TAS Compensation for Son Injured in School Fight?

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13 August 2014
My son was in a fight at school and had is front tooth broken - he did not start it. The school got it on camera and the other kid started it. Can we get personal injury compensation to fix his broken tooth?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi dsteed88,

There are a couple of avenues you can consider:

1. Against the other student

- A fight on school grounds between students is like any other assault offence and you may report the incident to the police. You may seek compensation under the tort of assault against the other student. If the other student is under the legal age of being sued, you may seek damages from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Commissioner under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1976: Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania fact sheet. Otherwise, I would suggest speaking with a lawyer and seeing if you can claim compensation through the student's parents.
- Here is some more information on seeking financial assistance from the Commissioner: Department of Justice of Tasmania financial assistance.
- This will depend on who started the fight, what proportion of the blame can be attributed to each student involved, degree of injury, medical expenses incurred etc.

2. Against the school

- The school and its teachers owe a duty of care to all students during and around school hours. Teachers have an obligation to break up any fights before anyone gets hurt, to prevent students from getting hurt and to call the police/contact parents when fights do break out not he school ground.
- You may sue the school under the tort of negligence and claim damages for your child's medical expenses incurred as a result of the school's failure to satisfy their duty of care. It is important to note that the tort of negligence is not a punishable offence and it is not illegal (unlike assault). Rather, you are asking the school to compensate you for personal injury sustained due to their negligence.
- This will depend on whether or not the school was in fact negligent in discharging their duty of care to the standard required at law.
- Here is some information about teachers and their duty of care toward students:
- If you have more questions about your son's school's role in this event, you can contact the Tasmanian Department of Education and enquire about your son's school's duty of care toward its students.
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