Slip and fall accidents are those where someone suffers a fall due to a slippery floor surface but generally applies to any fall occurring on someone else's property. The fall usually yields serious injury.
How might legal claims be affected by a slip and fall accident at school?
Issues to Consider
The first question to consider is the sort of duty owed to the injured party. Was the injured person a student, a teacher, a staff member, administration, a trespasser or someone else entirely? Students, teachers and people working at the school would clearly be owed greater duties of care, especially minors. Trespassers are also owed a duty of care though this is different than that owed a student or a school official.
The second question is whether there was any type of sign or warning about the dangerous condition that caused the injury that would not be obvious to the average person. If there is a wet floor, a sign would be evidence that would negate a personal injury claim against the property owner.
However, if there is recent or present rain, snowfall, ice or other weather conditions that make it obvious one should be aware of slippery surfaces the claimant will not have a good case.
The third question is the knowledge of the property owner of the condition causing the injury. If the property owner had constructive knowledge and did not engage in proper precautions, the injured party will have a much better case than if the owner could not have been aware of the dangerous condition.
Public or Private School
The type of school involved can make a difference with respect to filing a lawsuit in court as well as statutes of limitations. The procedures may be different for public schools and contain a shorter statute of limitations than lawsuits against private schools. Make sure to check your state law to determine whether the type of school makes a difference in the time allowed to file a lawsuit.
Getting Legal Counsel
It is highly recommended that any personal injury claimant retains a licensed personal injury attorney in his/her state before filing a lawsuit against anyone. The attorney will be able to give specific advice, determine who should be named in the lawsuit, make sure that the lawsuit is filed in a timely manner and assist the claimant in navigating the legal process in general.