The New York Personal Injury Blog

How to Sue NYC Schools

Do you know how to sue a school in NYC? For parents, this obviously isn't the first question we'd want to contemplate in the midst of back-to-school season in New York, but, unfortunately, some might need to know. Because children have to attend school, this means can't always be under the watchful eye of their parents at all times. This also means that if they do get harmed or injured for some reason while at school, parents may need to track who's responsible for that injury, whether it be the child's own fault or another student.

Sometimes, the school itself may be responsible. So, with that said, here is a general overview of how to sue a school:

Suing a Public NYC School

If your child is attending a public school in New York and you want to sue, the process is likely going to be different from suing a private school. If you plan to sue a public school, you will likely be required to file with a government administrative agency first, before you can proceed to a lawsuit. This process requires first filing a "notice of claim." In New York, the notice of claim is required within 90 days of the injury.

The purpose of the notice of claim is to alert the government of your child's injury, and then to give the agency (the school) an opportunity to respond. The claim is either accepted or rejected. If it is rejected, then you can proceed with filing a lawsuit through the regular civil courts.

Suing a Private NYC School

If your child attends a private school in New York and has been injured, you can then proceed with an ordinary civil suit. A private school, just like any other school, owes a duty of care to your children while they are at school. This includes claims for injuries like sexual harassment, undeserved punishment, failure to provide safe conditions, and other breaches of a school's duty of care.

Additionally, because private schools may invite issues that public schools often do not -- such as tuition disputes -- there may be different types of claims available for you. A fee dispute, for example, would fall under a breach of contract.

Because suing a school is an often complicated and intense legal process, contacting a local attorney would be in your best interest.

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