Field trips were a highlight of the school year when you were a kid, and many parents will remember their experiences fondly as they prepare to send their own children out on a learning-based excursion. The Florida Department of Education posted a publication on fun field trips, describing the high points at Zoo Miami, the Miami Children’s Museum, Amelia Earhart Pak, and many other South Florida attractions. However, there are certain risk factors involved with school field trips. A large group of children in a non-classroom setting, reliance on volunteers, and inherent dangers with certain outings increase the potential for accidents.
Learning that your child was hurt is overwhelming for a parent, leaving you bewildered about your rights and what to do next. Your first move should be contacting a Miami child injuries lawyer for legal help, but there are few tips that will help you get through the aftermath of a school field trip accident.
Seek Medical Care
Immediately after you are notified of an accident, coordinate with field trip leaders to ensure your child gets proper medical treatment. You may need to head to the ER for serious injuries, though an urgent care facility can handle same-day care. Proper medical attention is critical for the healing process, but it is also important when pursuing your legal remedies. Delays send the message that your child was not hurt badly.
Do Some Recon
If possible, conduct a basic investigation at the location where your child was hurt. Assess and take pictures of any dangerous conditions, and get a copy of a police report, if any. Also, request information from representatives at the location of the school trip. These sites are often required to complete documentation for official purposes and for their insurers.
Get in Touch With School Officials
Another aspect of your investigation includes contacting school administration to get the details regarding the field trip accident. Get as much information as possible regarding:
- Who accompanied and supervised the class trip, including teachers, volunteers, and other parents;
- The details of the accident and surrounding circumstances;
- What your child was doing when injured;
- Any witnesses who observed what happened; and,
- Steps that school officials took after the accident.
Check Permission Slips and Waiver Forms
You probably signed paperwork giving parental permission to attend the field trip, and may not have reviewed some of the waiver provisions carefully. These clauses may seem daunting, since they usually release the school from any liability for accidents. However, it is possible to overcome these waivers when officials acted with gross negligence or recklessness in organizing or executing the plan.
Consult With a Miami Child Injuries Attorney About Your Legal Options
Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA is ready to handle many of these tasks on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation for the losses your family sustains. Please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL today. We are happy to set up a no-cost case evaluation to assess your circumstances and guide you in taking next steps.