Can I claim compensation if my child was injured in the playground?

The new school year is well underway, so that means the kids are back in the playground at break times. 

Children are naturally energetic, playful and less able to identify risk. Unfortunately injuries are bound to occur from time to time. A broken wrist, for example, can greatly affect your child’s school work and life at home. It may also mean you or your partner need to take time off work to look after your little one, which can put a strain on the running of the household. 

In fact, any injury (no matter how seemingly big or small it may be) that affects the day-to-day life of your child or the family, is serious. Our number one concern is your child’s health and well-being – that’s why we arrange suitable rehabilitation, therapy and medications as soon as they’re needed. On top of this, you may be eligible to make a claim for loss of income, as well as your child’s injury and the associated costs. 

Causes of playground accidents

Over 40% of accidents in the playground are caused by the equipment, with swings, climbing equipment and slides topping the list. Injuries can also be caused by uneven flooring, damaged sports and play equipment (sharp edges or exposed nails), loose seating / handles and obstacles that can cause trips and slips. Even equipment in perfect condition can cause injury if not used properly so lack of instruction and supervision often causes accidents 

Eligibility

If your child was injured in the school playground due to something that was out of their control, then a responsible adult can make a claim on behalf of that child. Parents can also claim for time spent looking after the child as a result of their injuries as well as travel and medical expenses incurred .

Usually, claimants has a three year time limit to claim for a personal injury, but when it comes to children the three year period does not start to run until the child’s 18th birthday – which means that they have until they reach their 21st birthday. 

This generous time frame should not be used as a reason to delay your claim, as the school’s negligence has to be proved and the sooner the claim is presented, the less likely it is that the evidence will disappear. That is why it is best to get a solicitor working on the case as early as possible.

Who is responsible?

The most important thing to bear in mind when seeking compensation for a child’s injury is finding out who was to blame. Your claim for an accident in a children’s playground will be made against whoever is responsible for the maintenance of the playground.

Evidence you’ll need

There are a few things which will make it much easier to help prove the case: 

  • Take photos and videos of the scene of the injury (e.g. faulty equipment, debris, obstacles)
  • Ask to see any CCTV footage and make sure that you ask for it to be safely retained.
  • Ask for the accident to be recorded in the school’s accident book. Ask to be provided with a photocopy of the entry
  • Take photos of your child’s injuries
  • Medical reports / doctor’s notes / prescriptions 
  • Contact details of the school / maintenance team / council
  • Employer documents stating you’ve lost out on income

What’s included in my claim?

There are a number of costs you may be able to claim for when it comes to playground accidents, as it’s likely the injury has affected the whole family as opposed to just your child. 

This may include:

  • General damages: Pain and suffering your child has suffered
  • The value of the time you have spent caring for your injured child or attending medical appointments.
  • Medical expenses such as prescription costs, rehabilitation, equipment,  
  • Travel expenses after the injury happened

How much could we get?

The amount you may receive depends on a number of factors such as the severity of the injury, loss of income, type of injury and the after effects for your child and the family. It also depends how much of the injury was caused by the school’s negligence, as it had to adhere to a certain standard of care. 

How Birchall Blackburn Law can help…

Our priority is to find your child the appropriate care and rehabilitation for their individual needs. Your specialist solicitor will visit you at home or in hospital so we can work out first-hand how much your injury has impacted your life and to make an accurate calculation on how much compensation you should receive.

We also try to secure early interim payments so you won’t be out of pocket if you need to miss out on work to look after your child.  We use our expertise combined with our naturally compassionate approach to help you achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

For free initial legal advice on your child’s injury please call our team on freephone 0800 614 722 or contact us using the button below.