It’s the last thing you want to think about, yet likely at the forefront of your mind when sending your children on a school trip abroad. But in the event of an accident overseas, you may wonder if you can take legal action.
The answer is yes. The same liability that applies in the event of an accident at school means that the school have a responsibility to ensure that their pupils and staff are safe from harm.
There are many possible scenarios that could result in your child being injured at school. This could be a grazed knee or bruised shin of their own making, but in the event an accident occurs due to the school’s fault, it is possible to pursue a compensation claim. This is because the school is responsible for the wellbeing of all occupants, from pupils to teachers, employees and visitors.
Accidents happen, but when your child is on a school trip – especially overseas – you would expect that they are looked after with the upmost care.
Slater and Gordon Lawyer commented, “Generally speaking, teachers and teaching assistants have a legal responsibility to act in the same manner as that of a responsible parent or guardian. Accidents do happen at home as they do abroad and not all accidents mean that a teacher is at fault. The facts of each case need to be assessed against how a reasonable parent or guardian would have acted in those particular circumstances.”
A 2007 study by education website, Journeys, revealed an increase in serious injuries and fatalities on school trips over a ten-year period. The Telegraph, however, suggest that “the so-called cotton wool culture has not lessened the ‘negligible’ risk of a serious accident” with classroom outings becoming increasingly “tame in recent years amid growing fears that teachers would be sued if something went wrong.”
In the event a child or staff member are injured in an accident overseas, a compensation claim could cover any medical costs and further rehabilitation. The responsibility may not lie with the school, but rather a tour operator, who has a responsibility to those on an organised package trip.
Recent news has highlighted the tragic case of the Brentwood School bus crash in Belgium, in which James Chance, the driver, was killed and two boys have remained in intensive care. Support should be focused on the rehabilitation and mental wellbeing of all involved.
Slater and Gordon Lawyer commented, “Bringing a legal claim is not solely about obtaining damages to compensate the victim for their injuries sustained. If is often more than that. Our main aim at the outset is to try to obtain the best rehabilitation possible as this is often key to making a good psychical and emotional recovery. Our aim is to obtain private treatment for our client’s to avoid long NHS waiting lists.”
For more information on accidents abroad, see our previous blog here.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have extensive experience in pursuing claims for people injured in an accident on holiday.
If you or a member of your family was injured in a road traffic accident overseas, Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046, from abroad on +44 20 7657 155, or contact us online.