Many concerned parents would assume that if their child was injured in a school setting that the school would be held liable for that injury. However, in the state of Texas, it is virtually impossible to sue a school for personal injury unless this injury occurred in a school bus accident. Due to certain exceptions, the school district can be held liable to certain extent. Public and private schools owe you and your child a responsibility under ‘duty of care.’ Duty of care means that there is reasonable supervision at all times and that if an accident occurred was it within proper supervision? Although, under sovereign immunity, School Districts can not be held liable for any personal injury claim there are exceptions that can take place. You may be asking what is sovereign immunity, this is defined as a common law rule that states are not liable to its citizens for torts. Under this rule, the government must give people permission to sue them. Specifically looking at Texas, which has the Texas Tort Claim Act that gives citizens certain rights to sue under specific statutes, however; other states have different exceptions.
There are four exceptions under the Texas Tort Claim Act, the first is Section 101.021, this states that the government unit (the school district) may be held liable for personal injuries or wrongful death if they occurred by an employee of the school operating a motor vehicle. The second exception is Section 101.023 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code; this code sets damage limitations for different types of government units. Since the School District is a part of the local government they are limited to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence. The third section is Section 101.101, this section provides special notice provisions. Schools are allowed to receive notice of a claim within six months of the injury. Specifically, the notice must describe the ‘alleged’ injury, the time and place of the incident, and the incident itself. Lastly, Section 101.106 provides election of remedies provisions that could cause practitioners to waive a portion of a claim. Election of remedies provides the security for the school district if a party tries to sue for two coexisting inconsistent remedies, and only end up pursuing one remedy they can not go back and sue for the other existing remedy.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident due to the negligence of someone else, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in Arlington, TX from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC as soon as possible to get started on your case.