The playground is the cornerstone of childhood fun. However, there are many hidden risks and dangers that can cause severe injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 200,000 children are treated at emergency rooms every year for playground-related injuries. According to the CDC, the rate of severe playground injuries is higher than for automobile and bicycle accidents.
The most common types of playground injuries are bruises, concussions, broken or fractured bones, dislocations, and internal injuries. Falls can occur while a child is running, sliding, swinging, or climbing in which case they can fall several feet. There are often hard objects that make falls even more dangerous.
Causes of Playground Injuries
One of the primary factors is the condition of playground equipment, which can be many years old. Components and materials can deteriorate over time. But design flaws may be present and not be realized for decades. A lack of a soft surface is dangerous because children frequently run in playgrounds. Specific causes of injury include:
- Rusted or fatigued metal components
- Loose screws or bolts
- Rotted and deteriorated wood
- Frayed and broken ropes
- Protruding nails, screws, and other sharp edges
- Slippery surfaces
Proper supervision is another factor; it can prevent playground injuries. Small children are unaware of the potential risks on a playground. They lack experience as well, so don’t know that running too fast or climbing just a little higher isn’t a good idea. A lack of supervision can jeopardize child safety and can justify filing a negligence claim.
My Child Is Hurt. Who Do I Sue?
If your child is injured in a playground accident, liability can fall on the individual or entity responsible for supervising them. Bringing a personal injury case to someone responsible for supervising your child requires proving the defendant:
- Agreed to supervise the injured child
- Did not take reasonable measures to ensure safety
- Was inattentive, which at least in part cause the injury
If the playground is on school property, the school is expected to exercise its duty to inspect and maintain equipment, repair any issues, and prevent deterioration. For example, if the cause of an injury was a sharp edge on a metal slide, the school can be held liable for not discovering and fixing the problem.
A school or a playground owner can be sued. The steps involved differ depending on whether it is a public or private entity. If the playground is in a public park, a city or county may be liable, but you must show that:
- The defendant had oversight of the property
- The injured child is someone who would be expected to be there
- The defendant was negligent in providing proper care
- The child was injured due to this negligence
- The injury was directly caused by the defendant’s carelessness
There are also instances when you can sue an equipment manufacturer that supplied defective equipment. If an error in design is suspected, the construction company involved in designing the playground, selecting equipment, and assembling it may be responsible. You may be able to file a product liability claim.
Call the Law Offices of Jacob Emrani
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney specializes in filing lawsuits related to negligence, premises liability, and defective products. We have the experience to evaluate your claim and fight to win your case. If your child was injured in a playground accident at school or anywhere else, call 888-952-2952 today for a free case evaluation and we’ll fight for the financial compensation you deserve.