When parents drop their children off at school, they should be able to trust that their kids will enter buildings that are safe. That applies to everyone but may involve extra considerations if your child has a disability.
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and certain California laws prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. The laws outline important standards about making buildings, transportation, and education accessible for everyone with a disability. If your school is non-compliant and your special needs student is injured, you could have a valid legal claim against the school or school district.
Distinguishing whether you have an ADA claim or personal injury claim will be important as you consider taking legal action. Let a Los Angeles lawyer from Custodio & Dubey LLC review your case. Our firm is staffed by accomplished ADA attorneys and school injury lawyers, so you’ll benefit from our extensive knowledge of both areas of the law.
We know you’ll do everything possible to protect your child. So will we. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
My Special Needs Child Was Injured At School — Now What?
It’s horrifying to learn that your child was injured at school. Now, it’s time to figure out what happened.
The facts of the case will dictate whether you have a lawsuit. Sometimes accidents happen at school that have nothing to do with negligence. For example, a child who breaks his ankle tripping on his shoelace on the way in from recess could just be a victim of chance. He didn’t realize his shoe was untied. But if the child tripped on broken pavement on the playground that was not repaired or marked off, the family could have grounds for a premises liability claim in California.
Premises Liability on School Grounds
Premises liability falls under the umbrella of personal injury law in California. If the owner or party responsible for maintaining a property fails to make repairs or take reasonable measures to warn others of a dangerous condition, they may be held liable if someone is hurt on their property.
Schools and school districts have a duty to ensure that their grounds are free from all foreseeable hazards. If a cafeteria bench isn’t properly secured and it breaks and injures a student, the school might be liable in a premises liability claim if it can be shown that they knew about the faulty bench and continued to seat students on it.
ADA Violations Leading to Injury at School
One central component of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is that architectural changes must be made, where “readily achievable,” to make buildings accessible to individuals with disabilities. This might include modifications such as:
- Adding wheelchair ramps
- Widening doors
- Adding handrails
- Making entrances and exits accessible for the disabled
- Providing toilets and water fountains that are easily reached
When schools do not make modifications as specified by the ADA and other California disability laws and a special needs student is injured as a result, a skilled ADA lawyer can help families seek compensation for their losses. It’s important to note that the violation does not have to be intentional for the school or school district to be held liable.
Are All Premises Liability Incidents ADA Violations?
No. Many premises liability cases are not related to ADA violations. For example, a poorly lit hallway could be a hazard to everyone, not just someone with a visual impairment. However, there are situations where there could be some overlap between premises liability and ADA claims. The best way to figure out what type of claim is best for your case is by reaching out to a Los Angeles law firm with skilled ADA attorneys and premises liability lawyers.
Contact Custodio & Dubey LLP Now
With 50 years of experience, Custodio & Dubey LLP is a leading law firm for parents of children with special needs who have suffered school injuries. Our strong team of Los Angeles ADA lawyers and premises liability attorneys will fight aggressively to ensure that your child’s rights are enforced and upheld. To learn more, call or contact us for a free consultation.