Playground Injuries: Legal Aspects You Should Know
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 200,000 children aged 14 and below require medical treatment due to playground injuries – and this happens annually. About 45% of these injuries are serious (bone fractures and dislocations, strangulations, internal injuries as well as eye and head trauma). Other injuries affect the soft tissue (bruising, swelling, muscle sprains and minor cuts).
As parents or guardians, it is truly heartbreaking to learn that our precious ones have been injured while at the playground. However, we should not let our emotions get the best of us. If your child or a child of someone you know has been involved in a playground injury, here are the legal aspects that you should keep in mind:
What the Law Says
The law states that owners of properties with playgrounds as well as their staff have a legal duty of care to ensure that the playgrounds and surrounding areas are safe for children. It is also their responsibility to repair or eliminate any dangerous conditions present in their property. This duty of care extends to all owners of daycare centres, malls, restaurants as well as to parents, teachers, animal owners, and other adults.
When a playground’s property owner (or manager) fails to do what is reasonably possible to make the playground safe at all times and a child gets hurt, the owner is now said to have violated or breached his duty of care. This falls under negligence. This nature of breach makes the responsible property liable for the damages of the injured child.
What are the damages?
The damages can include:
*Child’s medical bills and other expenses for medications
*Lost wages of parents due to providing care for child at home
*Child’s pain and suffering
How to prove a playground injury claim?
If your child is hurt and you believe that the injuries sustained are caused by negligence, then evidence is needed. The following are effective evidence you can gather that will support your child’s claim:
Photographs and Videos
Photos and videos are often indispensable because they can graphically illustrate the dangerous condition that led to your child’s injury. A digital camera or a cellphone may be used.
Witnesses, just like in any personal injury case, are extremely helpful. They will be able to support the cause of your child’s injury, and they can also affirm the pain and suffering that your child experienced following the injury.
Police and Rescue Reports
If your child’s injuries are severe enough to require paramedics, the police will also likely respond. Give a detailed story to the authorities and point out any unsafe conditions that have caused the injuries.
Any personal injury claim is only valid when there are documented injuries and damages. Make sure you secure the proper and complete documents from any medical personnel that worked on your child’s case.
If you are in need of experienced lawyers to represent you, give us a call at 1.855.905.9222 for a free consultation.