It’s back to school time already. We entrust our children to the Illinois educational system. Securing their safety and well-being are paramount and among the most important jobs we have as parents. Did you know that schools, both public and not-for-profit private schools under some circumstances, enjoy immunity for certain conduct related to our children?
The public policy behind the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act and the Tort Liability of Schools Act is to balance the burden on taxpayers for liability emanating from certain functions or activities related to schools. Nevertheless, there may be circumstances under which you may be entitled to seek compensation for personal injuries against a school.
If your child is injured at school or during a school-related activity, you may seek to file a lawsuit. The intricacies of the school’s tort immunity make the evaluation of such a case very complex requiring early consultation with a personal injury attorney.
For instance, immunity may bar a suit based on negligence in contrast to conduct involving reckless or intentional conduct. Some examples of reckless conduct may be that a teacher ignored a doctor’s note thus exposing the student to the injury or failed to provide the proper safety equipment during a dangerous activity. Generally speaking there is no rights to recovery for a failure to supervise your child. This type of negligence is protected under the immunity. Ultimately, the categorization of the school’s conduct should be left to a jury. Another determinative factor may be the type of school activity involved and where the injury occurred. Your lawyer will fight for your right to have your case heard by a jury rather than dismissed based on various tort immunities.
It is also important to act quickly if you believe your child was injured in a school related activity or by a school employee. Early action is always important when addressing the needs of an injured victim, and even more so when the injury may be the fault of another. In addition, the time to file suit against the school is more limited than other personal injury claims. While Illinois courts have held the statute of limitations for minors suing generally begins to run on their eighteenth birthday, actions involving tort immunities must be filed within one year of a child’s eighteenth birthday. This is earlier than the time provided for most personal injury lawsuits. If your case is not timely filed you could be forever barred from recovery. Just another reason to involve your personal injury lawyer at your earliest opportunity if you have a serious situation that needs redress.