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Public School Liability for Injuries Caused by Another Student

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Are Public Schools Liable for Injuries Caused by Students

With thousands of students interacting on a daily basis nine months out of the year there is bound to be personal injuries caused by one student to another. Although the liability of the student causing the injury may, in most instances, be clear, the liability of the school for an injury caused by another student may not be. There are certain circumstances where a school may be held liable for injuries caused to a student by a fellow student.

Is a School Liable for the Acts of Students?

Unlike school personnel, a student does not have the type of legal relationship to hold the school vicariously liable for their actions. Therefore, liability of a school is usually based on whether the school personnel was negligent. However, in assessing the negligence of school personnel, the following play a role in establishing liability of the school:

  • Whether school personnel can reasonably be expected to supervise the movements and activities of students
  • What preventative actions were reasonably and readily available
  • Whether the school had notice of safety issues or problems with their students

Under What Conditions May A School Be Held Liable?

Barring an exemption under soveriegn or government immunity, a school may be held liable if their negligence was the proximate cause of the injury. Proximate cause will usually turn on whether the injury was foreseeable and whether the school personnel reasonably should have or could have taken action to prevent the injury. Thus, recovery has been permitted where school personnel:

  • Failed to exercise proper supervision
  • Allowed a student to act in a way that might reasonably be foreseen to cause injuries to another

Should I Seek Out The Services Of A Lawyer?

Liability of a school is weighed against all the circumstances of the case. If you believe that school personnel could have prevented the injury by taking reasonable measures, then a personal injury attorney will assist in any recovery against the school for your injuries.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 08-21-2014 01:05 PM PDT

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