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Can Florida Public Schools Be Liable For Your Child’s Injury?


School is back in session, which means for most of the day, you are entrusting your child’s care to another person. What happens if that person is negligent in their duty and your child gets injured on their watch? Can the public school be held responsible for your child’s injuries if they were their fault? Proving liability when your child has been injured at school is very complicated, but depending on the circumstances it can be done. Public schools have a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care to ensure their students do not get injured. If they do not exercise this care and a child is seriously injured as a result they can be held liable.

Sovereign Immunity And Florida Public Schools

The most important legal concept you need to understand when your child is injured at school is sovereign immunity. Schools districts are considered part of the government and in all states, including Florida have sovereign immunity. In the most general terms, sovereign immunity means school districts and their employees cannot be sued. However, sovereign immunity has been waived by school districts in the case of negligence. This means that though they can be held liable for your child’s injuries, there is a lengthy and complex process required to report the injury, determine fault, and receive damages. This process is very difficult and requires the expertise of a knowledgeable injury lawyer.

Seeking Damages From Florida Public Schools

In the state of Florida, sovereign immunity laws present many challenges to pursuing a claim. These include:

  • Limits on the about of financial payments
  • Rules regarding the manner, notice, and methods used for pursuing financial recovery
  • What constitutes negligences

Understanding Negligence In Florida Public School Injury Cases

The Supreme Court of Florida that “A public school, at least through the high school level, undoubtedly owes a general duty of supervision to the students within its care.” Examples of this type of negligence include:

  • Premises negligence: Not properly maintaining the school grounds creating an unnecessary risk to students.
  • Negligent supervision: Teachers, principals, and other staff not providing proper supervision leading to an injury.
  • Violence: Acts of violence committed on school grounds or by school staff

These are all examples of when Florida public schools will waive their sovereign immunity and damages can be sought for your child’s injury.

Why You Need An Injury Lawyer

Regardless of the circumstances of your child’s injury, pursuing damages from a public school district is extremely complicated. It requires a high degree of legal expertise to navigate the processes and ensure that you are following the exacting requirements of your school district. A personal injury attorney can help. An injury attorney can help you prove negligence and help you go through the process so your child receives the compensation they deserve. So if you believe a public school is responsible for your child’s injuries, speak to an attorney immediately.

At , Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh, we take child injury cases very seriously. We understand the impact an injury can have on a child’s development and their long term success and happiness in life. We will help fight for justice for your child, no matter how complex the circumstances. So if your child has been injured at school, speak to one of our qualified injury lawyers today to see how we can help your family.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Can Florida Public Schools Be Liable For Your Child’s Injury?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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