Can I Sue if my Child Is Hurt on a Public Playground?

Playgrounds are meant to be fun places for kids to engage in a variety of activities. Although the management employs every possible safety measure, including using a playground supervisor, accidents can happen, and your kid can be a victim. So, when this occurs, what are the necessary steps to take? And who is liable? Read on to learn more about the legal concepts of these cases.

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Liability

A managed public playground has the responsibility to ensure the safety of kids whenever they are using their equipment. As such, the liability theory offers different approaches for making your claim.

  • The defendant must be in charge of the playground
  • You should show that the defendant didn’t ensure proper safety
  • The defendant was careless, and that led to the injury
  • You kid was injured in a way that could otherwise be prevented

The playground management is expected to inspect the property and ensure all the equipment is safe for kids to use. According to the law, the management expects kids to use the playground, so it’s obviously their responsibility to ensure safety.  However, property liability would not apply in the case that the injury was caused by another kid bumping into your kid.

If another person, who is not an employee of the property, such as a babysitter, was watching the kid, they could be liable for the playground injuries due to lack of supervision.

Can You Sue?

Well, you can sue for a product defect or negligence, and this will depend on the circumstances that led to the injury. When you sue the playground management for negligence, you have to prove that they have the responsibility to maintain and secure the playground, but failed to do so.

If the injury occurred due to an equipment defect, you have to show that structure or setup of the equipment led to the injury. For example, decaying equipment is foreseeable harm, and this is something that can be fixed to prevent accidents. In both cases, you’ll want to work with a lawyer to prove the case.

Who Should You Sue?

Since your child was hurt on a public playground, you’ll need to sue a government entity or a public school. However, before taking such an entity to court, there are several things you need to understand. Some public playgrounds usually allow kids to play on their own at their own risks. Others wouldn’t be liable for the injuries if an adult did not accompany the kid.

Whatever the case, if you proceed with the lawsuit, you need to give notice to the entity before suing them. Also, government entities usually have immunity from possible lawsuits unless you follow specific procedures. For example, injuries that happen in federal parks need to comply with the Federal Tort Claims Act when pursuing a claim.

Keep in mind that your claim will also need to get state approval before suing a government entity. Usually, the claim must be above a certain amount.

The Takeaway

Proving a playground injury can be a complicated affair, especially if you were not aware of the regulations and rules of the property. It also becomes hard if you had a babysitter or another adult person watching your kid. With the public parks and playgrounds having immunity, getting compensation for your kid’s injuries may be pretty challenging.

Whatever the case, several factors can lead to playground injuries, including falls, trips, and slips. Your kid may also get involved in a fight with other kids. If you feel that compensation for your kid is in order, then it helps to work with a lawyer who is adept at such cases.

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