation awards. Instead, it is designed to give an indication of how much the severity of an injury can affect a payout and how much you and your child might be awarded in a similar case. If you would like more information regarding your case specifically, feel free to contact our team.

No Win No Fee School Injury Claims

One of the most important considerations when discussing compensation claims is the finances. Many legal firms may require or demand high costs before the claim is settled. For a family struggling in the wake of a serious accident, this can be difficult. If you have had to take time away from work to care for you child, this matter can be exacerbated. However, we have an alternative arrangement.

Our ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement helps resolve this financial issues in a neat, mutually beneficial manner. We are able to provide you with our expert legal advice without having to charge anything until you receive compensation. This approach, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, reduces the financial burden on those who are considering legal action. If you do not receive compensation, you don’t have to pay our legal fees.

Why Choose Us as Your Claims Service for a School Accident Claim?

There are many reasons why we are the perfect choice to represent your school accident claim. It’s our years of experience, our focus on client satisfaction, and our friendly, informed attitude which can be so relaxing in times of great stress. In addition to our ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement, we can also help you by booking a doctor’s appointment to fully diagnose the severity of your child’s injury, and we can arrange for a free consultation before embarking on your case, helping you navigate the difficult world of compensation claims.

As a result, it only takes one phone call to learn why we are so well-positioned to make the difference to your claim. Call our team or visit our website and discover the myriad benefits we bring to each and every case.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

If you would like to learn more, you can take advantage of our free legal consultation today. If your child has been in a school accident and you want to seek compensation, we are the ones to make it happen for you. Call us today on 0800 073 8804 and book a free consultation session.

 

Helpful Links

Nursery Accident Compensation Claims

Has your child been injured in the nursery? find out how much compensation you can claim.

Health and safety for school children

Schools are responsible for childrens safety and while they’re at school or on a school trip the school is responsible.

Illness and your child’s education

If your child can’t attend school because of illness or injury, your school Find out more.

Tell Ofsted about a serious childcare incident: online form for local authorities

Notification form for local authorities to tell Ofsted about serious childcare incidents for children living at home or children in care.

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