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How Can I Sue if My Child Was Injured at School?

 Posted on May 16, 2024 in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Lake County, IL school injury lawyerChildren often suffer injuries at school. It is common for kids to come home from school with a bloody nose from a fistfight or a tumble off the jungle gym. When that happens, many parents instinctively search for who they can sue for their child’s injury.

But while the temptation to sue may be great, filing a personal injury claim against a school is not as simple as suing a private individual or company. Illinois law gives many schools and their employees certain immunity from personal injury claims, which is why you should first consult with a school injury attorney about whether you have a case.

Can I Sue Any School?

Say your child was climbing on a jungle gym at school. The structure broke down and your child sustained an injury. You want to sue the school for negligence, just like you would if it happened at someone’s house. The first factor you need to take into account is the type of school where it occurred. 

There are three types of schools:

  • Private schools

  • Public schools

  • Nonprofit private schools

You will have an easier time suing a private for-profit school. Public schools and nonprofit private schools, however, are granted a certain degree of immunity under Illinois law. This does not mean they are totally immune, but taking legal action against these types of schools is more difficult. Most schools are either public or private with nonprofit status.

Why Is it Harder to Sue These Schools?

The main obstacle to suing a public or nonprofit private school is the burden of proof. If the incident happened at someone’s house, you would need to prove they were negligent in order to claim damages. But when it comes to a school, negligence is not enough. You need to prove that the school did it either deliberately or with a “conscious disregard” for the safety of others. Illinois law refers to this as “willful and wanton conduct.”

So, if your child was injured from a faulty swing set, you would need to prove that the school was aware that the set needed repairs and failed to make them.

When Can I Sue?

Another difference between suing a school rather than an individual or company for a personal injury is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the window of time that the law gives you to bring a lawsuit. If you are injured on someone’s property, the statute of limitations is two years. To sue most schools, however, you only have one year from the date of the injury to file your claim.

Contact a Waukegan, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

Claiming damages against a school requires a strong legal offense. For this reason, you should choose a Lake County, Illinois school injury attorney who has experience with filing claims against schools. At Salvi & Maher, LLP, we have over 85 years of combined legal experience and are very familiar with what it takes to claim damages from a school for an injury. Call 847-662-3303 for a free consultation on how you can start building a strong case today.

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