Student Suffered Injuries at High School

In a particularly unusual incident at a high school in St. Augustine, a student fell off an elevated walkway two stories above the ground on January 24th. The incident, which took place at Pedro Menendez High School in St. Johns County south of Jacksonville, occurred when the student somehow fell over the walkway railing and plunged down two stories onto a courtyard, suffering serious injuries in the process, but not losing consciousness. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment due to the seriousness of those injuries. A media report noted that a school district spokesperson declined to comment to the media other than to point out that there was a high railing in place on the elevated walkway the student fell from.

Claims Against a School District for Personal Injuries

Most people would not immediately think about pursuing a school district for personal injuries, but scenarios do occur at schools or other places in which a person may suffer injuries due to negligence. Whether it is a slippery floor that causes a visitor to a school to fall and suffer injuries or a school district employee driving a car somewhere on official business that is texting and causes an accident in which another motorist is injured, a school district can be liable in the same way that a private business or person would be. A school is responsible for maintaining its floors and other areas free from hazards just like any private business is and school district employees are responsible for ensuring they drive with the same care anyone else does, even when in a school district vehicle or on school district business.

However, suing a school district is different than suing a private entity or person. School districts are considered extensions of the state, so the $200,000 cap on claims against the state that applies to suing the state, a city or county or other governmental body in Florida would apply to claims against a school district. In addition, someone who wants to sue a school district has to go through a mandatory process of giving notice of the claim to the school district before filing suit and allowing the school district to investigate the claim.

Although it is unclear exactly what occurred to result in the student’s fall at Pedro Menendez High School, the injured student would likely have claims against not only the school district but also any private company or person that had a hand in either designing the walkway or installing the walkway. Given the student who fell appears to have suffered serious injuries, the $200,000 cap on claims against any state or local government authority or agency in Florida may well not be enough to fully compensate him for his injuries. However, if a private company manufactured and/or installed the railings, then those are fair game as well given that perhaps the railings could have been made higher or there was some sort of defect in the way those railings were either made or installed. Therefore, a creative and experienced Florida personal injury attorney like the attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley would be able to find additional parties aside from just the school district to ensure this student would be able to recover his full damages as a result of this fall.

About Schwed, Adams & McGinley

The experienced personal injury attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley have successfully resolved over 16,000 cases and recovered over $500 Million for clients around the country in all sorts of personal injury claims, from motor vehicle accidents to slips and falls to dog bites. Although suing a school district may not be something you expect to need to do at any point in your life, you or someone you love may be injured in a slip and fall at a school or an accident with a school district employee driving a company car. In that case, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you to recover maximum damages for your injuries. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. today at (877) 694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation regarding your situation if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence.