All too often, injuries happen during the day on school, city, and county playgrounds. These injuries are usually the result of negligent supervision or defectively maintained playground equipment. If your child has sustained injuries at a school playground as a result of someone else’s negligence—or if the playground equipment was defectively maintained or manufactured—you or your child may have a legal cause of action against the school, the school board, and/or a school employee. If the accident occurred at a city or county playground, you may have a legal cause of action against the city or county, and you may be able to file a legal claim.
The knowledgeable Clearwater playground injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group can assist you with your case and can provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain a favorable resolution via settlement or trial.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit in a Florida Playground Injury Case
Potential defendants in a school playground injury case may include a school board, school district, and/or individual school employees who were on duty at the time the accident occurred—and who were responsible for supervising the students. Potential claims or lawsuits in other playground injury cases may be filed against a city, county, or other local governmental entity for failing to properly maintain or repair defective playground equipment.
You should keep in mind that strict time deadlines apply to potential claims and lawsuits filed against local governmental entities and agencies, such as Florida school boards, school districts, cities, counties, and municipalities. Since time may be of the essence in your case, it is extremely important that you contact a Clearwater playground injury lawyer as soon as possible.
A lawyer will be able to take the necessary legal actions and file the necessary claims paperwork in a timely manner. A lawyer will also be able to ensure that claims are filed against the proper defendants—and that all potentially responsible individuals or entities are named as parties to the claim.
Duty to Adequately Supervise Students on School Playgrounds
In playground injury cases, the injured plaintiff must ordinarily prove that the defendant(s) owed a duty of care to the injured child and breached this duty of care, proximately resulting in certain injuries and damages to the child. Under Florida law, school employees and administrators have an affirmative duty to adequately supervise students in the school context (and at school-sponsored events), and a school district has a legal duty to exercise reasonable care in supervising students under its care. If a school, school board, school employee, or school administrator breaches one or more of these duties of care, and an injury or attack results on school premises—including the playground—then the defendant(s) may be deemed liable to the plaintiff student for the resulting injuries and harm.
- Negligent Security and Supervision Issues on School or City Playgrounds
- In the playground context, negligent security and supervision can take a variety of forms, including the following:
- Inadequate supervision of students on school playgrounds
- Improperly trained teachers and school staff
- Bad lighting
- Inadequate, malfunctioning, or nonexistent security cameras in and around the premises
- Inadequate or nonexistent security controls or measures in place
- Failure to protect against risks of foreseeable harm
- Failure to protect against criminal acts by others that take place on the property
In negligent security cases involving schools, foreseeability of harm plays a large role in determining liability on the part of the school, school board, school employee, or school administrator. Some foreseeability factors that Florida courts look to in these cases include the following:
- The location of the school
- Knowledge of prior accidents or incidents which occurred on the school playground
- Knowledge of dangerous conditions on the school playground
- Employee awareness of certain dangerous risks associated with other students or school staff
- Common Types of Playground Injuries
- Common personal injuries that arise in playground cases include the following:
- Sprains and strains
- Bruises, cuts, and abrasions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Fractures and broken bones
- Sexual assault injuries
- Injuries from fights and bullying
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
TBI’s are normally caused by a violent blow or impact to a child’s head, causing the brain to make contact with the front and/or the back of the child’s skull. This can potentially lead to serious long-term injuries and consequences—especially in the case of young people whose brains are still in the process of growing and developing. In the playground injury context, TBI’s can occur if a child falls from a piece of playground equipment, such as a swing, and strikes the ground, or hits his or her head on a piece of playground equipment.
TBI’s may be characterized as mild or severe. However, it is important to note that the damage caused by a mild head injury – especially to a child—is not always apparent on MRI scans or other imaging studies, oftentimes making the TBI worse over time. TBI’s may also result in lengthy periods of recovery time and extensive medical treatment that can last for many years.
Contact a Clearwater Playground Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation
Playgrounds are supposed to be a safe haven for children to have fun and enjoy themselves, without having to worry about the possibility of sustaining injuries. Parents trust school educators and administrators to take care of and protect their young children. They also expect schools, cities, and counties to properly maintain their playground equipment for the safety of everyone involved.
If you suspect that your child has been injured on a playground as a result of someone else’s negligence, you or your child may have a legal cause of action against a school, school board, school employee, school district, city, county, or municipality. The personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group are ready and willing to assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against the responsible parties or entities.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756