During the summer months and the rest of the year, children enjoy the fun and adventure of spending time on a playground. Whether it is at the day care center, school, summer camp, or public park, a playground can provide hours of entertainment and activity for children – especially toddlers and pre-schools. Of course, elementary aged children also enjoy going to the playground but as they grow older – the playground loses some of its luster to these children. For the children who still love to go to the playground, there is great fun but also a risk of injury any time that a child spends time on a playground.
At most playgrounds, it is common to see a slide. Children often enjoy playing on playgrounds and especially the joy and thrill of climbing up a slide and then sliding down. If the slide is age appropriate and used correctly, most injuries from playground slides are avoided. This also assumes that there is sufficient and reasonable supervision in place for all of the children on the playground including but not limited to the slide area – ladder, levels, slide, and landing. Unfortunately, for some children, the playground slide is the location of a serious personal injury. When a child is injured on a playground, the day care center, summer camp, property owner, school, or city / county entity may be liable for the resulting injuries and damages. The liability or responsibility will depend on the ability to prove the four essential elements of a civil case or claim:
When child is injured in a car accident, playground accident, school accident, day care accident, or other incident, a parent is often faced with many challenges. One such relates to medical care and treatment for the injured child. If the child is covered by health insurance, then there should be a wide variety of medical providers for treatment If the child was injured in an automobile accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle, then there should be the PIP or personal injury protection coverage available for accident related treatment.
When a child is injured but there is no available medical or automobile related insurance, then it can be quite a challenge to obtain medical treatment for an injured child. One would think that the at fault-person, company, or government agency would step in and pay medical bills caused through the fault of party or entity causing the injuryt. This does happen in some instances. However in many instances, a parent is put to task to find medical treatment and sources for payment of the same during the while it claim cases pending.
In most communities, there are a special group medical providers who understand the financial challenges of medical care and treatment following an accident or incident. These medical providers will provide treatment on a “wait to get paid” basis provided that there is a viable case or claim to pursue and there is some likelihood of recovery compensation for the medical bills and other damages.
In the State of Florida, children are the victims of a wide variety negligent and careless supervision and conduct that lead to personal injuries. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked to speak with parents and review incidents to determine if there is a case to pursue. To pursue a matter on behalf of an injured child, there needs to be what is called a Cause of Action. This refers to the a recognizable claim or case against another party (person, organization, insurance company, business, or government entity). A Cause of Action can be spelled out by Statute. For instance, a dog bite case or cause of action is general spelled out in Chapter 767, Florida Statutes. Dog bite cases are unique in that a Cause of Action can be pursued against a dog owner regardless of the prior aggressiveness of the dog. A dog owner does not necessarily have to be negligent to be liable for the injuries caused by a dog bite. Most other causes of action involving a child injury are governed by general negligence laws and standards which require the presentation and proof of the following elements:
2. Breach of Duty;
Throughout the State of Florida, there are playgrounds in most every community. Some are located at public schools, public parks, day care centers, camps, after school centers, community centers, and other areas. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am often asked the following questions:
What if a Child is Injured While on a Florida Playground?
Is There a Case to Pursue for Compensation?
At most schools and community centers, there are playgrounds. At some, there are even obstacle courses. On most days, children have fun and enjoy their time outside. With proper supervision and maintenance, playgrounds are great places for children to play. Unfortunately, at times, playgrounds are the sites of serious personal injuries and even the death of a child. There are risks and dangers involved with playground activities. One such danger is the risk of strangulation due to ropes and other areas in which a child’s head may be caught or trapped. There are a number of reasons that a child is injured or or near a playground including improper design of the playground, improper maintenance of the playground, lack of supervision, lack of fencing or enclosure of the playground, and other reasons. It is important that property owners and school administrators maintain and periodically evaluate playground areas to check for items of disrepair or playground equipment that could harm a child during normal use and play. While not every injury or incident is necessarily preventable, all reasonable, necessary, and practical efforts should be taken to make the playground area as safe as possible for children.
A recently tragedy was reported in Jacksonville, Florida. It involved a 10 year old boy who was playing on a rope swing at the Bolles Batram Middle School. It was reported by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that the boy was at the school while his older brother was at football practice. The incident took place on an obstacle course area. Since the obstracle course was at a middle school, it may have been designed for use of older children than the child who was playing in the area. Prior to the incident at issue, the boy was playing with his sister. She was the first to notice that her brother was unresponsive. See 8 Year Old Boy Suffers Serious Personal Injuries at the Bolles Middle School.
When a child suffers an injury, a parent is often faced with many challenges and issues. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Medical Care and Treatment and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.