Child Breaks Arm on Playground...

by Anonymous
(USA)

My 9 yr. old daughter broke her right arm in 2 places while playing on a playground slide at our local county park. She fell off midway down the slide when another child slid down and knocked her off.

Her arm was bent in a couple odd directions so we took her to the closest hospital emergency room. They said she needed emergency surgery to place a pin at her second break above her elbow. The other break was at her wrist.

I'm wondering if I can recoup the medical costs for my daughter's broken arm? If so, from who? How would I do it? Thanks for any info you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Child Breaks Arm on Playground...":

Anonymous (USA):

If the property upon which the playground is located is owned or leased by the county you may have a legitimate claim against them. If the same property is owned by a private entity you may have a legal claim against both the county and the owner of the property.

There are a few ways to learn the identity of the owner of the property. You can call the county and simply ask them who owns the property, you can go to the county records department and do some research to find out who has the deed to the property, or finally, you can file a lawsuit.

Before you can take any legal action against the county you will need to learn their preferred method of legal claims. They may have a "Tort Claim" method by which you must comply. That simply means you may have to ask the county for a certain "Tort Claim Form". Once you receive it you will need to complete it and send it back in.

Once you send in the form an investigation will probably ensue. At that time the county's insurance company may notify you to discuss reimbursing you for the medical bills and other out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of your daughter's injuries.

In the alternative, the county may refuse to acknowledge any liability and therefore deny your daughter's claim. Although you and your daughter were technically "invitees" onto the playground, the county may take a position that you and your daughter "assumed the risk" when using the playground. If the county takes that position you can file suit against their insurance company for wrongful denial of a claim, or sue the county for the same.

If you do, and somehow make it through the myriad of motions and other legal technical methods of delay and dissuasion, you will have to convince a judge or jury the playground is inherently unsafe, and as result your daughter's injuries should be acknowledged and compensated.

Finally, if you believe the design and manufacturer of the playground and its parts was defective at the time of the injury you can pursue a legal clam against the manufacturer of the playground. That legal theory would based on "product liability".

As you can see you have several options available. It will be up to you to choose which one will best suit your daughter's needs. It would be worth it to consult with a personal injury attorney. Most will give an initial case review free of charge.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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