Premises Liability for Students Injured at Non-Public Schools in Los Angeles
Schools must be safe for students. Administrators should identify dangers, take action to correct them, and warn students about hazards on campus. But sometimes, those in charge at non-public schools fail to maintain their facilities and provide the care they should. The consequence of their negligence: Students can get hurt.
Did your child suffer a non-public school injury in California? Contact the premises liability lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP today. With 50 years of legal experience, our personal injury attorneys have the skills and resources needed to stand up for your rights and protect your best interests.
Get a free consultation by calling or reaching out online today.
California Premises Liability Laws
Under California law, property owners and managers must take ordinary care in maintaining their property. The law also states that owners and managers can be held financially responsible when their failure to meet their legal obligations hurts others.
Non-public schools are no exception. Those in charge of a non-public school must keep all facilities free of dangerous or unsanitary conditions.
But not all schools take the steps that are needed to create safe environments. They may fail to make repairs, fail to warn students about slippery floors, or fail to provide enough protection for students where hazardous conditions exist. Faulty equipment on playgrounds or gyms can also lead to premises liability accidents on school property.
Common Causes for Premises Liability Injuries at Non-Public Schools
The leading causes of non-public school injuries include:
- Slippery or uneven floors – Students move throughout school buildings all day, and administrators and school employees must ensure that any surfaces are functional and safe. When non-public schools allow dangerous tripping hazards, spills, or leaks to happen, they may be liable.
- Negligent security – Those in charge of a property are responsible for their guests and invitees. They must take reasonable steps to keep the property safe. That could include having adequate security personnel, providing training for school staff, or ensuring that facilities are locked at appropriate times.
- Broken stairs, ramps, and elevators – Students may need to move between floors using stairs and elevators, or they may need to use ramps to get into buildings. When stairs, ramps, and elevators fail, it can lead to dangerous falls.
- Unsanitary conditions – Cafeterias, locker rooms, and bathrooms need regular sanitization. Unsanitary conditions can allow bacteria and mold to enter the body, leading to digestive issues, skin infections, and other medical problems.
- Dangerous or toxic materials – Schools may expose students to materials that could harm them. Federal law and California law require schools to take steps to identify and mitigate hazards like asbestos and lead, which can be present in school building materials, paint, and drinking water. A wide range of life-threatening illnesses are associated with these substances.
- Faulty or broken equipment – Playground and sports equipment wears down over time. When that happens, victims could suddenly fall, break bones, and suffer other severe injuries.
When administrators allow or fail to address these and other dangerous conditions, there may be school liability for student injuries. It’s wise to speak with a premises liability attorney with experience handling school injuries to learn your next steps if your child was hurt.
What Is a Non-Public School’s Legal Responsibility to Students?
Non-public schools are legally responsible for keeping their facilities safe for student use. That means keeping grounds in working order, quickly repairing problems, and making students aware of dangers.
Contract law may also govern a non-public school’s duties and responsibilities to students. A court may hold non-public schools accountable based on the standards outlined in materials such as their student handbooks, enrollment contracts, and promotional materials.
Who Is Liable If My Kid Is Hurt in a Non-Public School?
Multiple parties could be liable for your child’s school-related injuries. It depends on an individual’s role and responsibilities within the school. For example, those who run a non-public school could be liable if they fail to address a dangerous condition, while a maintenance staff member might be liable if they failed in their duty to perform a repair correctly.
Liable parties in a non-public school lawsuit could include:
- The school itself
- Administrators, such as principals
- Maintenance staff
What Is Sovereign Immunity?
Sovereign immunity means that you cannot take legal action against a government entity or its employees without the government’s consent. That often means you can’t sue a public school until you’ve completed a formal notice and investigation process. This gives public schools a powerful shield against lawsuits.
Does Sovereign Immunity Apply if My Child is Hurt in a Non-Public School?
Sovereign immunity generally doesn’t apply to non-public schools. Non-public schools are privately owned or operated, meaning you may be able to sue them directly like you would other organizations. But even though sovereign immunity may not apply, a non-public school may have protections under any contract you’ve signed with them.
Filing a School Injury Claim or Lawsuit
When individuals need to take action against a non-public school, they must go through several steps before filing a claim or lawsuit for compensation. A school injury lawyer from Custodio & Dubey LLP can take the pressure off by:
- Gathering evidence (e.g., witness statements, video footage, school handbooks, etc.)
- Using California premises liability laws to show how the school violated its legal duty to your child
- Identifying all possible sources of compensation for you
- Handling all negotiations in pursuit of a full and fair settlement on your behalf
- Filing a premises liability lawsuit, if necessary
Contact Our California School Injury Attorneys Today
You shouldn’t have to worry about your child’s safety at school, especially when circumstances within the school’s control caused the injury. If your child has been injured at a non-public school in California, contact Custodio & Dubey LLP now.
With decades of experience serving the people of Los Angeles, our premises liability lawyers have the qualifications and fierce advocacy skills to pursue the results you deserve. Contact us for your free consultation.
We invite you to call us today to arrange a free consultation at (888) 200-9431.