A playground is supposed to be a safe place, one where a child can play and have a fantastic time. Parents should be able to leave their child with true peace of mind, knowing that the playground is properly supervised at all times. Unfortunately, injuries – sometimes severe injuries – can occur. When this happens, parents may be wondering who is to blame for the suffering their child has been forced to experience.
There are actually a lot of parties that could have contributed to your child’s injury, or caused it outright. You’ll learn more about some of these parties as well as the principle of premises liability, which will play a major role in whatever compensation you may be able to obtain.
Sand Law attorneys are experts in all areas of personal injury, including premises liability and many others. We can tell you all of your legal options, and give you an idea of what to expect through all phases of your case.
If your child has been hurt on a playground due to the negligence of another, we invite you to get in touch to learn more about how we may be able to help. Contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free case review.
Defining Premises and Playground Liability
Someone obviously owns the property on which the playground where your child was hurt sits. It could be a person, a company, a daycare, or a school district. Whatever the case may be, that person or entity has a legal duty to make sure children are protected from danger on that property, also known as the “premises.”
In order to be able to obtain compensation for your child’s injury, you’re going to have to prove the following:
- The property was the responsibility of the defendant in your case.
- Your child is someone the defendant could have expected to be on the premises.
- The defendant was negligent in providing the care needed in order to prevent the injury.
- The injury your child suffered was foreseeable.
- Your child was hurt due to the carelessness of the defendant.
Take this scenario as an example. Your child is going down a metal slide and suffers a deep cut on a sharp edge. The local school district owns the playground. The district expects children to play on the playground, as well as all of the equipment that’s provided. The district also has a duty to check that equipment on a regular basis to make sure it’s safe, and to repair any problems that may exist – such as the jagged edge that caused the injury.
If the district failed to inspect, maintain or repair that equipment, it could be found negligent because it failed to uphold its duty of care by letting the slide deteriorate. The sharp edge, it could be argued, was a foreseeable harm, and your child was injured due to the school district’s carelessness.
If your case can meet all of the elements of a premises liability case, there’s a very good chance you will be able to take legal action.
What is Negligent Supervision of a Child?
Say a child isn’t hurt due to faulty playground equipment, but for some other reason. Whoever is charged with supervising that playground, whether it’s a school district, a daycare operator, or an employee of one of those entities, has a duty of care to protect children. These entities and people are known in legal terms as acting in loco parentis, a Latin phrase that means “in the place of parents.”
In order to prevent harm to children, those in charge of running a playground must enact a supervision system. But you’ll have to prove the following if you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit on the grounds of negligent supervision:
- That the defendant agreed to supervise your child.
- The defendant failed to take the steps necessary to ensure that your child was safe.
- The defendant’s inattentiveness played a role in causing your child’s injury.
Who Can be Liable for a Playground Injury?
A playground injury can have long-lasting effects. These could include back injuries, head injuries and many others. If this happens to your child, the cost of medical treatment could be far too high for you to afford. But if you can prove that another party was responsible for that injury, you may be able to get the money you need to pay for that treatment.
In addition to the other parties mentioned above, such as school districts and property owners, there may be others who contributed to your child’s injury. These are some of the potential defendants that could be held liable.
You may be able to take action against the parents of a child who hurt your child. It’s possible that you could sue their insurance company if they don’t have the money to provide you with sufficient compensation.
There could have been an older bully who caused your child’s. If that bullying was a pattern of known behavior, and the school district/owner of the property didn’t take steps to keep the bully off of the playground, then they may be held liable.
School or Daycare Employees
If a staff member of a daycare or school was distracted, or wasn’t supervising play when one child injured another, then the facility could be considered liable due to negligent supervision. However, this is an extremely complex area of the law, and it can often be difficult to prove negligence. That’s just one of the many reasons why you’ll need to hire an experienced attorney to help with your case.
It would obviously be awkward – to say the least – to sue a family member, that could be an option. You may have left your child in that relative’s care when the injury took place. If you can show that person was negligent, they could possibly be found liable.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney After Your Child’s Injury
You may incur many different types of losses, or “damages,” due to your child’s injury. In addition to medical treatment, you may have lost wages due to the time you had to miss work in order to take care of your child.
If this is the case, you’ll need to have an attorney by your side who knows how to go after the parties that are responsible for your child being hurt. Sand Law has years of personal injury experience, and a long track record of achieving results. Schedule a free case review by using our online form or calling 651-291-7263.