Who is Liable When a Child Falls on the School Playground?

Every year, over 200,000 children visit the hospital due to injuries on playground equipment. Falls account for nearly 80% of playground injuries, making it the most common cause of injury over other dangers like running into other kids or entrapment.

If your child falls on the school playground and suffers a serious injury, you may wonder who is responsible. Liability depends on many factors, such as the condition of the playground, whether there was adequate staff supervision, or if another student caused the fall.

Our personal injury attorneys at Cofman Townsley can investigate your child’s accident on the school playground to determine who is at fault and help you get compensation to pay for their injuries.

Determining Liability for a School Playground Injury

When a child takes a tumble on the school playground, knowing who might be at fault is a complex issue. Your child’s injuries may be due to poor supervision, damaged or unmaintained equipment, or another child’s actions. 

  • Poor supervision: Inadequate or negligent supervision can contribute to falls. If a lack of proper oversight by teachers or staff allows a child to engage in risky behavior or enter restricted areas, the school or responsible individuals may be liable.
  • Damaged or unmaintained equipment: Playground equipment that is improperly maintained or repaired can pose serious hazards. If a child’s injury results from broken, worn-out, or defective equipment, the responsibility may fall on those responsible for upkeep. This may include maintenance personnel, contracted maintenance companies, or the school administration.
  • Faulty equipment: Regardless of proper maintenance, occasionally, a design flaw, improper installation, or poor manufacturing can create a hazardous environment at the playground. In cases where the playground equipment is at fault, liability might extend to the contractors who designed, built, or manufactured the equipment. If a defect in design or construction causes an accident, the responsible parties within these entities could be held liable.
  • Another child’s actions: If a child’s injuries occur due to another student’s intentional or reckless actions, the responsible party might be the parents or guardians of the child who caused the harm.

Why Hire an Attorney?

When a child sustains injuries on a school playground, the path to accountability can be challenging. School boards may attempt to evade responsibility, and it may be hard to gather evidence without the help of a skilled attorney. 

At Cofman Townsley, we have experience navigating complex cases involving school administration. We will do the following to strengthen your case and win a settlement for your child:

  • Navigating school policies: We navigate complex school policies to uncover potential negligence or violations that may have contributed to your child’s injury.

For instance, if a school’s policy mandates regular inspection of playground equipment, but this was neglected, we can highlight how this breach may have led to the accident. We also examine whether proper supervision protocols were in place, ensuring your child’s safety was a priority.

  • Thorough evidence gathering: We gather and analyze crucial evidence to build a strong case on your child’s behalf. This includes obtaining security camera footage that captures the incident and scrutinizing incident reports and witness statements.

We also review maintenance logs to determine whether routine checks were conducted. By presenting this well-organized evidence, we paint a comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding the injury.

  • Identifying responsible parties: Our legal team looks into all potentially liable parties in your child’s school playground-related injury. For instance, if the injury was caused by faulty equipment, we identify whether the school district, a contracted maintenance company, or equipment manufacturers hold liability.
  • Skillful negotiation: We negotiate strategically with school representatives and insurers to secure a fair settlement. This process involves presenting compelling arguments based on the gathered evidence and potential legal liabilities.

For instance, if your child’s injury resulted from an inadequately maintained playground surface causing a fall, we will negotiate for compensation covering medical expenses, rehabilitation, and any future treatments necessary for your child’s recovery.

  • Leveraging expert witnesses in education: Our attorneys tap into a network of education specialists who possess in-depth knowledge of school safety standards and practices. These experts can testify about the reasonable expectations for supervising and maintaining a school playground.

For instance, an education specialist might explain how the lack of proper signage indicating hazardous areas contributed to your child’s injury, reinforcing your negligence claim.

  • Managing complex documentation: Our lawyers manage all necessary documentation and adhere to critical filing deadlines. This includes drafting legal notices, filing official complaints, and submitting all paperwork accurately. Addressing these details helps prevent potential procedural obstacles that could affect the outcome of your case.

Get the Compensation Your Child Deserves 

If your child has an accident on playground equipment and sustains an injury, our lawyers at Cofman Townsley can help your child get the compensation they deserve.

We will use our legal skills and experience with Missouri personal injury law to determine all liable parties for your child’s injuries and hold them accountable. Contact our law firm for a free consultation.