When you send your child off to school, church, camp, or practice, it is with the expectation that the adults in charge will keep him or her safe. If your child is injured while in the care of an institution, you may have a hard time getting answers about the incident. Was your child victimized by an individual? Did he fall off playground equipment? Did she blow out her knee on the basketball court? Who is to blame? Whatever the circumstances surrounding the injury, the school, church, athletic program, or daycare center is likely to be at least partially to blame. You may have been told by the school, police, or even another lawyer that there is nothing you can do, but you owe it to yourself and your child to talk to DRZ Law about your options. We have experience holding schools and other organizations accountable for negligent supervision, civil rights violations, and more when children are harmed.
Injuries at School Are Far Too Common
Unfortunately, there are dozens of ways for children to get hurt at school. Some of these injuries are caused by a child’s carelessness or disregard for rules—running down the hall, climbing on a desk, disobeying a coach’s instructions—but all too often, serious injuries happen because supervisors have failed in their duty to keep children safe. Some common causes of injuries in public and private schools, daycare centers, military schools, churches, and universities include:
- Playground injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries each year, with 5- to 9-year-olds suffering the most injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and contusions are the most common playground injuries seen in the ER. When a child’s injury is caused by dangerous equipment, poor maintenance, or inadequate supervision, the school may be liable for damages.
- Sports injuries. Almost one-third of all childhood injuries are related to participation in a sport, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine; 3.5 million children suffer sports-related injuries each year, with 770,000 requiring a trip to the emergency room. Contact sports, such as football and hockey, have some of the highest injury rates, but athletes can be injured in any sport, particularly when they are not adequately supervised or instructed.
- Psychological and emotional injuries. Students who are bullied by peers, sexually assaulted by adults or other students, or victimized in ritualistic hazing incidents by athletic teams or social organizations can suffer deep psychological trauma that can affect their ability to function now and in the future.
- Suicide. When students are driven to suicide because of bullying or abuse that occurred at school, church, or on an athletic team, those institutions should be held liable for not protecting the children under their supervision.
- Violence. Every parent has to think about the possibility that their child could be the victim of a violent attack at school or church. If your child’s school or church failed to take measures to safeguard the children in their care and they are injured or killed in an attack, the institution or its employees may be held accountable.
Whether a school, church, or athletic program employee was directly responsible for your child’s injury or not, in many instances, the institution could have taken actions to prevent harm. Investigating complaints of abuse or bullying, hiring competent staff, watching children attentively on the playground, and focusing on children’s safety rather than an athletic victory are all ways these organizations should protect children. We can help you make sure that other children don’t suffer in the same way your child has suffered.
How We Can Help
If your child was injured at school and you are being stonewalled or ignored—or your child is being blamed—contact our Kansas City law firm to see if we can help. Very few law firms are willing to take on these difficult cases, but we have the resources and experience to fight for you and your child. Tell us your story and we will start the process of getting the justice you and your child deserve.