Who is responsible if you get injured at back to school night?
September means the beginning of a new school year. One of the major events that schools hold during the first few weeks of the school year is “Back to School” night, which is an opportunity for the parents and guardians of the school’s students to meet their children’s teachers and learn about activities and programs that the school is offering. Many Back to School nights also include student plays and musical performances for the visiting parents.
If you attend a Back to School night at your child’s school, what are your legal rights if you are injured while on school property?
Document the Accident
If you are hurt at a Back to School night, you need to take the same steps that you would after being hurt in any other accident. This includes:
- Taking photos or video of the scene of the accident, including whatever may have caused the accident, the presence of warning signs, or weather and lighting conditions.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, including going straight to the hospital if necessary or seeing your primary care physician for treatment of your injuries. You will want to have a doctor diagnose and document the injuries that you suffered.
- Report the accident to school officials and make sure to obtain a copy of any accident or incident reports that are filed; also ask to have any surveillance video of the accident preserved by the school.
What Compensation Might You Be Entitled To?
When you were injured by some hazardous condition of the premises while attending a Back to School night, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for the expenses and losses that you incur due to your injuries, including for:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Costs of long-term personal care
- Past, ongoing, and future losses of wages or income if you cannot work due to your injuries
- Repair or replacement costs for damaged personal property
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Permanent physical disability
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Holding the School Liable for an Accident
An accident during Back to School night that is caused by dangerous or defective conditions of the school property may mean that the school can be held liable for injuries suffered in the accident. Schools and school districts, like other property owners, can be held liable in premises liability claims for injuries and losses suffered on the school premises. However, pursuing legal claims against public school districts can be a little more complicated than other personal injury claims.
Under New Jersey’s Tort Claims Act, you must file a notice of your injury claim with the school district within 90 days of the date of the accident. The notice must provide information about the accident and your injuries and demand an amount of compensation. Once the notice has been filed within 90 days you will generally have two years from the accident date to file the lawsuit. However, if the appropriate public entity does not receive the Tort Claim Notice within 90 days, your right to file a lawsuit for your injuries will almost always be barred.
Contact a Clark Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Premises Liability Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a premises liability accident in New Jersey? Don’t wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Team Law represent clients injured because of premises liability accidents in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.