September 12, 2018

Who’s Responsible If Your Child Gets Hurt on the Playground?


One minute you’re sitting on a park bench talking to the other parents while your kids horse around on the neighborhood playground. The next minute, in a blink of an eye, your child is lying on the ground, screaming.

While getting your child medical attention has to be your top priority, once that is taken care of, you’re bound to have questions.

How did this happen? Was it a simple accident, or did some flaw in the playground equipment, its maintenance or its assembly cause your child’s injury?

Who Is Responsible When Your Kid Gets Hurt on the Playground?

The answer depends on certain variables.

Generally speaking, the owner and / or the caretaker of the playground is responsible for injuries that occur on the playground.  There are lots of exceptions, however.  A private owner can claim “recreational immunity.” The law prohibits a claim of negligence against a private landowner who opens his or her property up to recreation by the general public. (There are exceptions to recreational immunity as well). Even if recreational immunity does not apply, the principle of “contributory negligence” would apply.  In other words, in determining who was at fault, the Court would compare the negligence of the playground owner with the negligence of the injured party or other parties, like the parents.

If the playground is owned by a government entity, yet another type immunity would apply.  The government is entitled to “discretionary immunity,” which says that unless the government acts negligently because it broke a specific rule, as opposed to simply using bad judgment, the injured person cannot bring a negligence lawsuit.  But as with recreational immunity, there are exceptions to discretionary immunity.

Regardless of who owns the playground, if the injury is caused by another person, there might be a claim against the person who caused the injury.  For example, if someone brings his or her dog to the park, and the dog escapes and bites your child, the dog owner could be liable for the injuries caused by the dog.

Finally, the manufacturer of the playground equipment might be at fault.  If the injured person can prove the piece of equipment was faulty, either as an individual product or as a design flaw, the injured person might be able to bring a lawsuit.

GCW Can Help

As you can see, the law that applies to playground injuries is very complicated. If your child is injured on a playground, it makes sense to talk to a lawyer. The compassionate, hard-working, and dedicated attorneys at GCW can help you and your family determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit after your child suffers an injury on the playground. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help you get the answers you need.

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