Playgrounds are intended to be places of fun, but every year thousands of children are injured on playgrounds. While a child’s injury may seem like an open and shut case of liability, there are some circumstances that parents and caretakers should be aware of before they enter the court room to prove their case.
Expectation of Supervision
When a parent leaves their child in the care of someone else there is an inherent expectation that the supervising adult will ensure the child is safe. Instances where a parent can sue for negligent supervision include:
- a lack of attention paid to the child during their time on the playground that resulted in them being injured
- there was an agreement between the parent and supervising adult that the child would be watched and protected from harm during the parent’s absence
- the supervising adult failed to watch the child at all and the child was injured
When the playground itself or the property it is placed on is determined to be dangerous, this is often considered to be premises liability. Cases of this include instances where:
- the child on the property is no different from any other type of children the owner would expect
- the injuries could have been prevented if the owner of the property had taken measures to correct any deficiencies
- the property owner carried out an action that likely caused the injuring event to take place
A common type of injury that is considered premises liability is when owners don’t properly maintain their playground equipment. This also applies if there is an aspect of the equipment that the owner thinks might be dangerous but does nothing to correct it until an injury occurs.
Some parents try to avoid the dangers listed above by only allowing their children to play on equipment at their home, but injuries are common even in these scenarios. Injuries that occur at home may occur not because of any negligence on the part of the parent, but because of a defect in the equipment itself.
Cases like this will often require parents to file a product liability lawsuit rather than one against another person. Instances of product liability include:
- Defective parts that caused the overall structure to be unsafe
- Improper or incomplete instructions that led to the structure not being assembled correctly
- Manufacturing error that caused single or multiple parts to pose a danger to children either by weakening the structure or posing a risk of lacerations or other serious injuries
Hire a Child Injury Attorney
When a child is injured on playground equipment, parents often don’t know that they can sue. However, depending of the circumstances, going to court is often a viable option. To see if you should seek legal action, schedule a free case review by calling 713.766.5400.
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