Who Is Responsible for Accidents on School Trips?

June 17, 2019
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and some can happen on school trips due to various factors. Find out who is responsible for accidents on school trips.

Unfortunately, there are sometimes cases of accidents on school trips, which can range from minor injuries to quite serious incidents. And, so, the important issue of responsibility arises. Who is responsible? The student? The teachers? The venue?

Both staff and owners of educational centers have a great responsibility to do all they can to prevent accidents on school trips and to do all they can to avoid injuries in children. In this article we’ll be discussing activities during school hours, extracurricular activities, and all types of outings and school trips.

As soon as parents leave their children at school, from that moment on, the school assumes the responsibility of taking care of them while they remain on their premises or during the activities organized by the institution.

Accidents on school premises are quite frequent due to the very nature of the activities and due to children’s sometimes unpredictable behavior. The supervision of teachers is key in these situations.

Unfortunately, there are cases when these accidents come about through a lack of diligence on the part of teachers, whether it be at school, high school or university. And, in these cases, whether the accidents are minor or very serious, the institution must answer for their negligence.

We’ll take a deeper look at this issue below, in order for us to have a better understanding of who is responsible in the event of accidents on school trips.

Risk of accidents on school trips

When an educational center organizes an outing or school trip, the chances of an accident are far higher than during the normal activities that take place on their premises.

In the case of school outings, as they take place outside of the school premises, it’s not always possible to control all the factors that can arise. These can arise during the journey and also during the activities themselves that take place during the day.

Who Is Responsible for Accidents on School Trips?

Responsibility in the event of an accident on a school trip

This risk of damage or injury is multiplied when there are a large number of students and not many teachers to look after them and supervise them. In the case of students who have some kind of disability, the supervision must be far greater.

What can parents do in the event of an accident during a school trip?

In the event of accidents on school trips, the parents have at their disposal different ways of claiming. They can use normal civil proceedings to claim compensation. However, they also have the option of doing it through the courts. This is valid in the event of a patrimonial responsibility claim against a public school.

Bringing a civil liability case

Parents can bring a civil liability case of malpractice, both against the school staff and their management. The teachers, authorities and personnel of the educational center will have to prove that they adopted all the appropriate and necessary measures to avoid the accident.

Two known cases of parents’ claims for accidents during a school trip

The mother of a 16-year-old teenage girl with a mental disability filed a compensation claim for an accident that occurred during a school trip to a nature center.

During a walk, the girl fell into a river. As a result, she suffered a serious brain injury and the fracture of a cervical vertebra. The consequences of these injuries were a tetraplegia and very serious visible injuries.

Who Is Responsible for Accidents on School Trips?

The court acquitted the two teachers who were responsible for the group of students that day. It was actually the nature center that was prosecuted in this case. This was because it was shown that she undertook the walk without the center having informed the teachers.

In this case, the fault lay with owners of the center. The compensation they had to pay was close to 1 million dollars.

A visit to the zoo

The second case is one that occurred during the visit of a group of children to the zoo. On this occasion, a lion attacked a four-year-old boy. The court ruled that the educational center was responsible this time.

It was shown that the cause of the accident in the zoo was the lack of attention, care and vigilance by the school staff that was in charge of the group of children during the trip.

This doesn’t mean that the zoo’s management has been exonerated of its own responsibility. To dictate his sentence, the court took into account that the child was only four years old. Due to the presence of animals, there should have been more care taken and more preventative measures in place.