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Times When Schools Can Be Held Accountable: Exploring Exceptions to Immunity

exceptions to immunity

School immunity can often make it difficult to seek justice for your child. But given the right circumstances, you could successfully hold a school or its employees liable for injury or damage. While sovereign immunity often protects government employees, there are exceptions to immunity for many situations. If your child sustained injury or harm in any while at school, you may have a case. Working with a trained and experienced education lawyer could help you defend your child’s rights.

Common Exceptions to Immunity

In many instances, you may find a hard time suing a school for personal injury or property damage. Specific laws around school immunity have vague wordings that excuse certain actions for discretionary use. And unfortunately, it’s difficult to prove whether actions were taken for proper measures, no matter how extreme they seem. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take every step necessary to protect and defend your child.

School Bus Accidents

The most common case of exception from immunity is a school bus accident. Schools take on a certain duty of care when transporting your children on a school bus. If there’s an accident or your child is injured in any way while on the bus, you could have a legal case. However, like any auto accident case, the true liability can sometimes be muddled. For example, if a faulty brake on the bus causes the accident, then the school could be liable for failing to inspect or maintain the vehicle. If, on the other hand, a driver runs a red light and crashes into the bus, then that driver may be liable instead. In any school bus accident, it’s always a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer to know who your case should be against.

Motor Vehicle Accidents in the Presence of a Teacher

Other motor vehicle accidents are also considered exempt from immunity. If your child is in a vehicle with a teacher, then the same rules apply as if there is a school bus accident. While this case isn’t as common, it’s still possible to pursue. For example, if your school offers driver’s education classes, then any practical lessons would fall into this category. But again, normal auto accident laws can still apply when determining blame and liability.

Excessive Force

In many cases, a school or employee may argue that certain actions were crucial when acting in their regular duties. However, there are times when those actions go too far, and excessive force is used. These cases are some of the harder ones to prove and prosecute successfully. To help increase your chances of a win, it’s often a good idea to gather as much evidence as possible. You should also take your child to a doctor right away to examine the injuries and provide a report to use in your case. Witness statements and any photos/videos can also be extremely useful when seeking justice for your child.

Suing a Private School

Sovereign immunity only applies to schools funded by the government and have government employees. Many private schools are not publicly funded, meaning they are not protected by immunity. If your child attends a public school and suffers injury, you may have a legal case against the school or its employees. Your education lawyer can help determine if sovereign immunity applies and whether or not the school is liable for the incident.

Get Help with School Immunity Today

If your child sustained injuries at school, you may have the right to seek compensation and justice. At the Hager Law Firm, we understand the exceptions to immunity and what it takes to win a case against a government institution. Call us today at (903) 466-0001 or send an email to to schedule a consultation and see if you have a case to make.

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