Playground Accidents: Can Parents Sue?

Playground injuries have been occurring since playgrounds were invented. Kids have fallen off monkey bars, they’ve been burned sliding down burning hot slides, they’ve gotten slivers of wood in their hands from wooden playgrounds, they’ve been cut, their heads have been hit by swings and other moving objects, they’ve been ejected off merry-go-rounds, and much more. The injury possibilities are virtually endless.

Playground injuries don’t just occur at city parks. They can occur at schools, campgrounds, popular fast-food restaurants, and daycare facilities. They can occur in private backyards and anywhere else a playground may have been built. While some of these injuries are caused by children’s unsafe behavior, some injuries occur because of broken, damaged, or otherwise unsafe equipment or improper supervision.

If your child has been seriously injured on playground equipment, we want to shed light on the theory of premises liability, a breed of personal injury law.

Duty to Protect Children’s Safety

It’s no secret that children love to play and they’re naturally drawn to playground equipment. For this reason, when someone erects playground equipment on their property, they have a legal liability to keep any children who may be playing on the equipment safe. As such, city parks, school districts, recreation facilities, businesses, and so on have a legal duty under “premises liability law’ to protect the children who play on their equipment.

If a child is injured on dangerous playground equipment, it’s possible for the child to receive financial compensation under premises liability law. For an injured child to recover compensation after being injured on a playground under premises liability law, the child’s family and injury attorney must be able to prove that:

  • The defendant was responsible for keeping the property safe
  • The child’s injury was one that could be expected on the property
  • The defendant was negligent and their negligence led to the injury
  • The child’s injury could have been foreseen by a prudent person
  • The key cause of the child’s injury was the defendant’s carelessness

Another issue is the negligent supervision of children, especially when children are under the care of a daycare, school, or other such staff. Since such workers have a duty to supervise the children they’re caring for, they’re expected to look for hazardous conditions and protect children from foreseeable dangers. If a child is injured on a playground while under another adult’s care, it is possible to bring a personal injury case under the theory of negligent supervision.

Sometimes, local and state laws govern a parent’s right to sue a city or public school for a playground injury, however, no such immunity exists for daycares, private schools, and private residences. To discuss your child’s playground injury, contact our firm to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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