Who Is Responsible When a Child Is Injured at a Playground? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Now that summer has arrived, many children in Virginia will be attending day camps, recreational centers, and childcare centers. Since summer means warm and sunny weather, a lot of time will be spent outdoors and in playgrounds. Unfortunately, that also means that many children will also be injured using playground equipment and engaging in activities with other children. If a child is injured in a playground accident, their parents are often unsure who is the liable party and if they are able to pursue damages for the injuries and losses their child suffers. As a Virginia personal injury attorney can explain, if there was any kind of negligence involved in the accident, then Virginia law allows victims to sue for financial compensation.

How Common Are Playground Injuries?

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 220,000 children under the age of 14 end up in emergency rooms each year because of injuries sustained in playgrounds.

The most common causes for playground injuries are:

  • Lack of supervision: There should be an adult watching over any child on a playground at all times. A child can suffer a serious injury, even on safe equipment, if there is no one supervising their safety.
  • Falls: Swings, monkey bars, slides, jungle gyms, see-saws, and other equipment often bring a child high off the ground. If the child falls, which is far too common, they can suffer concussions, bone fractures, and other injuries.
  • Poorly maintained equipment: If playground equipment has become loose, rusted out, or just generally weakened from age and exposure, a child can be seriously injured if they use the equipment.
  • Protruding or sharp edges: Any equipment that is made from metal or wood and has any sharp edges, points, or protrusions can cause a cut or puncture if a child runs into them or steps on the dangerous area.

Who Is Responsible for My Child’s Injury?

While there are some playground accidents that are truly just that – accidents – the majority of playground incidents that send children to ERs are caused by the negligence of a party or entity. Some of the more common at-fault parties in these incidents include:

  • Owner of property: The person, company, or organization that owns the property where the playground and equipment are located could be held liable under Virginia premises liability law if they failed to keep playground equipment in a safe condition or failed to remove any hazards on the property.
  • Childcare provider: If the accident was a result of poor supervision by a childcare provider, the parents may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the provider.
  • Equipment manufacturers: If the equipment that injured a child has a design or manufacturing defect and that is what caused the injury, then the company that produces the equipment could be liable under Virginia’s defective product law.
  • Equipment installers: If there was an outside company hired to install the equipment and they did so correctly, resulting in the accident that injures the child, that company could be held liable for financial compensation for the losses the injury causes.  

Contact our Virginia Accident Law Firm

If your child has been injured in a playground accident, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to meet with one of our Virginia personal injury attorneys to find out what legal options you and your family may have. Call our office to set up a free and confidential consultation. We will evaluate your case and determine who the negligent party may be that is responsible for the losses you and your family have suffered.