31 answers

School's Responsibility

My son had a fall from one of the play structures at his Montessori pre-school and broke his collar bone. Does the school have any responsibility in this case? His previous day care had offered to pay the co-pay when he had a accident there and had to be taken to the ER for some stitches.

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Thanks for the feedback. I am also of the opinion that the school does not have any financial responsiblity. I am happy to see that many people share this view. Accidents are bound to happen. This could have very well happened at home or at a park. We are very pleased with the pre-school he is at and don't feel there was neglect involved.

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I think it's the school's responsibility. It happened at school. They should be responsible for what happened at school. You may need to consult a lawyer first if the school doesn't take the responsibility.

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Not to be rude, but I think a lot of what's wrong in the world is that people want to blame everyone else for their problems. What if a neighbor child came into your yard and broke his collar bone because he jumped off of a swing or something kid-ish like that? Sure, your homeowner's insurance would probably pay for it, but how would you feel about that? How would you feel about the parents of that child if they asked you to pay? You didn't push him off of the swing...

Now if your child, under their care ran out in front of a car and got hit or something like that....absolutely it would be their fault for not supervising him in an unsafe environment (parking lot), but accidents happen on the playground all of the time and barring any broken or faulty equipment...it was just an accident. Treatment for a broken clavicle is pretty easy. My son wore a figure-8 type sling for six weeks and could use that shoulder/arm for lifting or pulling but after the six weeks...he was fine. Although they probably "would" pay if asked, I would say to pay it yourself...

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I don't mean to be rude but It was not the school's fault that he fell off of play equipment. The only way it could have been prevented was if the Teacher didn't allow him to play - then his Mommy would be mad about that and looking for compensation because her child was treated differently than the other children. Children have accidents through out their life while playing - that is part of growing up. He could have just as easily fallen off the equipment at the park with you - then who would you look for to pay the bills. This is your child and you should take responsibility for him and not always look for someone else to pay the bill.

How many private schools would be in business if they paid every time little Bobby or Suzie got a bump or bruise.

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I have to agree with one of the respondents...they may have a policy to help pay for the copay. BUT unless you don't want your children to ever play on playground equipment, then there are always going to be some risk that he/she gets hurt. Unless the equipment was in disrepair, then I can't imagine how you would think it is the school's fault. Children fall and get hurt...even in our own homes under our watchful eye. I sorry that your son got hurt and broke a bone...that is truly awful...but to me, it was an accident.

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Why is everybody being so rude about this? Of course it's not their fault, of course it was an accident, but you don't have to be nasty about it. If the accident happened while your child was under their care, of course they should help pay for part of the recovery.

My daughter had her finger slammed in a door at her day care. It eventually got infected and she had to have her fingernail removed. No, that wasn't their fault then either (it was the other parent's fault for not paying attention), but they do have accident insurance policies to cover things like that. They apply over your regular health insurance - to cover your copay for the ER or doctor office visits, cover your copy for the prescriptions or any slings/crutches that you may need. But, they will also reimburse you for your lost time from work. I know I was out of vacation time when I had to take off for Natalie, so they reimbursed me for that lost day, instead of me having to go without pay for the day. It's the same way with our doggie day care. Our collie had her ear stepped on by another dog and it split in half. She had to get stitches, but the doggie day care had an accident policy that paid our vet bills.

Just ask your center director - if they are any sort of reputable facility, they will already have a program in place.

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I would think only if they were negligent in the matter-like no one was supervising the playground or the equipment was not in good shape. Otherwise, I don't think so. Even though they are insured for stuff its usually for stuff that was their fault, and this doesn't appear to be their fault. Sorry :(

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I don' think the school is responsible to help parents pay for accidents on the playground. They are responsible for adequately supervising students playing outside and maintaining safe conditions. Accidental falls, breaks, bumps and bruises happen all the time at school even in the safest of environments - just part of growing up and learning your limitations. You'll probably have to prove some kind of negligence on the part of the school to get them to pay. Your previous day care may have been taking some responsibility for the accident and hence offered to pay.

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This is covered under Tort Liability-- schools are (in general) not held liable for injuries sustained by students on the premises, unless the injury can be proven to have occurred because of the schools negligence. That does not fit in your case unless something was happening that should have been stopped. Give the school a break.... what will happen if you try to make the school responsible is that the schools will eventually have no choice but to remove all play equipment. I have taught in a school district that removed play equipment due to lawsuits, and it punishes everyone.

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Legally I do not know.

My opinion is No. Accidents happen on the playground all the time at every school. The school can not be held liable. Can you imagine the additional insurance costs for them if they had to cover this too and then the increase in our costs for tuition?

If you are not prepared for these types of life's occurrences - keep your child at home.

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The school probably gave you some paper work that may have that info in it when he started. I do not think the school has any responsibilty(as long as the play equipment is kept in good shape). It was an accident. Kids are always trying new things and getting hurt. You should pay for his care.

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they ABSOLUTELY bear legal responsibility for what happened, just as you would be legally liable for any injury that occurs on YOUR property. typically, the "liability waivers" are worth nothing more than the paper they're written on, in the category of exculpable clauses. if it were me personally, unless i felt that he wasn't being supervised properly, i would just suck it up and pay for it myself. however, if you feel it proper, ask them to cover your copay. you also have to be prepared that your medical insurance may choose to NOT cover the claim b/c it occurred on "private property" and THEY may go after the school. there's a ton of options available for you, hope you are able to decide what is most comfortable for you to do. i hope your son is feeling better soon!

You should go back and read the policy book the school gave you when you enrolled your son. It may have something in it to help you or you may have signed a waivor that releases the school from all responsiblily.

I think it's the school's responsibility. It happened at school. They should be responsible for what happened at school. You may need to consult a lawyer first if the school doesn't take the responsibility.

If you do not have personal insurance the school is responsible. If you do have insurance then the school is responsible for the copays and anything your insurance does not cover.

Check your school's parent handbook. Lots of schools put in whether or not they are liable for medical expenses due to injuries at school. They do not HAVE to pay for these expenses but they will have to report the accident to Daycare Licensing for an investigation. Licensing will then determine whether or not the school is at fault for the accident. If they do not report it then make sure that you do.
I hope your son has a speedy recovery.

They are insured for these reasons and should offer to pay. He was in their care, on their property. They are responsible for him. It has been a while since we went to a day care, I can't remember if I released them from liabilty or not. You may ask to look at your enrollment papers.

It is highly unlikely. You would have to prove neglectful supervision (very difficult). The bottom line is that accidents happen and there probably wasn't anything the teacher could have done (save not let him play on the structure at all). You can also go back and review your contract with the school for more information. Being private, there was probably language about waiver of liability in the contract you signed.

Sorry to hear about his injury! Hope he feels better soon.

Hi D D! The school should be legally liable for any accidents that occur on their property. Depending on the circumstances, they could be liable for the copay or the entire amount. They should already know this, and should not be asked if they will handle their part in this situation. They should already be offering their assistance. Hope this helps!

That is why they have insurance.
Simply call the director and meet with her...
Though that could have happened ANYWHERE... Accidents have to be reported and they have record of it. I'd hope. Just ask how to file with their insurance company.
Don't ask IF, ask HOW!
If they balk, report them and pull him. Talk to an attorney!

Obviously a very heated subject. Yes the school carries insurance. Yes I'm sure it was an accident and no one needs to get bent out of shape however as a parent when anything happens to your child in someone elses care it is easy to do, that's your baby. If it is a financial issue by all means ask the school for help in covering the costs. As long as you are not pointing fingers and making it look like they will need an attorney to deal with you then I am sure that they will be very willing to help without a problem. I know medical expenses can be ridiculous even with insurance if you have the kind like mine that only cover a perentage. If it is only a copay then I really wouldn't bother with it. And just take care of it myself.

I believe you are on your own....sorrry!

If you have medical insurance, then just pay yourself (or have your insurance pay really). If you don't and would have to pay out of pocket then you might ask if the school can help... But part of being a kid is getting hurt. If the structure was rusty and broke, causing him to fall, then YES have the school pay but if he fell on his own accord, then you should pay IMO. JMO

My son also fell from a play structure at pre-school and broke his elbow. Even though I had insurance their insurance is going to reimburse me for all the doctor's appointments and x-rays. My husband and I also requested that we be reimbursed for the time missed from work. We don't know if they will pay us back for that yet, but it's worth asking. If they had been watching my son closer, he never would have broken his elbow and in turn, we wouldn't have missed any work. Your son's school should have insurance to pay for your portion of the medical bills. If they don't offer it, I would press the issue. It's only right that they pay since the accident happened on their watch.

The school that your son goes to has to carry Liability Insurance. This insurance should pay for everything that your insurance does not cover. Sometimes the schools liability insurance will be the primary insurance if so that means it will pay 100% of the medical cost so then you would not submit to your insurance at all. You need to check with the school, it is required that the carry insurance for accidents that happen on their property. This is coming from someone with experience on both sides.

Out of etigquette, the school should offer to help pay. However, there are no regulations that require them to pay. Insurance that these sites carry are not for common everyday accidents.

It seems like they would. He was under their watch and care, right? Definitely check that out. that sounds painful! I hope you can get it figured out.

Legally I do not know what the school is responsible for but this happened to a friend of mine's daughter. She broke her arm on the school's playground. The school did not pay but was responsible about getting her the proper care. Some schools have you sign papers related to injuries while your child is in their care. I would suggest checking that policy before asking them to pay any medically related incidents.

It depends on what happened and what type of insurance the center has. If it was due to negligence (equipment in bad repair or lack of teacher supervision) then you may be awarded damages if you sue the center. As for right now, ask if the center offers insurance coverage for accidents on site, but most centers do not offer this as it is expensive and not required. Some centers will offer a secondary insurance that will pay after your insurance pays on the claim. If the center does not offer either of these, then you are responsible for immediate payment,but still have the right to a lawsuit, if you choose.

I don't think that the school has any financial responsibility in this- a clavicle (collar bone) fracture is pretty common in young kids and not too bad a healing process.

From my experience the school investigated to see that it for sure happened on school property (which we all knew) but after that I just completed a form and sent it to the school. After that I got a form from them and took it to the dr with us. The school's insurance paid for all of the copays. Very simple and practical, nothing else was ever expected from us as accidents happen everyday, this one just happened to be on school property.

Yes, but they won't do anything unless you approach them. You do not have to be rude or explosive to get results. Check your school policy handbook. They expect that children will have accidents and should have insurance to cover this. With that age child their should have been several aides watching, depending on the number of children playing.

most places will want to give you something just so you won't sue. i've seen it happen with a church and the boy scouts. that's a pretty serious break! i would look into it

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