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Injuries and School Liability

According to a North Carolina Department of Insurance study, over 3.5 million child injuries occur on school grounds or during school-related activities each year in the United States. Sometimes an accident is just that - an accident. Other times an injury may be caused by an intentional act, or the negligence of the school or one of its employees.

Bullying is an example of an intentional act. In some instances the school may be held responsible if it knew the bullying may tak place but did not respond appropriately to prevent it. Teacher abuse of a student may leave a school district vulnerable to liability for failing to conduct thorough background checks, offer proper training, or implement acceptable oversight.

Schools are obligated to provide shelter, food, transportation, and a safe environment for its students. Generally speaking, if a school fails to follow accepted standards of care in providing these services, and it causes harm to a child, then the school is negligent.

Negligence assumes many forms. For instance, a slip-and-fall on school grounds may have been caused by a loose handrail that was improperly installed or maintained. A school bus accident might have resulted due to careless driving, lack of training, or poorly maintained vehicle equipment. Other types of negligence include those that involve playground injuries, sports injuries, food poisoning, lack of emergency preparedness, asbestos exposure, and the list goes on.

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