Playground accidents are a common occurrence, and they can leave children with serious injuries, such as concussions or brain trauma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 200,000 children aged 14-years and younger receive treatment for playground injuries each year in the US. If your child has sustained a brain injury due to a playground accident, you may be able to recover damages from the playground owners or equipment manufacturers. In this article, we will discuss what you can do if your child has suffered a brain injury on a playground.
Playgrounds are popular locations for children to play and have fun. They are found in various places, such as city parks, schools, daycares, private homes, and other locations with structures meant for children. However, despite their popularity, playgrounds can be dangerous, and accidents happen all too often. Falls from playground equipment are the most common type of injury and can result in serious injuries such as brain damage.
If your child has suffered a brain injury due to a playground accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for medical expenses, future care needs, and pain and suffering. However, determining who is liable for the injury can be complex. In some cases, the playground owners or operators may be held responsible, while in other cases, it may be the equipment manufacturers.
Premises Liability and Playground Injuries
On behalf of their children, parents may pursue premises liability claims against playground owners or operators, which may include schools or municipalities, for brain injuries resulting from playground accidents. In Kentucky, the Premises Liability law governs the responsibilities of property owners to maintain safe conditions on their premises. This includes playgrounds, which are typically found on the premises of schools, parks, and other public areas.
Under Kentucky law, property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect visitors from known hazards and dangers on their property. This means that property owners must take reasonable steps to prevent or repair hazards that could cause harm to visitors, including children playing on playgrounds.
In the case of playgrounds, property owners must ensure that the equipment is properly maintained, regularly inspected, and free of hazards. This includes making sure that equipment is securely anchored and that any sharp or protruding parts are covered or removed. Property owners must also ensure that the playground surface is properly maintained and free of tripping hazards, such as rocks, roots, or uneven surfaces.
Property owners may also be responsible for providing adequate supervision and warning signs to prevent accidents and injuries on the playground. For example, if a playground has a height requirement for certain equipment, the property owner should post a sign indicating the height requirement to warn children and their parents.
In Kentucky, if a child is injured on a playground due to a hazard that the property owner knew or should have known about, the property owner may be held liable for the child's injuries. This includes injuries caused by faulty equipment, inadequate supervision, or a failure to warn of known hazards.
In addition to the Premises Liability law, playground safety in Kentucky is also governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) guidelines for playground safety. These guidelines provide recommendations for the design, construction, and maintenance of playground equipment and surfaces to reduce the risk of injury.
To recover compensation in such claims, parents must show that the child's injuries occurred in a foreseeable way, the child injured was the type of guest expected on the property where the injury occurred, the defendant had control of the property, and the defendant neglected to exercise the appropriate level of care. Additionally, parents seeking to recover compensation for their children for brain injuries caused by playground accidents must prove the defendant's actions or lack of actions played a key role in causing the injuries.
In cases of playground accidents, it is often challenging to prove that the defendant was negligent. To do so, parents must show that the defendant failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the accident or that they knew about a hazard but failed to take appropriate action. For instance, if the playground had faulty equipment or had not been properly maintained, the owner or operator could be held responsible for the injuries.
Products Liability and Playground Injuries
When playground equipment flaws cause serious injuries to children, parents may file product liability lawsuits against the equipment's manufacturers. Defects in the design, manufacturing, or warnings of playground equipment may create hazards. In such cases, parents may argue strict liability, showing that the children's injuries resulted from a condition or defect of the product, that the defect held unreasonable hazards, and that the defect existed while still in possession of the product manufacturer. Such cases may also be argued based on claims of negligence or breach of warranty.
Product liability claims can be complex, and you will need to work with an experienced attorney, like the attorneys at Mory & Colliersmith, to prove your case. To file a product liability claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the equipment was defective and that it caused your child's injuries. There are different types of defects, including design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects. Design defects arise when the design of the equipment makes it inherently dangerous, while manufacturing defects occur during the manufacturing process, leading to unsafe products. Warning defects occur when the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the equipment's potential risks.
In summary, playground accidents can result in serious brain injuries for children, and parents may be able to pursue compensation from playground owners and/or manufacturers through premises liability or product liability claims. To establish liability in a premises liability claim, parents must show that the defendant had control of the property and neglected to take reasonable precautions to prevent the accident. In a product liability claim, parents must demonstrate that the equipment was defective and caused their child's injuries. The defects can be design, manufacturing, or warning defects. It's important to work with an experienced attorney to prove your case, as these types of claims can be complex.
Contact Mory & Colliersmith today (502) 212-4333