Playground & School Accidents
Our children are very precious to us, and when we send them to school or to a daycare center, we expect them to come home in one piece. And while no one can guarantee that a kid will not get hurt when they are on a playground with other kids, we as parents have a right to expect that those who are charged with supervising them and maintaining the equipment and grounds they play on are doing everything reasonably possible to keep them safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Some schools, daycare centers, and public playgrounds do not take the measures necessary to meet even the minimum safety standards. These places often contain numerous hazards that put our children at risk of injury, and our kids are not always properly supervised when they are out playing. When a child gets hurt because of the negligence or recklessness of another party, those responsible must be held fully accountable, not only so those who are injured can be compensated, but also to help prevent future accidents and injuries on the playground.
If your child suffered injury on a playground at a school, daycare center, or public park in South Carolina, there are several parties that could be responsible for your child’s medical bills and other losses. These types of claims can be very complicated, however, and it is important to get an experienced attorney involved as early as possible. Contact Peake & Fowler today to discuss your legal rights and options.
A Peake & Fowler, we have more than two decades of experience successfully representing individuals who have suffered all types of personal injuries in South Carolina. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we know what it takes to obtain favorable outcomes with even the most complex cases.
We understand the heartache parents feel when their child suffers a playground or school injury that was caused by another party’s negligence, and we work closely with our clients to help them obtain justice. When you retain our services, we go to work immediately to thoroughly investigate the injury, get to the bottom of what happened, and explore every potential legal avenue toward recovering maximum compensation.
Playground Injury Statistics
Playground accidents are more common than many people realize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 200,000 children who are under the age of 14 get hurt on playgrounds in the U.S. each year. Most of these injuries occur on school playgrounds, and kids between the ages of 5 and 9 are the group that is most at risk of serious injury. And while all children who play on playgrounds run the risk of getting hurt, 55% of playground injuries are sustained by girls.
Children are susceptible to a wide range of injuries from playground accidents, including:
- Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
- Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Fractures/broken bones
- Amputations/loss of limbs
- Internal injuries
The CDC goes on to say that on public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than any other type of equipment. On private playgrounds, however, most injuries happen on swings.
What Causes School and Playground Injuries?
There are a lot of reasons playground accidents occur, some of the most common causes include:
Inadequate Supervision: Lack of proper supervision is the cause of approximately 40% of all playground injuries. Children are supposed to be supervised at all times, but unfortunately, many schools and daycare centers do not have adequate staff, and it is estimated that even in schools, about one-third of the time, kids play on the playground without supervision.
Assault: Sometimes, kids are assaulted on the playground by other kids, again due to inadequate supervision. There are even some instances when adults who are in charge of supervising children abuse them verbally or physically. In the latter case, these physical assaults may go beyond just simple negligence.
Defective/Faulty Equipment: As mentioned in the previous section, some types of playground equipment are dangerous for children. This has traditionally been a problem with high climbing equipment such as monkey bars. There are also other types of equipment that would normally be safe, but they contain defects (such as sharp edges) that should not be there. If an injury results from faulty or defective equipment, it may be possible to hold the designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the equipment liable.
Outdated or Poorly Maintained Equipment: Over time, repeated use of playground equipment can put on a lot of wear and tear. Eventually, the equipment can become worn down and dangerous. This equipment is supposed to be maintained and in safe working order, and when this is no longer possible, it should be replaced. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints and other factors, this does not always happen like it should.
Unkept Grounds: Many playground injuries happen because of unkept grounds and surfaces that are dangerous. Examples may include overgrown plants and weeds, wet and slippery surfaces, uneven surfaces, cracks in the pavement, debris lying around, and many others. Those in charge of maintaining these grounds are responsible to take reasonable steps to keep areas where the children play free from all known hazards. And when a hazard does exist, proper signage and warnings should be given and/or dangerous areas should be sectioned off to help ensure that kids do not come in contact with them.
As mentioned previously, pursuing a playground or school accident claim can be very complicated. There are several parties that could be at fault, and special rules may apply if a government entity (such as a public school) is responsible. This is one of many reasons you need to get an attorney involved right away. Your attorney can go to work immediately to conduct a thorough investigation and help ensure that all critical pieces of evidence can be preserved.
Speak with a Skilled and Compassionate SC Playground and School Accidents Lawyer
At Peake & Fowler, we understand the pain and distress parents go through when their child is hurt on the playground, and we do everything possible to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We handle the entire claim from A to Z, and we deal directly with the responsible parties (and their insurers) to help ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated.
If your child got injured and another party was responsible, do not let them bully or intimidate you into taking less than your child deserves. Call our office today at 803-788-4370 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You may also message us through our online contact form or stop by our Columbia office in person at your convenience.