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School Troubles – Act Quickly

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Tarzana, CASchools have a legal duty to provide students with a "safe and peaceful" environment. Although most school districts are acutely aware of that responsibility, accidents causing personal injury happen. "If they know, for example, that bullying or harassment is going on, the school must take proper action," explains personal injury attorney Loren Halpern from the Halpern Law Offices in Los Angeles. "If they don't they could be liable."

With more than 900 schools, the Los Angeles Unified school district is one of the largest in the country. Halpern's firm has represented many families with children who have been harmed while in the care of the school system. "We had a case where the school instructed kids to set up a goal post," says Halpern. "The goal post fell down and our client broke her nose and suffered a concussion."

"The school had the kids doing something one of their employees should have been doing," says Halpern.

Medical Attention First, Lawyers Second
Halpern Law Offices always advises parents to get their children medical attention first and then let the lawyers worry about the rest of the circumstances. Halpern is currently preparing a case against the L.A. School District for "failure to supervise" a 17-year-old girl with reduced mental capacity. "She has the mental capacity of a 7 or 8 year old," explains Halpern. "The girl was supposed to be supervised at all times by a teacher's aid."

"She would tend to leave the grounds and didn't understand why it was dangerous to do so," says Halpern.

"The young girl thought [someone] was her boyfriend and was upset when he got in trouble," says Halpern. "She wandered away from the school campus and what happened next is not exactly clear, but she ended up being taken advantage of by an adult."

Special Circumstances
Suing a school district is somewhat different from other types of entities and securing witness testimony can present unique problems. "Sometimes you run into trouble gathering witness information," says Halpern. "You may run into problems with the school when it comes to the privacy of students or teachers."

Also, a statute of limitations applies when it comes to government entities. As with all government entities, a Government Tort Claim must be filed within 6 months of the date of the negligence. If this deadline is not met, your child's right to recover damages may be lost.

Loren Halpern is an attorney with the Halpern Law Offices. He is well known for his ability to think out of the box and find creative solutions to clients with difficult legal problems.



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