It is estimated that there are over 200,000 playground injuries a year in the United States. These injuries range from minor cuts to serious falls and even death.
Depending on the accident, a number of parties could be responsible for your child's playground injury, including but not limited to:
This may differ from state to state. Government immunity may not be applicable, depending on the specific reasons for the injury. For example, policy issues like budget are generally immune from lawsuits, as are teachers acting within the scope of employment. A general duty to the public, however, may not suffice in establishing government immunity from playground injury cases.
Playground equipment manufacturers can be liable if their product was defective in some way. Since the equipment is intended for use by children, the manufacturers should take every precaution to ensure that their equipment is safe for use, especially since children may use the playground in creative and unexpected ways. Such precautions should include using the most durable material possible, designing structures that can bear unexpected weight, and guardrails for platforms raised above the ground.
It depends. Given that teachers normally have many children to look out for, it is usually somewhat difficult to prove that a teacher or supervisor acted without reasonable care in negligence cases. In cases of intentional acts on the playground, such as bullying or sexual assault, it must be proven school authorities knew or could have known about the intentional acts.
Only a handful of states have enacted laws to regulate playground safety. However, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has published a Handbook for Playground Safety, as well as Playground Safety Checklists, that you can refer to for guidance.
It is important that you actively supervise your child on the playground and make sure the playground equipment is safe. The National Program for Playground Safety makes the following recommendations:
If your child has been injured in a playground accident, and someone else's negligence contributed to the accident, contact a personal injury attorney immediately as there may be time limits within which you must file a claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will protect your child's legal rights and if necessary file a lawsuit to help you seek any damages that your child is entitled to.
Last Modified: 12-28-2012 02:52 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.