Unsafe playgrounds may lead to injuries.
In recent years, playgrounds have gotten much safer than they were in the past. Yet as far too many parents and kids can tell you, a day at the playground can quickly turn into a trip to the emergency room. In fact, more than 200,000 kids are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries sustained on playgrounds. The majority of playground injuries happen to children between the ages of 5 and 9.
Playground injuries can range in seriousness, depending on the what the child was doing when the injury occurred. They can include minor injuries like cuts and bruises or much more significant injuries such as broken bones, dislocations, concussions, brain injuries, or internal bleeding. In rare cases, playground injuries can even lead to death.
Most playground injuries happen due to a lack of supervision, as young children tend to climb too high, run to fast, or engage in other risky behaviors when adults are not around to remind them to not do such things. Lack of supervision accounts for approximately 40% of all playground injuries. Other playground injuries are caused by poor design and maintenance, such as having concrete underneath the equipment rather than wood chips or rubber, or allowing nails to come loose or screws to get rusty. Rotting wood, frayed ropes, or other poorly maintained playground equipment can also lead to playground injuries.
If you take you child to the playground, you can avoid common playground injuries by inspecting the area for obvious hazards like loose nails and screws, rotting wood, and unsafe equipment. You should also keep a close eye on your kids while they are playing, and be sure to closely supervise them.
Not all playground injuries will lead to a legal claim. The first step in determining if someone is legally liable for a playground injury is figuring out who owns it: a school, a city or county, a private organization, or a local non-profit. The next step is looking to determine how the injury was caused. If it was caused by a design issue, a personal injury attorney can figure out who built the playground — the designer, construction company, and various subcontractors could all potentially be held liable. For example, if the playground featured a zip line that had a faulty design and a child fell off when using it as it was intended to be used, a parent could potentially sue the designer or construction company for the child’s injuries. Alternatively, if the injury was caused by poor maintenance, such as a rusty nail poking out of the wood, then the organization or business responsible for maintaining the playground could be held responsible.
If the injury was caused by a lack of supervision, then the owner of that playground may be held responsible. For example, if your child was at school and was not supervised while on the playground and broke his arm, then you may be able to file a claim against the school. However, if you took your child to the local playground and your child was hurt because you were not watching him, you probably will not be able to file a claim. A personal injury attorney can help you determine if the owner can be legally liable based on the specific facts of your case.
If your child has been hurt on a playground, a skilled personal injury attorney can help. Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you if your child has suffered a playground injury. Initial consultations are always free and we never charge a fee unless we get money for you.