When children are harmed in playground accidents, anxiety, emotional upheaval, medical bills, and family stress can rise quickly.
Fortunately, personal injury claims are a straightforward and effective means of providing compensation to the injured child and the family or loved ones who must care for them. A minor child cannot, in general, navigate the legal system alone. However, parents, grandparents, and guardians can pursue a claim on behalf of the child in an effort to recover damages for medical bills, short and long-term care, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering.
Playground Accident Injuries
Playgrounds at schools, parks, recreational areas, and daycare centers are designed to be safe places where kids can play and have fun.
Yet, every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that hundreds of thousands of kids under the age of 14 are taken to the emergency room for treatment of playground-related injuries. Plus, most of these incidents happen at public playgrounds.
Though bruises, scrapes, and other minor injuries often occur at playgrounds, many playground accidents result in more significant harm. These incidents can involve bone breaks or fractures, concussions or traumatic brain injuries, dislocations, internal injuries, and can even necessitate amputations.
Playground Accidents: Common Causes
While unsafe or careless activity by children can easily lead to injuries, many playground accidents are actually caused by faulty equipment.
Schools, parks, and other recreational areas often have aging equipment — it may be years or even decades old. This equipment requires regular inspections and maintenance. If care of this equipment is neglected, the play structures can become dangerous, even life-threatening. Metal chains and bars can develop rust, hardware can become loose, and wood components may begin to rot.
Even brand new equipment isn’t always safe. Sadly, some playgrounds are not designed to address injury risks adequately. However, personal injury claims for playground accidents are not always filed due to unsafe equipment. In many instances, a lack of adequate adult supervision may contribute to the injury.
Plus, the law doesn’t have definitive rules regarding what is adequate. It falls on schools, parks, and daycare centers — they are legally obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure the youngsters’ safety.
Playground Accident Liability
If injuries occur at public parks, the local municipality is typically responsible for maintenance. In national parks, maintenance is usually handled by the federal government.
The school district generally owns public school playgrounds. Private schools, daycare facilities, businesses, and churches may also own play areas. An accident claim may name the owner of the playground. Aside from the playground owner, many others may be held legally responsible for children being harmed.
If the play area’s construction or design was a factor in the injury, the company that provided or installed the equipment may be held liable. If negligent supervision caused or contributed to the accident, any adults who accepted supervisory responsibility may be sued for damages.
If your child was injured while playing at a playground, you are well-advised to consult with a capable and experienced personal injury attorney. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your local area today to discuss your child’s injuries and how to begin your lawsuit.