Yes, you should contact an attorney if your child sustains injuries on the playground. Playground injuries can be quite severe and lead to lifelong ailments for children. The medical bills relating to them can be enormous and financially crippling for parents.
While some playground accidents are unpreventable and just a part of the risk of allowing children to play, others are accidents that proper playground maintenance could have prevented.
Get information on when an accident might be eligible for compensation based on the circumstances.
Virginia Law on Playground Liability
Virginia law is quite clear about the local authorities not being responsible for accidents that happen on recreational facilities or playgrounds. These areas are “play at your own risk” facilities. The civil authorities assume no risk for damage to you or your personal belongings.
However, civil authorities are responsible for creating a safe environment through regular maintenance. Failure to maintain these facilities can constitute gross negligence, in which case the civil authorities or agents tasked with maintaining the property could be liable.
Virginia law § 15.2-1809 states:
“Every such city or town shall, however, be liable in damages for the gross negligence of any of its officers or agents in the maintenance or operation of any such park, recreational facility or playground.”
Determining Liability After a Playground Accident
When you allow your child to play at a playground, you are assuming some risk. Playgrounds allow for climbing and exploring, which can lead to accidents. However, you also have a right to assume that these facilities are built well and maintained properly to prevent accidents.
Determining liability in playground accidents can be challenging and something you should not do alone. Hire a skilled personal injury attorney quickly so that your attorney can investigate and document all relevant information related to your case.
For example, other parties could be involved in the case. If a utility company or construction company was doing maintenance nearby and damaged the playground in some way, that party could be the one responsible for your child’s injuries and not the municipality charged with maintaining a safe facility.
Or if another parent or citizen alerted the civil authorities about a safety hazard at the playground but the municipality took no action, you could prove that the city was negligent in its care of the area.
Compensation Types for Playground Accidents
If your child has been injured due to a playground accident and another party is found liable for the incident, you can pursue compensation in the following areas:
- Medical bills
- Home care expenses
- Modifications to vehicles or your home in case of disability
- Special education expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disfigurement
What to Do After a Playground Accident
Taking the proper steps after a playground accident will protect your rights and your ability to pursue compensation. Here’s what you should do:
- Get your child medical attention immediately. The sooner you seek medical care, the less impact your child’s injuries might have on their life.
- Document the accident. Take photos of the accident scene if you’re able to do so.
- Collect witness accounts. If any witnesses are present, ask for their contact information as it might be important to showcase that your child was using the facility as it was designed to be used.
- Report your child’s injuries. Contact the local authorities to notify them of your child’s injuries.
- Hire an attorney. You should hire an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and seek compensation quickly.
If your child has been injured in a playground accident, contact Geoff McDonald & Associates now. We offer a free consultation to get to know you and learn more about your case.