PLAYGROUND INJURIES, SUPERVISION NEGLIGENCE AND FAILURE TO WITNESS INJURIES: WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?
Children of all ages enjoy playing on playgrounds, and parents have a reasonable expectation that kids will be safe when doing so. Part of these safety expectations involve ensuring that children are properly supervised during playtime. One of the questions that’s frequently asked involves whether or not a failure to witness an accident constitutes negligence. The answer largely depends on whether that supervision would have been reasonable under the circumstances.
Duty of Care
Childcare providers have a duty to provide reasonable supervision for kids when they are playing outdoors. As a part of this supervision, individuals should ensure that there is an adequate adult-to-child ratio so that watching kids on a playground will not be too overwhelming. As such, caregivers who manage too many children at one time could be liable for damages. A few other instances in which negligence may occur include:
- Child care workers who are distracted or not paying attention
- Allowing children to engage in activities that are not age appropriate
- Older children being permitted to play with younger children whenever doing so would be unsafe
Reasonable Person Standard
In determining negligence, courts typically use what is known as a “reasonable person” standard. In doing so, they will try to determine what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances, and then look at the actions of the accused. If it appears an individual did not take reasonable precautions, he or she could then be viewed as negligent, and subsequently be liable for any damages that occur. As such, the decision as to whether or not a caregiver was negligent by failing to witness an accident will largely depend on whether he or she could have reasonably been expected to do so.
Types of Possible Playground Injuries
Some playground injuries, such as scrapes and cuts, are relatively minor ones that are expected for this type of activity. Others should never happen, such as is the case with:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Serious lacerations
Legal Actions to Take after an Accident
After a playground accident that is unwitnessed, every effort should be made to determine the cause of it as soon as possible. This should be done not only to determine negligence, but also to prevent other children from sustaining a similar accident in the future. Only after a reasonable investigation has been done will parents of injured children know whether they have a remedy available to them under law.
If your child has been injured on playground equipment, then it’s important you contact a professional legal representative. Schedule a free case evaluation and call 713-222-1222 today.