According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency rooms in the United States treat more than 200,000 kids aged 14 and younger for playground injuries every year. The costs of these playground injuries total an estimated $1.2 billion in financial losses. Unfortunately playground deaths are also an all-too-common occurrence, with the CDC reporting 147 playground deaths of kids aged 14 and under between 1990 and 2000.
When playground injuries happen, a number of potential parties may be at fault for the injury. The manufacturer of the playground equipment may be held responsible in some cases while in other instances the playground owner or operator may be at fault or the responsibility may fall on the party or parties who were supposed to be supervising the children. Because there are many different defendants, playground injury cases can be legally complex. As such, it is very important to contact an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer after a playground accident occurs within the state. For more than 19 years, the Boston personal injury attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers have been representing victims injured in playground accidents. Contact us today at (617) 777-7777 to learn how we can put this legal experience to work for you.Massachusetts Liability for Playground Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
- 45 percent of injuries on playgrounds are severe bone fractures, concussions, internal injuries, amputations or dislocations.
- 75 percent of non-fatal injuries that are caused by playground equipment occur at public playgrounds.
- The majority of non-fatal injuries caused by playground equipment occur at schools and daycare centers.
- The majority of playground deaths (56 percent) are caused by strangulation
- Falls account for 20 percent of playground deaths.
- The majority of playground deaths occur on home playgrounds.
- Injuries are more likely to occur on climbers at public playgrounds and at swings on home playgrounds.
- Studies have revealed that playgrounds in low-income areas have more hazards related to maintenance. Hazards included trash at the playground site, rusty equipment and damaged surfaces where children might fall.
When a playground injury occurs as a result of a maintenance problem, such as failure to properly maintain the equipment and ensure it is safe or failure to keep the surface of the playground in good condition, the playground owner or operator may be held responsible for injuries that occur. The injured victim will need to show that the playground owner was negligent and the negligence led to harm.
A premises liability lawsuit can be filed against both private playground owners and government entities who operate playgrounds and are responsible for managing and maintaining them; however, limited governmental immunities and protections from lawsuits can create additional complications when an injury occurs at a pubic park or playground.
If a playground injury occurs because of faulty equipment, then the playground manufacturer may also be held liable under a product liability lawsuit. In these instances, proving negligence on the part of the equipment manufacturer is not necessary. Because strict liability rules apply in product liability cases, it is necessary only to prove that the playground equipment was being used as intended and injury occurred as a result.
A personal injury lawyer can help you to determine when you have a premises liability suit against the entity or person who owns the playground, and when a product liability lawsuit may be the right course of action. Your attorney will also help you to gather the evidence you need to bring a strong case and recover the compensation you deserve.