Head injury from helping a teacher break up a fight...

by Laney

My 15 year old daughter was in class when 2 girls started fighting. The teacher was unable to break up the fight and asked for help. My daughter tried to help, and in the process one of the girls attacked my daughter and punched her multiple times in the back of the head.

When my daughter and the other girl got away and went in the hallway, the larger girl escaped the teacher and attacked my daughter again, this time punching her in the face until my daughter hit the ground and blacked out.

The school sent her to the nurse and all she did was give her an ice pack for her bloody nose, but did not check her for any other symptoms. My daughter has been out of school for over 2 weeks for a concussion. What are my legal rights? What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Head injury from helping a teacher break up a fight...":

Laney (PA):

From the facts you present, the school teacher acted negligently when she asked your daughter to intervene in the fight. A teacher should never intentionally, or recklessly place any student in danger. By any definition, asking your daughter to help break up a fight constituted intentional, and arguably reckless conduct.

In most cases, school districts are liable for the actions and omissions of teachers when the teachers are acting "within the scope of their employment." Here the teacher was certainly acting within the scope of her employment when she asked your daughter to intervene.

If you want to pursue the matter, contact the school principal and tell the principal you want the school to pay for for your daughter’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, bandages, costs of travel to and from medical treatment, etc.), your lost wages, (if you had to miss work to care for your daughter), and for your daughter's pain and suffering.

If the school district refuses to help, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in school law. Most injury attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. Moreover, until and unless the attorney succeeded in settling your daughter's injury claim, or winning it in court, you will not have to pay any legal fees.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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