While most of us spent much of our preschool and elementary school years on the playground, school playgrounds can have hidden hazards or dangers that cause injuries to schoolchildren. Hundreds of thousands of children are injured on playgrounds every year, with more injuries caused by playground accidents than bicycle or motor vehicle accidents.
Playground accidents can lead to a wide variety of injuries, such as dislocations, broken bones, head injuries and traumatic brain injury, and internal organ injuries, and internal bleeding.
Common Causes of Playground Injuries
Many school playground accidents are caused by the condition of the playground equipment and the design of the playground itself. Common factors that lead to children being injured on playgrounds include:
- Rusted and fatigued metal on playground equipment
- Rotted wood
- Frayed ropes
- Protruding nails and screws or other sharp objects
- Loose screws or bolts, either due to wear and tear or negligent assembly of playground equipment
- Lack of soft flooring or non-skid/slip surfaces
- Defectively designed or manufactured playground equipment
- Lack of supervision and failure to correct unsafe actions or play
Who is Liable for a School Playground Accident?
If your child is injured in a school playground accident, you might be entitled to hold the school liable for your family’s expenses and losses if the school failed to properly inspect and maintain playground equipment, leading to an accident due to deteriorated equipment or materials or other dangerous hazards like sharp edges. The school can also be held liable if an accident was caused by the failure of teachers or other school staff to adequately supervise students, leading to an accident that was caused by a child doing something unsafe that a teacher or adult could have prevented or stopped.
Some schools escort children to public parks or playgrounds off school property for recess. In these circumstances, the owner or operator of the park or playground might be liable for an accident that resulted from deteriorated or hazardous conditions of the playground or playground equipment.
Finally, when a playground accident is caused by defects in the design, manufacture, or assembly of playground equipment, the manufacturer of the equipment or the entity responsible for constructing and installing the equipment can be held responsible when defects lead to your child suffering injuries.
What Are Your Child’s and Family’s Legal Rights?
When your child has been hurt in a playground accident at school, your child and your family may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses such as:
- Medical treatments, including visits to the ER or hospital, doctor’s appointments, surgeries and other procedures, prescriptions, physical/occupational therapy, and out-of-pocket purchases for medical equipment like braces or crutches
- Long-term care costs, if your child suffers injuries that lead to long-term or lifelong difficulties or disabilities
- Lost earning capacity caused by severe disabilities resulting from injuries
- Physical pain and emotional trauma and distress arising from your child’s injuries and the subsequent treatment and rehabilitation they must undergo
- Loss of quality of life because of disabilities or permanent scarring/disfigurement
Contact a Chatham Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your School Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a school accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Blume, Forte, Fried, Zerres & Molinari represent clients injured because of school accidents in Parsippany, Mount Olive, Rockaway, Union City, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 635-5400 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at One Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928, as well as offices in Jersey City, Sea Girt, and North Bergen.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.