Can A School Be Held Liable For An Accident While Sledding

February 9, 2021
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With all of the recently fallen snow there are many people out enjoying various winter sports.  Snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and so many more.  One of the easiest and cheapest activities to do during a snowy winter is sledding.  There are many properties that allow sledding, but one of the most utilized are school properties.  These familiar properties give those using them comfort and familiarity that other properties may not.  Therefore when looking for a sledding hill this is often a person’s first step.  But what happens when an injury happens on the school grounds due to a sledding accident?

The general rule of thumb is that unless there is demonstrable negligence on the behalf of the school then there would be no liability assigned to the school for this type of injury.  While most sledding happens when school is out of session and the schools do not, at that point, have a “duty of care” for the student, they would likely not be held liable.

Nearly 9 million children are injured each year in the United States at school.  If every injury would be litigated schools would be unable to operate and therefore would not be able to provide the most important function that they provide, educating our young people.   While schools are not immune from litigation the negligence would have to be particularly egregious for them to be held liable.

If you are planning to go sledding at a school make sure you are following common sense safety guidelines.  For instance, if the hill ends in a parking lot, slow yourself down before making your way into the road.  If there are hazards near by, for example a dumpster or fire hydrant, avoid them at all cost.  Wear a helmet.  Avoid any areas where there may be water that is unsafe to be on.

While schools may not be liable for a New Haven personal injury accident that happens on their premises, particularly after hours, taking steps to prevent these types of accidents are common sense.

Sled Happy! Sled Safely!

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