Playground Accidents and Injury Laws
More than 200,000 children aged 14 and under are treated for playground injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The majority of playground injuries (55 percent) are soft tissue injuries such as minor cuts, bruising, swelling and muscle sprains. The rest are more serious injuries that include bone fractures and dislocations, internal injuries, strangulations, and eye and head trauma.
Inadequate supervision / Poor Judgment
Many modern playgrounds are built with age appropriate safety in mind; there is a greater risk of injury when a younger, smaller child is allowed to play on a playground meant for older children. Parents have a reasonable expectation that their child will be supervised when they are left in the care of daycare center employees and teachers. The truth is, however, that distractions such as cell phones or even just other children can mean inadequate supervision for your child.
Slip, trip and fall accidents
When children are running around, climbing, sliding, and jumping on playground equipment there is at least a moderate risk of injury. Children may trip and fall on uneven playground surfaces such as elevated rubber flooring, drains and potholes or protruding items such as nails or rocks.
Not all children get along well with others; some children become aggressive when they want a turn on a particular piece of playground equipment. Pushing, scratching and biting injuries are all possible issues on a playground. Other child-on-child injuries occur because kids are using the equipment incorrectly such as climbing backwards up a slide.
Parks are often seen as a great place to bring dogs but when placed next to the frenzied actions of children on a playground, they may become too excited and react aggressively. Bites and nips to the face, arms, legs or torso are a potential playground hazard.
Playground disrepair and poor maintenance
Over time, playground equipment becomes weather-worn and brittle; plastic components may crack and splinter while wood guardrails may rot away, leaving protruding nails and jagged edges.
How do Playground Injury Laws Work?
The owners of properties with playgrounds (and their management staff) have a legal “duty of care” to ensure that their playgrounds and the surrounding areas are safe for children. This means keeping up with regular maintenance and repairing or removing dangerous conditions.
Common types of owners who are responsible for playgrounds include daycare centers, municipalities, parents, daycare workers and teachers, and mall and restaurant owners.
If it can be proved that a playground’s property owner or manager failed to make the playground safe and a child is injured, the owner can be sued for negligence. The responsible party is liable for the injured child’s damages.
Damages that might be awarded in a playground injury case include the child’s medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses for medications, and lost wages while you cared for your child. Generally, the child’s pain and suffering would be included in damages but only in severe circumstances such as the death of a child would the parent’s pain and suffering be compensated.
Each circumstance is evaluated by its own particular circumstances, which is why it is so important to seek the help of a qualified playground injury attorney. He or she will let you know if you have a case and fight for the damages you deserve.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you.