Personal Injuries on the Playground

Who is liable (responsible) if a child is injured on a playground?

The first issue to examine is whether the injury was caused by an intentional act or a negligent act. Intentional acts can include bullying or other harmful acts caused "on purpose" by another person. Negligence that results in a personal injury on the playground can arise from these common factors:

Inadequate supervision. The level of necessary supervision depends on the child's age and the type of risk for certain activities on the playground.

Lack of equipment maintenance. Broken swing sets, rusty or loose bolts, and all manner of deterioration from the elements and use can make equipment hazardous.

Faulty design and/or construction. The Consumer Products Safety Commission sets minimum safety standards for the design and production of playground equipment.

If a child is injured on a playground due to any of these factors, there may be a legal claim available for the parents against the "owner" of the park. At a public park, the responsibility for maintenance would lay with the city, county, state or federal government (in the case of national parks). Playgrounds at schools would be the responsibility of the school system. If a child is injured at a playground area in a commercial business, the business could be liable for maintenance, design and/or construction factors.

When investigating who is liable, also include the companies that designed and built the equipment, as well as the entity that assembled it.

Contact our office with any questions you may have about injuries on a playground.

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