Can You Sue a School if Your Child Was Injured in Houston?
Now that kids are back in school, you can expect your child to come home with scraped knees and bruised egos. After a summer at home, it can be hard for your child to get used to the routine of being back in school. They’re excited to see their friends again. This can result in some roughhousing, both in gym class and on the playground. Unfortunately, you may get a call from the school saying your child has been injured. The first thing you want to know is that they’re okay. The next thing you want to know is how the teachers let your child get hurt.
Parents are very protective when it comes to their kids. The last thing they want to hear is that their son or daughter got hurt while in the school’s care. And, as much as a personal injury lawyer in Houston wants to help you, there’s only so much they can do. This is because, for the most part, schools are immune from civil lawsuits.
Why Are Schools Immune from Liability?
Public schools are basically an extension of the government. In order for school administrators to do their job, they need to know that they’ll be free from personal responsibility.
Texas has one of the strongest protections when it comes to schools. Schools are basically protected from any kind of lawsuit under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. In Texas, the only way you can sue a public school is if the injury took place in a vehicle. In other words, unless your child was involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident, there’s not much your Houston injury lawyer can do.
The only other time you can sue a school is if the district waives immunity. And, as you can imagine, this doesn’t happen often. One reason a school may waive immunity is that they don’t believe there’s any real threat of litigation. Or, they’re afraid that the press surrounding the case could be worse than the actual litigation.
What Options Do You Have?
A lot of people think that, if they can show the school was negligent, they can be held liable. This simply isn’t the case. Even if you think the school was negligent, the school’s immunity will protect them from liability.
The other option would be to sue a teacher or staff member. However, since the teachers are part of the union, they too are protected under the school’s shield of immunity. This means that you can’t sue someone personally for your child’s injuries either.
Your Houston personal injury attorney understands your frustration. However, even in cases where it appeared a party would be able to get around the school’s immunity, the courts stepped in and dismissed the litigation.
One exception to the school’s immunity exists when the student has some sort of disability. If that is the case, you have the option of suing in federal court. However, even many of these cases get dismissed or sent back down to the state courts. Once there, they’re dismissed due to the school’s immunity.
The School Doesn’t Even Have to Comply with Providing Your Attorney Evidence
If your child’s injuries were due to another student or third party, you’d think the school would want to help. One would think that if you’re not actually suing the school, they’d comply with your requests for information. Sadly, this isn’t the case either.
In several cases where parents and their attorneys asked the school to provide copies of security cameras, the schools refused. They used their immunity to essentially prevent them from participating in any kind of investigation.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston if Your Child Was Injured
If your child was injured while at school, you should call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston. While there is little chance that you can actually sue the school, it’s still a good idea to meet with an attorney.
You should call McDonald Worley today and schedule your free initial consultation from an injury law firm in Houston. They can review your case and let you know if you have a potential claim against someone other than the school.