Playground Equipment-Related Injuries & School Liability
Has your child been seriously injured while using a piece of school playground equipment? You may have a personal injury case if the school is deemed “liable” or responsible for your child’s injury. That’s because schools have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for students.
School authorities are charged with acting in loco parentis, or “in the place of parents,” while children are at school, and thus must provide the same level of care and supervision to children that responsible parents would in the same circumstances. An experienced Louisiana playground injury attorney can tell you whether or not you have a personal injury liability case after careful review.
Commonality of School Playground Accidents
Approximately 10 to 25% of accidental injuries suffered by children under the age of 14 take place on school grounds, with about 1 in 14 of those injuries needing medical care. Some are temporarily disabling.
About 13,000 of these accidents occur on school playgrounds while schools are in session. 70% of equipment injuries involve falls onto a surface and 10% of equipment injuries involve falls onto equipment.
Playground equipment-related injuries generally fall under “premises liability” standards for personal injury cases.
Premises Liability Standards Met?
Your case must meet the following conditions for premises liability:
- The defendant (in this case, the school and its authorities, authorized personnel, etc.) in charge of the property in question;
- The injured person (your child) expected to be on the property;
- The defendant did not exercise proper care and supervision (in loco parentis);
- Your child was injured in a foreseeable way; and,
- The defendant was careless or negligent, and it was a major reason for your child’s injury.
For example, a major reason for injuries caused by playground equipment is that the equipment is in disrepair. Because the school can expect that the children in its care WILL be playing on that equipment, it has an obligation to keep that equipment safe.
If your child’s school failed to inspect its playground equipment, and make repairs or replacement as necessary, it is reasonable to expect that it should have foreseen injury could have occurred on that equipment.
Therefore, your Louisiana playground injury attorney may find that the school was negligent, and that that negligence was a major reason for your child’s injury.
Before calling a Louisiana playground injury attorney:
- Get medical attention. Get your child medical help immediately.
- Have injuries documented. Medical personnel should carefully document your child’s injuries. All of this is evidence your Louisiana playground injury attorney can use to prove your case.
- Take photographs of the playground equipment disrepair. In addition to documenting your child’s injuries, you should photograph the equipment’s disrepair. Your photographs will help prove your case.