One of the worst things parents can experience is receiving a call that their children sustained an injury on the playground. While many playground injuries are minor and nobody’s fault, others result in serious injury and can be traced back to someone’s negligence. Whether negligent supervision, manufacturer defect, maintenance error, or equipment failure caused your child’s playground injury, you have the right to investigate and file a claim for your child’s injuries.
Common Types of Playground Injuries
In Ted Smith’s nearly 40 years of litigation experience throughout central Texas, he and his team have represented numerous parents on behalf of children injured on the playground. These injuries range from cuts and bruises to serious falls, fractures, contusions, and even wrongful death. The top four pieces of playground equipment associated with child injury are climbers, swings, slides, and overhead ladders.
Head and neck injuries can occur as the result of falling off climbers. Children should be supervised while on climbers at all times to prevent falls. Traumatic brain injury, spine injury, and other severe injuries can all occur as a result of falling from playground equipment.
If a supervisor is negligent in his or her duties to reasonably provide for the safety of children on the playground and an accident occurs, the courts may hold the supervisor or the school responsible for resulting injuries.
Other common injuries include fractures, abrasions, sprains, concussions, and lacerations. Many playground injuries in Texas occur on home playgrounds. The number one cause of playground-related fatalities is strangulation from entanglement or entrapment. The other cause is falls to the surface. Many home playgrounds do not come equipped with the proper impact-absorbing ground equipment, leading to worse injuries and fatalities.
Who Is Responsible?
Accidental injuries are one thing, but injuries a manufacturer error or negligence caused are punishable by law. If a missing chain link on a swing, jagged piece of metal on a slide, or other manufacturer defect resulted in your child’s injury, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damage recovery.
There are three types of defective product liability claims involved in playground accidents:
- Manufacturer error. This includes errors during the process of making the equipment, such as a swing set made with a broken chain.
- Defective design. A design defect could include, for example, a playground with a hazardous design flaw—such as equipment with a tendency to flip—that makes it unreasonably dangerous.
- Warning defects. If the manufacturer is aware of a potential hazard, such as falling off horizontal ladders, it must properly warn users of the danger.
For the courts to hold the school or daycare facility responsible for a playground injury instead of the manufacturer, the plaintiff must present evidence that the facility failed to properly maintain playground equipment. This claim would fall under premises liability laws.
Suing a public school can be difficult, as suing government entities is much more complicated than private schools. Suing an individual supervisor who negligently failed to provide reasonable care to prevent playground injury may be possible, which could extend to the facility that hired the negligent supervisor. Regardless, proving negligence is difficult—especially if multiple parties are at fault. For your best chance at obtaining compensation from a playground injury, hire a personal injury attorney who knows how to prove fault in a playground accident.
Get Legal Help for Your Child’s Playground Injury
At Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, we sincerely hope you never have to contact us for a playground injury. Unfortunately, however, they do happen. The damages your child can suffer may be long lasting, both physically and emotionally. If your child suffered a playground injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact us for knowledgeable Harker Heights personal injury lawyers who are compassionate about defending your child’s rights.