What happens when a child is injured on a school playground? Can you file a playground injury lawsuit? Who is at fault?
When you send your child to school, you expect they will be well-cared for and kept safe. And while most schools try to ensure their students’ safety, it’s still not uncommon for kids to get injured on school grounds, especially while participating in certain activities.
Recess, for example, when children are often allowed outside to run around, play, and socialize, is a common time when children are injured on school property. If the school has a playground, this can raise the risk of injury even more.
Common Playground Injuries
It’s very common for children to get hurt while playing on a playground. Often, these are just minor injuries, such as little bumps, bruises, and cuts. However, though it doesn’t happen as often, serious injury and even death can occur on school playgrounds.
Some of the most common playground injuries that require a trip to the doctor include:
What Happens If a Child Breaks a Bone at School on the Playground?
While accidents on playgrounds sometimes just happen when kids are running around and having fun, they can also be the result of negligent behavior. But what happens when a child breaks their arm or gets injured in any other way? Is it automatically someone else’s fault?
To answer this question, you must consider negligence and liability and how it plays a role in what happened when the child was injured.
Property owners are legally responsible for maintaining a safe property to avoid anyone being harmed. This legal concept is what’s known as “premises liability.” And as a school playground is the property of the school, this means that premises liability applies in these cases.
To be more specific, schools must maintain a safe playground, which includes regularly inspecting the equipment for any hazards. As such, if a hazard on the playground is what caused the child to become injured, then the school can be held liable.
However, it’s important to note that state governments can be granted immunity from liability for injuries on government property, which can include public school playgrounds. This does not mean holding a public school liable is impossible, but it may be more challenging. But, if the school is privately owned or a daycare facility, it does not have the same protections against premises liability lawsuits.
If My Child Broke Their Arm at School, Who Pays?
If your child is injured on school property while playing on a playground, other parties could be held liable aside from the school itself. With premises liability, for example, you can only hold the school liable if the injury was the result of a hazard on the playground that the school knew about and failed to address. But there are other ways a child can be injured on a playground.
If the school does its duty to maintain the playground, for example, but the injury was the result of poor playground design, then it’s possible to hold the playground manufacturer responsible. You may even be able to hold the company that installed the playground responsible if the accident was the result of something not being installed correctly.
Of course, playground accidents can also happen when children are not adequately supervised. If your child got hurt because a teacher, school monitor, or someone else left in charge was not doing their duty to carefully supervise the children, then you may be able to hold that person liable for their negligence. You could also hold the school responsible in this case and claim that the school hired the negligent person, so they are ultimately liable.
Playground Injury Lawsuit Settlements
The important thing to understand about school playground accidents is that you cannot just automatically blame someone and hold them liable. You have to prove that what you are saying is true, that someone did act negligently, and that their negligence is what caused the accident and your child’s injuries.
As these kinds of cases are complex, it usually requires the help of an attorney. This is especially true if the negligent party is a government-owned public school, as filing claims against government agencies is even more challenging.
You must obtain evidence proving what you are claiming is true to win your case. And even if you do win, there is no guarantee that you will be awarded the settlement you deserve to compensate you for your child’s injuries and suffering.
Again, if you want to build a strong case and ensure you are fully and fairly compensated for your child’s injuries, you will need to work with an attorney. Damages a lawyer could help you recover compensation for in a school playground injury lawsuit can include:
- Medical expenses from your child’s injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress caused by the incident
- Permanent impairment (if your child is left impaired or disabled by the accident)
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and treatment of your child’s injuries
Contact an Indiana Child Personal Injury Lawyer
At Crossen Law Firm, we understand how scary and stressful it can be to learn that your child has been injured at school. Not only are these complex situations, but they can also be very traumatizing and painful for the child to experience.
Our team of compassionate personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping parents and guardians navigate these delicate situations and ensure you receive a full and fair settlement for your child’s injuries and other losses.
If your child is involved in a school playground accident, contact us on our website or call us today at (317) 401-8626 for a free consultation.