For most kids in elementary school, recess is the highlight of the day. Getting a chance to burn off some of that energy from sitting in class, playing with friends and enjoying the fresh air can make it easier to sit through the afternoon lessons.
Unfortunately, for a few individuals, recess can be a very unfortunate experience. Some children have to deal with bullies that make their lives miserable as soon as they are out of earshot of the teachers. Bullying can have long-term social and mental consequences for the victims. Others wind up hurt due to inadequate supervision or poorly maintained playground equipment.
Playground injuries can be incredibly severe. They could involve broken bones, spinal cord injuries or even traumatic brain injuries. The parents of children who suffer injuries on a playground may have grounds for pursuing a civil action against the school where their child was hurt.
You need to analyze the nature of the accident
Determining whether you have grounds to seek compensation for an injury your child suffered on the school playground is not necessarily straightforward. Many factors can play into the outcome of playground activities and can mitigate legal liability.
For example, was your child using the equipment as intended, or did they do something unusual with the equipment that increased the likelihood of an accident or of the equipment failing? Did the equipment break or fail in a way that contributed to your child's injury? Was there adequate supervision? Finally, how old is the equipment and what maintenance practices does the school have in place?
The answer to each of these questions will directly impact the liability the school incurs and your right to seek compensation. Schools with unsafe equipment or improper play services could be liable for any injuries a child suffers.
Double check information from all sources
Getting accurate details of the scenario leading up to the accident may prove difficult. Young children may exaggerate the story or lie about their own culpability. Similarly, school staff members may misrepresent the details of what happened to reduce the school's potential liability.
You may need to speak with other individuals, including children present at the time of the accident and playground volunteers who don't have an employment incentive to minimize the circumstances that led to the accident.
You have rights when your kid gets hurt at school
Although most parents seem to believe that schools don't have any legal culpability for what occurs there, that is far from the truth. Courts and juries can and do find schools responsible for accidents that leave kids injured. This is particularly true in scenarios where failure to maintain the premises contributed to the accident or negligence on the part of school staff was a factor.