While no parent wants to think about the possibility of an accident occurring while their child is at school, on occasion these accidents do happen. When a child is injured in a Florida school accident, the parents of the child may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the school based on the school’s duty to keep students safe.
In a recent case released by a state appellate court, a student’s lawsuit against a school district resulted in a defense verdict after the court instructed the jury that the school only owed the student a duty of ordinary care. The student had argued that, based on the “special relationship” that a school has with its students, the school owed her a heightened duty of care.
The court rejected the plaintiff’s interpretation, noting that schools have historically owed students a duty of reasonable care unless the harm was caused by some intentional conduct of a teacher or school administrator. Thus, in that case, the court affirmed the court’s decision to instruct the jury and the jury’s ultimate verdict.
Florida Law Holds Schools Accountable Under Limited Situations
In Florida, schools owe students a reasonable duty to keep them safe. However, courts have routinely held that schools are not “insurers of students’ safety.” Thus, the determination of whether a school can be held liable is conducted on a case-by-case basis. Generally, a student’s case should establish that the school violated a statutory or common-law duty, and that the school’s breach of that duty resulted in the student’s injuries.
A school’s duty to protect its students applies to “all activities that are subject to the control of the school, even if the activities occur beyond the boundaries of the school or involve adult students.” Thus, a school can be held liable for both on-campus and off-campus injuries if the facts suggest the school violated its duty.
In Florida, school sports injuries are especially common, and courts have had numerous occasions to discuss a school’s duty pertaining to sporting activities. For example, Florida courts have held that a school must provide the following to student-athletes:
- adequate instruction;
- proper equipment;
- reasonable matches based on skill and experience of student-athletes;
- adequate supervision; and
- appropriate measures to prevent the aggravation of injuries.
Has Your Child Been Injured in a Florida School Accident?
If your child has been injured while at school or while playing a school sport, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Florida personal injury lawsuit. At the law firm of Friedman Rodman & Frank, we represent those who have been injured in all types of Florida accidents, including slip-and-fall accidents, sports accidents, and accidents occurring at public and private schools. To learn more about how we can help you recover for the injuries you have sustained, call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Court Explains the Limits on Circumstantial Evidence in Recent Car Accident Lawsuit, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 27, 2018.
Maintenance Company May Be Liable for Restaurant Employee’s Injuries Following Slip-and-Fall Accident, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published December 13, 2018.