Accidents in the Playground – Not always fun and games
A number of young children have recently suffered serious injuries including broken bones, cuts and burns on playground equipment such as slides and swings.
In October 2022, a five-year-old girl’s hand became stuck in a carousel at a playground which led to two of her fingertips being severed.  Previously, in August 2022 a three-year-old child broke her leg riding down a tube slide after another four-year-old child had broken both legs on the same slide in April 2022. 
Experts have argued that the injuries being suffered by children on playground equipment are more severe and are occurring more frequently than we should expect. 
These incidents have not only led to calls for safety standards for playground equipment to be reviewed,  but may also lead to claims for compensation.
Can compensation be claimed if a child is injured in a playground?
A right to claim compensation may arise when a child is injured on playground equipment if that injury arises as a result of the negligence of a particular entity that owes the child a duty of care. Such entities may include local councils, schools or private entities.
Negligence may be found where the incident is foreseeable and where it is the consequence of insufficient supervision, particularly in a school setting, or where the playground equipment is faulty by reason of its design, defectiveness or poor maintenance.
Importantly, not all children who sustain injuries on playgrounds would necessarily be successful in bringing a claim in negligence. Proving negligence, and causation – that is, whether the injury was a consequence of the negligence – is not always straightforward.
However, if the entity responsible for maintaining the playground is ultimately found to have been negligent, the plaintiff could be entitled to recover damages for loss suffered. Such damages may include:
- Non-economic loss (pain and suffering);
- Past and future economic loss;
- Past and future medical and related care expenses.
In any case of potential negligence, evidence-gathering is a crucial first step in the investigation process. The sooner that you contact a lawyer, the better that lawyer will be able to advise you on your and your loved one’s potential rights under the law.
Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers have Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law who can talk to you and provide advice regarding public liability and other damages claims.
Please contact Julia Harrison, Partner at JHarrison@codea.com.au or alternatively on 02 9291 7131 to discuss.