Children are prone to injuries and accidents, particularly when they are outdoors.
Perhaps, the biggest worry for parents is a serious injury that may have long-term consequences.
Playgrounds are amongst the most accident-prone areas as a large number of playground injuries are reported every year, with some being more serious than others.
While minor scrapes and scratches may not be a major concern, major ones like internal injuries, fractures, dislocations, and amputations spell big trouble.
Obviously, you would want to know about your legal options if your child has a major accident at a playground.
Let us clear the facts for you.
Common causes of playground injuries
Playing outdoors is vital for a child’s growth but as a parent, you may be worried every time your kids step into the playground.
The place can be risky, with chances of minor injuries as well as the ones that may require emergency room visits or even hospitalization.
The following are the common causes of playground injuries.
Inadequate fall zone protections that may cause catastrophic injuries such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), lacerations, a broken bone, or organ damage
Improper protective surfacing which may lead to cuts, abrasions, and burns (on hot days)
Trip hazards are associated with falls and fractures
Entanglement hazards with ropes and chains can cause choking and falls
Entrapment hazards can lead to suffocation and even amputation
Apart from these issues, poor maintenance and faulty equipment could also result in injuries at a playground.
Playground injuries come under premises liability claims
The supervisors and schools are responsible for the safety of the children who use the playground premises.
They need to ensure that the predictable dangers are addressed with the right measures.
You can seek the advice of a child injured on a playground attorney to prove the legal theory of premises liability.
When claiming through a premises liability case, you need to show the following:
The defendant (owner/supervisor) has the control of the premises
They could expect children to be at the playground
They failed to exercise a standard duty of care in premises maintenance
The injury was predictable and the defendant knew about the danger
The defendant’s negligence was the main cause of the injury
In case of claims against a school, the parents need to show that the person supervising the child failed to do it properly, which caused the injury.
Similarly, the equipment manufacturer will be held liable for defective or hazardous equipment in the ground where your child was injured.
Suing the government
When your child gets injured at a public playground or even a public school, the claim needs to be handled differently.
Since you will be effectively suing the government, a strict set of procedures have to be followed.
There are strict deadlines, and the margin for error is very small.
One mistake and you will not get the claim, regardless of the severity of the injury and the kind of damage it has done to your child.
You will need to hire a seasoned lawyer to handle the case and get you the claim.
Apart from cases against the government, the ones involving brain trauma, disfigurement, fractures, and high-dollar claims are best left to experts because good compensation will ensure proper treatment and financial security for the child’s future.