School Accident Lawyers - Injury compensation Claim Settlements - Canada
A specialist school accident lawyer will tell you that accidents are common in all Canadian schools, from pre-schools, primary schools, kindergartens, primary schools and high schools. Unfortunately many students without the experience of life’s hazards do not have the maturity to stay out of trouble. There are many activities at school that are inherently dangerous including most sports and schools unfortunately have a bad reputation for injury when students leave school to attend outside activities especially by bus. In addition schools are places where bullying often takes place, which can cause the victim both physical harm and psychological damage. In all cases it is expected that there will be adequate staff supervision including advice and instruction about hazardous situations and the educational authority may be liable in negligence for any failure to protect those student who are placed in their charge.
Duty of Care
Schools aren’t likely to admit negligence to a school accident lawyer when an injury happens. It is up to the parents of the injured child to deal with the matter by instructing a school accident lawyer to act on their child’s behalf in order to examine the facts of the case in detail and to advise whether or not the school or another party was negligent and was therefore to blame for the accident. In most cases a school is at least partially to blame for accidents that occur on school property or during school-sponsored activities. A school has a legal duty of care to keep students, visitors and staff safe. By law in Canada, the school must take reasonable steps to prevent personal injury to others. There must be adequate supervision of facilities, sporting events, classroom activities, school outings and work placements. The equipment a school uses for all activities must be operational and fully maintained. School premises must be in good order with a regime in place to remove hazards, as and when they occur.
If an adult is injured in a school-related activity, they can instruct a Canadian personal injury lawyer to act on their behalf in a negligence compensation claim. If a minor is injured as a result of negligence involving a school, the claim is filed by their legal guardian (usually mother and/or father) on their behalf. In either case, a personal injury lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible. A school accident lawyer has the job of showing that the school owed the student a duty of care and that there was a breach of that duty by way of negligence in so far as the school failed to act in a reasonable manner which directly resulted in personal injury and loss. When a claim is filed against an educational establishment, an out of court settlement is usually the outcome. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case goes to trial and a judge will decide who was at fault for causing the accident and the amount of the award of compensation.
School Accident Lawyer - Compensation
The amount of money awarded in a school accident compensation claim is determined either by agreement between the parties, subject to the approval of the court for injuries sustained by minors or is determined by a judge if there is no consensus. Damages awards obtained by a school accident lawyer cover a wide range of losses and expenses including :-
- pain & suffering
- loss of income both past & future
- medical expenses
- care costs
- disadvantage on the job market
- property damage
- special equipment
- property modifications
- loss of lifestyle
- general expenses
The sum awarded for pain and suffering is determined after consideration of the extent of the injury, the recovery period and whether or not there are any long term consequences or disabilities. The sum is assessed by reference to previously decided financial awards for accident compensation claims heard previously in other courts, where the victim suffered from a similar injury.
School bullying in Canada is not a modern phenomenon but is something that has been going on for centuries without anyone taking serous action to prevent it. Students were frequently physically or mentally harmed as a result of bullying activities that were usually ignored by school authorities, such behavior often resulting in serious injury, psychological trauma and on occasion suicide of the victim. This is quite rightly no longer the case and it is now the responsibility of the school authorities to keep all students safe from bullying activity. Some bullying behavior qualifies as an assault and criminal charges can be instigated. In addition, in certain circumstances, a civil claim for damages can be filed against a negligent school where the staff has failed to protect the victim from bullying behavior, in order to compensate the bullied child for physical and/or psychological trauma.
A claim for damages for personal injury as a result of an accident involving a school is subject to time limits in the same way as any other type of legal claim. The time limit is known as the ‘limitation period’ and is usually governed by a statute of limitations. The time limits for almost all personal injury compensation claims in Canada are the same however there are exceptions for minors and the mentally handicapped. If you or your child have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence you should seek urgent legal advice. If the limitation period expires without legal proceedings being issued out of a court of law or the matter being settled, then the right to claim compensation may have been lost forever.