Who is Liable for My Child’s Playground Injury?
Many children choose to spend their time outside, often in a neighborhood park or playground. While many playground accidents result in minor scrapes and bruises, the reality is that many playground-related injuries are much more serious. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that emergency rooms across the country treat more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 years old for playground accident-related injuries every year. Collecting compensation for medical bills can be difficult in these types of cases, especially if the playground was owned by a public school or a municipality, so if your child was injured while at a playground, you should consider contacting a premises liability attorney who can help explain your legal options.
Common Causes of Playground Injuries
Many playground accidents are caused by a child’s misuse of equipment or mere clumsiness. While these types of cases do not usually support legal action, claims based on accidents resulting from the negligence of the entity responsible for designing, building, or maintaining the playground, can be filed in court. The most common examples of hazardous playground conditions resulting from negligence include:
- Sharp edges;
- Exposed hardware;
- Slippery surfaces;
- Contaminated items;
- Entrapment hazards;
- A lack of proper spacing between equipment;
- Cracks and other defects;
- Pinch points; and
- A lack of platforms or guardrails.
Often, these types of hazards are caused by inadequate maintenance by the city or the school board or by the use of inferior materials during construction. In these cases, the parents of injured children may be able to collect compensation on their behalf to cover the cost of treatment.
Types of Injuries
The types of injuries sustained by children on playgrounds are wide-ranging and include:
- Broken bones;
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Infections; and
- Soft tissue injuries.
These kinds of injuries may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to heal. In some serious cases, children may suffer from permanent disability for the rest of their lives. For this reason, it is especially important that the injured parties collect enough compensation to help them receive the best possible treatment. Before they can collect damages, however, plaintiffs must be able to demonstrate that:
- The defendant was in charge of the property;
- The child could reasonably be expected to be present on the property;
- The defendant failed to exercise the appropriate amount of care;
- The child’s injury was foreseeable; and
- The defendant’s negligence was a major cause of the child’s injury.
When these requirements are met, plaintiffs can recover damages to cover past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Contact a Member of Our Premises Liability Legal Team Today
If your child was injured on a playground and you believe that the owner’s negligence caused or contributed to the injury, please contact Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale attorney who can evaluate your case. We are prepared to assist you immediately.