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Schools, colleges and nurseries have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for children, teachers and other employees, parents and other visitors to the school. They are not expected to prevent every minor mishap that a child experiences as they go through school, but they are required by law to reduce the risk of injury from accidents that reasonably can be foreseen.

Where the school, its staff or contractors fail to comply with safety standards and guidelines or their negligence results in serious injury, the injured child or adult may be entitled to claim compensation.

Children may not recognise hazards or danger. The younger the child, the greater the responsibility on the school to keep them safe. This applies whether they are in class, in the playground, on the sports field or out and about for sports events, after-school clubs or school trips.

Children are also vulnerable to accidents on, around or involving school transport, in carparks, drop-off and pick-up zones, or whilst walking, cycling or crossing roads within the school grounds or outside the school gates. Where the accident takes place outside school, the responsibility may lie with another organisation or driver. Drivers are expected to take extra care around schools and be aware of children walking, running or cycling into the road.

School injury claims are not limited to children. Employed adults, such as teachers, parents or other visitors who are injured as a result of dangerous premises and equipment, poor health and safety practises, or negligence of other staff at the school may be entitled to claim compensation.

Boyes Turner’s personal injury lawyers have over 20 years’ experience of helping injured children and adults rebuild their lives after serious injury, through claims for compensation. Our clients benefit from:

  • free, confidential advice to get started, when considering making a claim;
  • no win no fee (conditional fee agreement) funding for the claim;
  • early, funded immediate needs assessments by experienced case managers;
  • personalised rehabilitation;
  • interim (advance) payments to pay for urgent needs and ease financial hardship;
  • educational support (SEN);
  • help with specialist equipment, care and support;
  • where necessary, adapted accommodation.

Support for the child and their family after an accident

We have helped countless families obtain the help they need to ensure that their child’s home environment, education and care meets their needs after an accident results in disability. Client families who have trusted us to help them through these difficult times often tell us that it was our caring, professional and personal support that carried them through.

We understand the physical, practical, emotional and financial challenges that parents face when their child needs extended hospital treatment followed by changes to homelife, daily activities and school. Our client families can count on our experience to help them gain access to early financial help, individualised rehabilitation, expert support with home adaptations, equipment and care needs and specialist education. Our support continues through our deputy and personal injury trust services, ensuring that where long-term financial provision is needed, our clients’ compensation money is both protected and accessible to meet their needs.

Accidents involving children are always distressing for their families. In some circumstances traumatic or shocking accidents may also cause psychological injury to a witnessing parent. Our compassionate team are experienced in securing treatment and financial compensation for parents or other members of the injured child’s family who suffer psychological injury as ‘secondary victims’.

If your enquiry relates to help with special educational needs (SEN) support, an EHCP Education Health and Care Plan or school placement for a child with special educational needs, you can contact our specialist SEN team here: www.senexpertsolicitors.co.uk

Recent cases:

Who can claim compensation after a school or nursery injury ?

Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for children to learn and play, and for teachers and other employees to work. They must also take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable injury to parents and other visitors to the school.

We claim compensation for serious injury caused by school accidents or negligence for: 

  • children;
  • teachers and administrative or support staff;
  • caretakers, maintenance staff and cleaners;
  • parents: 
    • for their own accidents on school premises;
    • ‘secondary victim’ claims for psychological injury from witnessing their child’s death or traumatic injury;
  • visitors;
  • contractors, such as builders, decorators etc;
  • multiple victims, when more than one person is injured in the same accident.
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Who do I claim from in a school injury claim?

Our experienced personal injury claims lawyers investigate each client’s accident and injury thoroughly to ensure that compensation is claimed from the correct defendant(s). Depending on the type of school and the circumstances which caused the injury, claims may be made against:

  • the local authority/council;
  • academic academy;
  • private school;
  • another individual (such as a driver in a car park accident);
  • transport provider (such as a school bus company or taxi firm);
  • supplier of equipment;
  • contractor, (such as, builders or maintenance company);
  • external provider of buildings, facilities, transport, services or equipment, (for example, off-site sports or school trips);
  • CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) for criminal injury (such as abuse or assault).

In most cases, the response to the claim and payment of compensation will be covered by defendant’s insurance company. Schools are expected to have insurance in place for public liability, employer’s liability, and negligence claims for personal injury. Compensation in claims arising from violent crime are paid by the CICA. In most cases, school funds will not be affected by a compensation payment to an injured employee, visitor or child.  

Many private schools now provide accidental injury cover for pupils via a voluntary/mandatory accident insurance premium added to the annual school fees. Where accidental injury insurance is in place, we advise that parents speak to us as soon as possible, so that we can ensure that the injured child receives their full entitlement to compensation.  

We strongly advise parents of children who have been injured at school to speak to our expert lawyers before accepting any offer of compensation they receive directly from a school or other organisation or their insurers. You risk irrevocably settling your child’s claim for substantially less than the child’s full entitlement to compensation. Claims for children’s injuries should always be handled by experienced solicitors, and their settlements must be approved by the court.

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What types of accidents or negligence leads to school injury compensation claims?

Claims for compensation related to accidents or injuries at school arise where the school or its staff are at fault for causing, or failing to take reasonable steps to prevent, a foreseeable injury.

School injury compensation claims are common after an injury is caused by: 

  • unsafe or poorly maintained buildings, (asbestos, glass, tripping/slipping hazards, poorly installed fittings, falling masonry);
  • unsafe or poorly maintained external areas, (icy/ungritted paths, broken fences, playgrounds, glass);
  • lack of safety warnings/signs, fencing/guards around hazards, (roads, steep drops, deep water, chemicals);
  • falls from unprotected, elevated areas, (windows, staircases, walls, without barriers or railings);
  • unsafe, age-inappropriate, or unsupervised use of dangerous equipment, (climbing frames, science equipment/chemicals);
  • defective, faulty, dangerous or poorly installed equipment or furniture;
  • lifting injuries from heavy equipment;
  • RTA/cyclist/pedestrian injuries on school premises, (car parks, driveways, drop-off/pickup zones);
  • RTA/cyclist/pedestrian injuries outside or near to school premises (around school bus, pedestrian crossings);
  • injuries on school transport (on school trips, on journeys to sports events, school bus);
  • injuries on school trips (lack of supervision, road accidents, ski-ing, adventure sport or camping injuries, accidents abroad);
  • injuries at off-site school events (school fairs, sports tournaments);
  • sports or P.E. injuries, (rugby, football, cricket, athletics, water-sports, climbing wall, swimming/diving, ropes, trampolines) involving:  
    • inadequate protective or safety equipment (helmets, harnesses, mouthguards, safety mats);
    • poor teaching or training;
    • inadequate supervision;
    • lack of trained or qualified staff;
    • defective or poorly installed equipment;
    • unsafe buildings or facilities.
  • exposure to asbestos or other dangerous materials;
  • unsafe medical, allergy or emergency procedures (EpiPens, children with asthma, diabetes or allergies, defibrillators);
  • injuries caused by other unsupervised children/students;
  • assaults (on staff or students) by unsupervised students or school staff;
  • physical or sexual abuse.

The claim may be made against the school, another organisation or individual, or the CICA, depending on the circumstances of the accident and injury.

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What types of school injury can lead to compensation claims?

Boyes Turner’s personal injury team specialise in recovering compensation for clients with permanent disability arising from severe injury. When an accident or injury is caused by the negligence of the school, its staff, contractors or visitors, we help the injured child, adult or family claim compensation for the lifelong impact of severe injury including:

We also act for parents who have suffered psychological injury as ‘secondary victims’ from witnessing their child’s traumatic injury.

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What compensation can be claimed for school injuries?

Each individual’s compensation claim is calculated carefully to ensure that it reflects the severity of the injury, and that it meets our client’s lifelong needs arising from their disability. A reduced amount of compensation may be paid where the injured person’s own actions partly, but not totally, caused the injury. 

The claim may include compensation for:

  • pain and suffering and disability;
  • costs of rehabilitation (sometimes funded at an early stage by the defendant);
  • costs of care – including additional care provided by family members;
  • case management;
  • increased costs of suitable accommodation;
  • specialist equipment;
  • assistive technology and IT;
  • prosthetic limbs (after amputation);
  • therapies:
    • occupational therapy (OT);
    • physiotherapy;
    • speech and language therapy (SALT);
    • psychological counselling;
  • private medical/surgery costs;
  • special education (SEN);
  • transport costs;
  • future loss of earnings and pension;
  • Court of Protection costs;
  • immunotherapy treatment (asbestos-related claims);
  • other expenses arising directly from the injury;
  • (in the case of a death, where eligible) a claim for funeral costs, bereavement award and loss of dependency.
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Accidents in schools cases

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What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Happy to recommend your services"

Thank you again for all you have done for us and the way you have done it. We would be happy to recommend your services to anyone else in a similar position.

Boyes Turner client

"I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery"

"It really does turn your life upside down in a moment, not just for me but for my family as well. It’s been a difficult journey, sometimes very emotional, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in my recovery and in being able to tell this story tooMy story shows what can be achieved with the support of the right people and a little determination. I look back on where I was and I’m delighted with where I am now. I’ve still got a way to go and I still have some effects from the accident to deal with but I hope people see what I’ve achieved and it helps them as they begin their recovery."

Jessica Stevens

"We'd like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner..."

We’d like to express our thanks to Kim and the team at Boyes Turner for the expertise, experience and professionalism in handling our daughter’s serious injury claim following a road accident. From arranging a team of rehab specialists and the necessary funding to the negotiation of the final very satisfactory settlement, the whole operation has been conducted very smoothly and we can recommend their service to anyone in a similar position.

"Thank you so much for all you have done..."

Thank you so much for all you have done for C and the family. I know that you have absolutely given it everything you’ve got and your devotion and commitment to the case has been spectacular.

Third party forensic accountant

"I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks..."

I wanted to take the opportunity to express my thanks to you for your professional attitude and handling of the claim throughout this tragic case.  It is in cases like this where the compensation can never compensate for the loss suffered, but hopefully it will help in some way to move forward.

Third party insurer