Welcome to our guide on the subject of school accident claims. If your child has been injured at school due to the negligence of the staff then they could be entitled to compensation. Those under 18 cannot pursue their own claim until they reach adulthood. However, an adult acting as a litigation friend could make the claim on their behalf.
Children can sometimes exhibit reckless behaviours and hurt themselves as a result. This does not necessarily mean that their injuries were caused by negligence.
You’ll need to be able to prove that the school breached their duty of care towards you or your child. We can tell you how you can do this and whether or not your claim is valid.
Speak with us directly to find out more about school negligence cases. We could connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel if we think your child could be owed compensation. You can reach us in a number of ways.
Select A Section
- What Are School Accident Claims?
- Schools Duty Of Care To Keep Children Safe
- What Accidents Could Happen At A School
- Who Could Claim In School Negligence Cases?
- What Happens To Compensation Awarded To Your Child?
- How Much Are School Accident Claims Worth?
- Start A No Win No Fee School Negligence Case
- Learn More About School Accident Claims
The injuries that a child can sustain in school can be quite varied. For example, your child could slip, trip, or fall due to slippery floors. This could result in dislocations or broken bones in body parts like the wrist or foot.
If the school has a playground, then this might include playground equipment like swings and climbing apparatus. Unsafe equipment is the responsibility of the school to rectify. If responsibility is ignored then this could lead to injuries that result in school accident claims.
Whilst this article focuses mainly on injuries to students, other people can also make claims against a school. All parties who are in control of a public space (referred to in legislation as the “occupier”) has a duty of care towards those who use the space. This is set out in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
If this duty of care is breached and someone is injured as a result, they could claim. This could include parents and visitors to the premises.
For more information on the claims process, speak with one of our advisors today. They could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel to work on your claim.
Schools must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the risk of injury to the children under their care is reduced. This legal obligation is listed in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). If certain steps are not taken to reduce the risk of injury to students, then this would be a breach of duty of care.
However, the duty of care being breached is not enough to make a claim. Injuries must have occurred as a direct result. If there is no physical or psychological damage then you can’t make a personal injury claim, even if negligence occurred.
Under the HASAWA, the employer is responsible for health and safety. This will be the council. governing body or proprietor; however, tasks relating to health and safety might be relegated to individual members of staff.
The expectation on members of staff is that they will look after pupils in the same manner as a “prudent parent“. However, if they breach their duty of care and a child is injured as a result, then a claim will usually be made against the insurance company of the local authority, proprietor or governing body.
Negligence could lead to a number of school accident claims. As mentioned earlier, there may be certain recreational equipment on the playground. This must be maintained so that the risk to the students is kept as low as possible.
Some injuries may also occur whilst on school trips. For example, if there are not enough members of staff to supervise the children then some may wander off or get lost. By not adequately preparing for the trip then injuries could be sustained in this way too.
In addition to this, there might be some hazards that present in a school that cannot be avoided. For example, when the floors are being cleaned, the floor will be wet. This should be signposted with a wet floor sign; if it isn’t, and a child slips and suffers a head injury, they could be entitled to compensation.
As mentioned in the introduction, those under 18 cannot make school accident claims themselves. They can wait until adulthood to make the claim. This is because the 3-year time limit that’s stated in the Limitation Act 1980 that usually applies to personal injury claims is suspended for cases where children are injured. It will only begin once they turn 18.
An adult with the child’s best interests at heart can claim on their behalf before this date. They’d be known legally as a litigation friend. This can be a parent or guardian, a family friend or a legal professional such as a personal injury solicitor.
For more information on whether you could claim on behalf of a child who has been injured as a result of negligence in school, get in touch with our advisors today.
The litigation friend is not awarded the compensation following successful school negligence claims. Instead, the settlement us paid into a secured bank account in the child’s name. This is referred to as a Court Funds Office account.
The litigation friend would simply be responsible for the administration of the account. For example, they would need to keep things like contact details up to date.
They can also apply for withdrawals from the account if they directly benefit the child. A judge would make a ruling as to whether the withdrawal is permitted.
These responsibilities would end as soon as the child turned 18. At this point, the money will be transferred to the child.
For more information on the school accident claims process, get in touch with our friendly claims team today.
When you claim compensation, your settlement could consist of two different heads of claim. These are referred to as general and special damages.
Below, we have included a table illustrating some potential general damages. These sums have been taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).
The JCG is a set of guideline compensation brackets based on past awards that have been made.
|Psychiatric damage generally
|(d) Less severe – the amount you receive will depend on things like how activities such as sleep have been affected
|£1,440 to £5,500
|Post-traumatic stress disorder
|(d) Less severe – a virtually full recovery within 1-2 years, with only lasting symptoms only being minor
|£3,710 to £7,680
|(E) When you think that you may die or have your life expectancy reduced
|(i) Transient – when a complete recovery is made within a few weeks
|£2,070 to £3,710
|(g) Rib or soft tissue injuries that cause pain of a serious nature but only over a period of weeks
|Up to £3,710
|(c) Minor (ii) – full recovery between 3 months and a year
|£2,300 to £4,080
|(e) Clavicle fracture
|£4,830 to £11,490
|(d) Simple forearm fracture
|£6,190 to £18,020
|(b) Where the injury results in a permanent, significant injury, but with some useful movement remaining
|£22,990 to £36,770
|(f) Severe fractures that could result in partial amputations and lead to things like deformity and impaired grip/sensation
|Up to £34,480
Other sums can be included in compensation awarded in school accident claims. This part of your claim is intended to reimburse you for any losses that have occurred due to the injuries. These amounts are known as special damages.
For example, your child’s personal property may have been damaged due to the accident that caused the injuries. You could claim back the cost of replacing their clothes or belongings.
Additionally, parents may have to take time off work to look after their injured child. It’s possible that the parent could make a claim for loss of earnings in this circumstance.
For more information on how much your child’s claim could be worth, get in touch today. You could be connected with a solicitor from our panel if your claim is valid.
All of the lawyers on our panel work on school accident claims on a No Win No Fee basis. When working on a No Win No Fee basis, you don’t need to pay your solicitor’s legal fees unless you are awarded compensation. This is done by a small percentage taken from your settlement.
If No Win No Fee school negligence claims are unsuccessful, you don’t need to pay your lawyer anything.
Making compensation claims with a lawyer but without a No Win No Fee agreement can leave you at risk financially. You may still incur solicitor bills even if your claim is unsuccessful.
If you would like guidance on these kinds of claims, you can:
- Another of our guides regarding how to claim against a public school.
- Our article on child injury claims in general.
- Find out what to do if your child was injured in a public place.
- Information from the NHS on how to tell if you’ve broken a bone.
- HSE guide on reporting incidents in schools.
- More NHS information on dislocated shoulders.
Thank you for reading our guide on school accident claims. Get in touch for more information on any potential school negligence cases.
Guide by AI