Can You Sue if Your Child is Hurt Because of a Playground Accident Injury?
As the playground saying goes, “kids will be kids”. Children, especially in parks and playgrounds, are bound to get into their fair share of mischief. Sometimes, that involves a few bumps and scrapes that serve as life lessons. However, when a child is seriously injured in a park or on a playground, is there any way to cover medical expenses and other damages?
Parents do have options when considering legal action against the manufacturer of park or playground equipment in New York City. An equipment failure lawsuit can assist you in covering expensive medical bills and other costs related to an injury.
Is legal action the appropriate measure for you? Read the full article to assess your case and consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer. At Greenberg & Stein, we offer a free initial consultation to review the details of your case.
Children & Playgrounds – The Threat of Personal Injury
Did you know that every year, more than 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated in emergency rooms related to playground injuries?
What may look like a ton of fun for children can be a fairly dangerous place to play.
Children between the ages of 5-12 traditionally suffer the most playground injuries. Sadly, more than 20,000 of those 200,000 accidents each year involve serious traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries can quickly rack up expensive medical bills and result in missed income from taking off to care for a son or daughter.
Popular Causes of Playground Accidents
Playgrounds are terrific places to let your children let loose and have some fun. Unfortunately, playgrounds also have a reputation for being dangerous places to play.
The most common causes of playground accidents include:
● Lack of Supervision: Many playground accidents occur at schools or daycare centers where the proper amount of supervision was not available.
● Trips and Falls: It is natural that in such an active play environment, some children will trip and fall. Faulty equipment is inexcusable when it leads to serious accidents.
● Poor Maintenance: Municipalities and private companies have a responsibility to take care of their playground equipment. When it gets broken, they need to fix it immediately. Playground equipment can rot, rust, and splinter over time. Guardrails can become loose or break.
● Faulty Equipment: Injuries to children due to faulty playground equipment are inexcusable. Poor design, manufacturing flaws, or lack of maintenance all lead to faulty equipment that pose safety hazards.
● Unsafe Playground Surface: Playgrounds need to have a soft landing surface. If the material is not present or distributed unevenly, it can also cause a safety hazard.
● Strangulation: Some playground equipment like swings and slides have potential hazards that can cause strangulation. Faulty equipment poses even more dangers.
Common Types of Playground Accidents
Common types of playground accidents include:
● Scrapes and bruises
● Broken bones
● Dislocated bones
● Concussions and other head injuries
● Internal injuries
Proving Liability in a Playground Accident
Every injury on a playground is not considered deliberate or the result of faulty playground parts or poor maintenance. Many types of playground accidents are purely accidental. The difference between the two is determined by asking: “What if the playground injury could have been avoided? Did someone or something act negligently when personal injuries occurred? If so, you are entitled to fair compensation to treat medical costs and other damages associated with your son or daughter’s injuries.
Who is generally responsible for playground accidents? One or more of the following parties could be at-fault:
● The property owner or manager.
● The playground equipment manufacturer.
● The individual(s) supervising your child at the time of the accident.
Responsible parties in the event of a playground accident are determined based on their “duty of care”. The court of law has determined that parties owe a child a duty of care because they have a legal obligation to protect the minor from undue harm.
Negligence & Liability in Playground Accidents
In an equipment failure lawsuit, like all personal injury claims, it comes down to negligence and liability:
● Negligence: Property owners, playground manufacturers, teachers, daycare providers, parents, etc. have a duty of reasonable care. When an individual fails to act with reasonable care, and their failure to act with reasonable care is a cause of an injury, they are considered negligent in the circumstances leading up to an accident.
● Liability: Once a party is proven to be negligent in the handling of events that led up to an accident, fault of that party is proven. Liability basically means responsibility. The Court or the Jury finding a party negligent and that negligence was a cause of the injury causing incident, makes that party liable for personal injury damages.
● Damages: Damages in a personal injury claim include costs like medical bills, ER visits, missed time at work, as well as pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Children who receive permanent injuries as a result of a playground accident may in some cases also seek damages for the loss of future earnings due to incapacitation.
Get Legal Help for Your Child’s Injuries
Accidents happen. Sometimes there is no one to blame even if your son or daughter is hurting. However, if you believe one or more parties responsible for the area of the playground or it’s equipment was negligent, they can be liable or responsible for covering damages associated with the personal injuries sustained.
The burden is on you to prove liability and damages. However, you do not have to do it alone. The first step is to reach out to a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney and have a free consultation to go over the details of your personal injury claim.
Greenberg & Stein is a reputable firm that deals with all types of personal injury claims, including playground accidents. If your child was injured, do not hesitate to reach out to us today at (212) 969-8795 or visit www.greenbergandstein.com to learn more.