Although the wooden climbing structure at your neighborhood playground has seen better days, your four-year-old loves playing there after preschool. As you watch her climb to the upper platform, you hear a crack and then a sharp cry. Your daughter’s foot has gone through a rotting plank, and she is bleeding. As you reach your crying child and wrap her in your arms, you realize she needs emergency treatment, and you need the advice of a playground accident lawyer.
Playground Accident Statistics
Skinned knees and bumped elbows are commonplace with children, and you take them in stride, but when it comes to more serious injuries, you have cause for concern. Approximately 20,000 children under the age of 14 get medical treatment for playground accidents annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. About ten percent of these children have a traumatic brain injury, while more than 50 percent have fractures or contusions. The vast majority of playground accidents occur at public playgrounds, many of them adjacent to schools. Climbing and swinging activities most frequently lead to these mishaps.
Causes of Playground Injuries
Kids often get hurt during the normal course of play, and there is no question of liability. However, when your child gets hurt because of the negligence or intentional actions of others, it is an entirely different matter. The following situations can cause such accidents:
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Broken parts
- Broken glass
- Lack of supervision
- Aggressive playmates
Who Is Responsible?
A playground accident can involve one of the several types of liability, and your best resource for answers is your playground accident lawyer. Generally speaking, though, you may be dealing with premises liability if equipment failure or dangerous conditions, such as broken glass on the playground, cause your child to get hurt.
If your child’s caregiver fails to provide responsible supervision that could have prevented an accident, you may have a personal liability case. However, this type of negligence may have mitigating factors. For example, if another emergency claimed the caretaker’s attention while your child’s injury occurred, that could affect his or her responsibility of care, so check with your attorney to learn about your options.
If an aggressive playmate purposely pushes your child off the equipment, resulting in an injury, you could have cause to seek damages. In such a situation, you may wish to weigh the total financial cost of your child’s damages against the value of your relationship with the perpetrator’s family before taking legal action. Sometimes an agreement between friends will satisfy the parties involved. If not, you are legally entitled to seek compensation.
A Word About Public Entity Liability
City governments or public school districts are often responsible for maintaining playgrounds. While some states prohibit lawsuits against such entities, California does allow it. Legal action against a municipal government or public school district is subject to specific requirements, which your playground accident attorney can help you meet. Also, public entities are likely to have legal teams that deal with personal injury cases, and you need an experienced legal advocate of your own to negotiate the full compensation you are entitled to by law.
Your Legal Advocates in Riverside and Orange County
If you need a playground accident lawyer in Southern California, call 888-292-8888 or submit our online contact form. Our compassionate staff at Rizio Law Firm is ready to help you obtain compensation for your child and your family. Schedule your free consultation today.