Visitor Question

My son fell and fractured his wrist climbing on a chair in class…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Florida)

I am a concerned parent and would like an answer regarding my son’s incident. My 10 yr old son drew his teacher a picture and was asked to hang up his picture. He got up on a chair with teacher “supervision” allowing him to climb on the chair.

He fell off the chair and landed on his wrist, fracturing his wrist in 2 places and might need surgery. The teacher claims she never saw him get on the chair, she just heard the fall. I don’t believe her story, I believe my son.

The school and teacher had no remorse. I want to take legal action over this. I had to miss work and they don’t seem to care that my son might need surgery. Are they responsible? What can I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

There are three issues to be resolved…

First: Legal Duty of Care

Schools and the teachers they employ have a legal duty of care to do everything within reason to protect their students from undue harm and injury. This duty extends to supervising students at all possible times while the students are under the school’s care. While the duty is not absolute, the younger the child, the greater the required supervision.

Second: Breach of Duty of Care

The teacher maintains she never saw your child climb onto the chair. If that is the case, the question arises as to whether the teacher should have been supervising your son, especially as she was the one to ask your son to hang the picture.

To hang the picture the teacher knew, or should have known your son would have to stand on a chair, a ladder, or on something else to get high enough to hang the picture. The teacher’s failure to supervise may be considered a “breach of legal duty,” also referred to as negligence.

Third: Damages

When a breach of duty of care (negligence) results in a child’s injuries, the school district may be liable for the child’s damages. In this case, damages can include your child’s medical bills, your out of pocket expenses (ex. medication, arm sling, etc.), your lost wages (if you or your husband had to miss work to care for your son), and for your son’s pain and suffering.

You can ask the school to pay for your son’s damages. However, if they agree they will likely not offer an additional amount for your son’s pain and suffering.

Your son’s injuries are serious enough to require at least a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations.

Gather your son’s medical bills and records and visit with several attorneys. After doing so you will have a better idea of the viability of your son’s claim and the expected result.

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

Best of luck,

Published: April 8, 2016

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