Five Reasons Schools are Responsible for Violent School Injuries
The number of school shootings that caused serious or fatal injuries skyrocketed during the 2021-22 school year. Other violent incidents, such as fights and bullying, increased as well. Once upon a time, landowners, which in this case is a school district, were never legally responsible for such injuries. Today, the school district might be legally responsible for third-party conduct. More on that below.
First, we should briefly address some procedural issues. California’s qualified immunity law protects some police officers from liability in deadly shooting cases. This same law also shields school districts from injury cases. Compensation is still possible to obtain. The case is simply more complex.
This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. A Carlsbad catastrophic injury lawyer can also obtain punitive damages in these cases, in some extreme situations. These matters usually settle out of court, sparing the victim from an emotional courtroom showdown.
The Injury Was Foreseeable
In this context, foreseeable basically means possible. Given the ongoing nature of violent school injuries, a shooting or other such incident is definitely foreseeable.
Note that there’s a difference between possible and likely or probable. Almost all children go through thirteen years of public school without being the victim of a violent injury. However, these injuries are certainly foreseeable. Otherwise, schools wouldn’t have armed police officers on campus and strict security measures.
The Property is Accessible
These security measures reduce the risk that an evildoer may come on campus. They also cause some students to think twice before they assault other students.
However, no school is on lockdown all day. Furthermore, entrance and exit doors are controlled, but not inaccessible. Finally, security is usually much more lax in parking areas and almost nonexistent during most field trips.
To follow up on that last point, a school’s duty of care does not stop at its property line. Officials have a duty of care to protect students, not the facilities whenever they meet.
This point is closely related to property accessibility. By design, most schools are near major streets or busy intersections, to ease before school and after school traffic congestion. A busy location is also much harder to protect than an isolated location. Officials knew that when they decided where to build schools. So, they voluntarily assumed this additional burden.
High Risk of Serious Injury
Children and teenagers are highly susceptible to serious injury. Their underdeveloped bodies cannot absorb much trauma. Their underdeveloped brains cannot absorb much trauma either.
In court, a Carlsbad personal injury lawyer can usually obtain compensation for both physical and psychological injuries. Both kinds of injuries are equally harmful to a child’s long-term development.
Owner’s Control Over the Property
Occasionally, schools delegate control to private companies, such as cleaning or security companies. However, they cannot delegate the duty of care. They’re responsible for injury if one of these subcontractors causes injury.
Reach Out to a Savvy San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Attorneys can connect injury victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.