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Children love to romp on playgrounds, but unfortunately, bad accidents can happen. Every year, over 200,000 children require treatment at U.S. emergency rooms due to playground injuries. Most events are purely accidental and do not rise to the level of legal action. Among those cases caused by unsafe conditions or negligence, a school, manufacturer, contractor, or individual may bear financial responsibility. When a school is involved, you should seek advice from a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas because school districts have multiple legal defenses at their disposal.

Common Types of Playground Injuries

Beyond bumps and bruises, children often suffer:

  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Dislocated joints
  • Internal injuries, such as getting kicked in the stomach
  • Strangulation

Falls and collisions or altercations with other children cause many of these injuries. Strangulation injuries or deaths usually happen when collars or drawstrings get caught in playground equipment. A child could also get tangled in a chain on the swing.

A strangulation playground injury might be worsened if supervision was lacking. A reasonable person would expect that an attentive school employee or daycare worker should notice quickly if a child is caught by the neck. If you have questions about what happened when your child experienced a serious neck or head injury on a playground, a Vegas injury lawyer could investigate the incident. School officials frequently try to avoid disclosing unflattering information and may need prodding to answer questions fully.

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What Causes Playground Injuries?

Aside from the usual running around and roughhousing that can injure children in any location, playgrounds possess multiple hazards, such as:

  • Poor landscape maintenance
  • Faulty playground equipment
  • Broken playground equipment
  • Hard playground surfaces

An unkempt landscape can create trip and fall hazards. Large tree roots, piles of leaves hiding steps, rotted wooden decks, or broken guardrails could all cause a child to have a hard fall.

Sometimes playground equipment is faulty due to the way that it was built. The design was inherently unsafe. In other situations, a good piece of equipment is installed improperly. Broken playground equipment can create fall hazards or have sharp edges that inflict lacerations.

Although many types of playground equipment, like monkey bars, simply include some risk due to their design, soft ground surfaces can reduce the effects of falls. Hard compacted soil or concrete instead of a thick bed of wood chips will worsen fall injuries.

Playground Premises Liability

Property owners, public and private, have a legal duty to maintain reasonably safe spaces for people or to alert visitors to hazards. When unsafe conditions arise from a lack of timely maintenance, then damages may be recoverable under the legal concept of premises liability.

A playground injury claim based on premises liability needs evidence that the owner or party responsible for the property:

  • Expected children to use the property
  • Failed to take proper care of the property
  • Could have foreseen that a child could be injured
  • Caused the child’s injury directly through carelessness

Failure to exercise proper care could occur by never or rarely inspecting the playground or ignoring broken equipment even when aware of it.

When injury lawyers Vegas collect evidence that meets the premises liability standard, a victim’s family may succeed in recovering financial damages.

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Sovereign Immunity for Public Schools

Public schools have the status of governmental entities. The legal concept of sovereign or governmental immunity shields government agencies and public schools from lawsuits to some extent. This does not mean that parents of children injured on public school or city playgrounds should not bother to speak with injury lawyers about premises liability or negligence. Nevada law does enable the recovery damages on a case-by-case basis. The process requires reporting the claim to the school district by certain deadlines. This may lead to a settlement subject to certain monetary limits established by law.

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School Waivers

Parents sign so many waivers concerning their children’s school activities that they can become blind to them. These waivers are meant to relieve schools of liability for student accident injuries, and they usually succeed in that goal. However, a very disturbing or obviously egregious case could override the legal protection documented within a waiver. You should speak with an accident attorney Las Vegas if the situation that led to your child’s injury appears beyond the scope of a waiver.

Privately Run Playgrounds

A playground at a private school or daycare presents a different situation. Sovereign immunity will not be an issue, and a family can directly file a lawsuit after gathering sufficient evidence. When your child suffers a serious playground accident, you should find out as soon as possible if you are dealing with a public or private entity.

Speak to an Accident Attorney Las Vegas

Public and private operators of playgrounds should have insurance policies in place to compensate injured people. Personal injury cases, especially those involving children, are emotional situations. School administrators or playground supervisors may try to hide wrongdoing or carelessness.

Representation from a Vegas injury lawyer could help a parent build a strong case that overcomes attempts to ignore an embarrassing incident for the school. At Moss Berg Injury Lawyers, we stand up against large public institutions or private companies on behalf of injury victims every day. If your child has been badly hurt on a playground, you deserve to know if compensation can be recovered. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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