New York City Playground Accident Attorney
All parents want their children to enjoy playing outdoors. Physical exertion is good for them. Many social skills are learned on the playground, as well. Good playground equipment encourages children to use different muscles and to have fun while doing it.
But playgrounds are also places where children are injured, sometimes because they are not being supervised adequately, sometimes because the equipment they are using is damaged or the playground surface is somehow unsafe. If your child has been seriously injured on a playground, contact The O’Connor Law Firm today and let us help you get the compensation your child deserves.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated at emergency rooms each year for playground-related injuries. More than 20,000 of these children are treated for traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussions.
About 45% of injuries on playgrounds are reported as severe (i.e., fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, and amputations). The overall rate of emergency department visits for playground-related traumatic brain injuries (TBI) has significantly increased in recent years.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9 have the highest rate of emergency room visits for playground injuries than any age group. Most of these injuries occur at school. Studies have shown that more injuries on public playgrounds occur on climbing equipment than any other piece of playground equipment while most home playground accidents occur on swings.
Who is Responsible For Playground Accidents?
Owners and operators of playgrounds and playground equipment have a duty to maintain their premises and equipment in a reasonably safe condition.
Private Property Owners, Schools and Others
If your accident occurred on private property, including private schoolyards, daycare centers or homeowners’ property, the owner owes a duty of care to maintain their property, including all playground equipment and apparatus in a reasonably safe condition.
When owners, operators and their agents fail to maintain a playground, including its equipment, play area, walkways, entrances and other areas in a reasonably safe condition they may be found liable for injuries caused by their negligence similar to other property owners in premises liability claims.
In addition to property owners, manufacturers and sellers of playground equipment and safety surfaces may also be found responsible for defects in the design and manufacturing of defective equipment. If an accident is caused by the negligent installation of playground equipment, any private contractor who may have installed the equipment negligently could also be found liable for injuries.
NYC Municipal Negligence
According to the CDC, about 75% of injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds. In New York City, public playgrounds are typically the responsibility of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. However, playgrounds can be the responsibility of other municipal entities including the NYC Department of Education, NYCHA or other public entities.
If your child suffered injuries in a public playground, there are special procedures and shortened time limits (as little as 90 days) to file a claim as in other municipal negligence claims. It is important to contact a municipal negligence attorney as soon as possible or your case could be lost before it begins. Brian J. O’Connor started his career as an attorney for the City of New York and has extensive experience in playground accident cases. Call us today for a free case review and we will gladly discuss the details of your case.
Types of Negligence in Playground Accidents
When a child is injured in a playground accident, there are typically 4 areas of negligence:
Dangerous Playground Equipment
- Defectively designed playground equipment
- Negligently installed equipment such as monkey bars too high off ground
- Improperly maintained equipment that has fallen into disrepair
- Failure to inspect equipment for broken and dangerous parts
Dangerous Playground Safety Surface
- Raised or uneven safety surface causing slip/trip and falls
- Worn out safety surface or insufficient depth of wood chips, rubber or other ground buffer creating too hard of a landing surface
- Unsafe gaps that are too wide in between portions of safety surface
Negligent Supervision of Children
Schools, teachers, administrators, coaches, caretakers and other adults have a duty to adequately supervise children while in their care. The failure to provide adequate supervision can cause several types of injuries:
- Injuries caused by use of equipment not age appropriate
- Injuries caused by misuse of playground equipment or horseplay on playground equipment
- Bullying or physical assault by other children under the adult’s supervision
Dangerous conditions other than the playground equipment or surface:
- Broken, raised, uneven sidewalks and walkways
- Defective and hazardous playground benches, gates, fences and other playground property
- Tripping hazards such as tree stumps, protrusions and other defects
Determining who is responsible for your playground accident starts with identifying the cause of your child’s injuries. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we investigate all playground accidents as early as possible as evidence may be lost and equipment may be repaired before it can be inspected. Contact us today and let us help you prove your case.
Types of Playground Injuries
Most playground accidents are the result of falls. Other injuries may be caused by sharp protruding parts or unsafe gaps. These accidents result in many types of injuries, including:
- Fractured elbows, wrists and other serious broken bones
- Head injuries and concussions
- Internal organ damage
- Shoulder and knee injuries
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping injured New Yorkers when they need it most. Call us today and let us help you get the compensation you deserve for all your injuries.
Damages Recoverable in a Playground Accident
Playground injuries can cause serious injuries to children and financial difficulties for families. It is important to speak with an experienced NYC playground injury lawyer to help you and your child get the compensation you deserve, including damages for:
- Past medical bills;
- Pain and suffering;
- Cost of future medical care, if necessary;
- Loss of future earning potential;
- Emotional distress;
- Disfigurement and scarring;
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
We often retain liability, medical and other experts to evaluate the facts of an accident and your child’s injuries. Experts also help explain the full effects of the injuries on your child and how your child may be affected in the future in order to get the full value of your case. Call us today and let us show you how we can help.
Get the Help You Need by Calling a NYC Playground Injury Lawyer Today
If your child was injured at a NYC playground, you may have questions about whether someone else is responsible. We will provide answers to your questions and the guidance you need to navigate the legal process. We offer free consultations and there is no obligation. Call us today at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 and let us help you.