Playground Injuries: Who’s at Fault?

It’s a beautiful Saturday and you’re enjoying a morning trip to the park with your family. All the fun ends when your child is hurt. 

A playground injury can be as simple as a skinned knee, or broken bone. Or it can be as serious as head trauma. What happens when a child is seriously injured? You may be surprised to learn just how common this happens.

According to the CDC, more than 200,000 children are treated for playground injuries in U.S. emergency rooms each year. Girls are at a higher risk than boys and children ages 5–9 have the highest rate of emergency room visits for playground-related injuries.

75% of all injuries occur at public parks. When you bring your children to a public playground or park there is an assumption of risk. The leading causes of playground injuries according to the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) are:

  • Trip hazards
  • Inadequate fall zone
  • Improper protective surfacing
  • Protrusion and entanglement hazards
  • Entrapment openings
  • Insufficient equipment spacing

In most cases involving playground injuries, if you have a claim, it would be for negligence or a specific product defect. When it comes to negligence, you (the plaintiff) will have to show that whoever owns or keeps up the playground had a duty to maintain safety and failed to do so, resulting in injury.

If your child was hurt because of the way a playground was designed (a defect) or a certain piece of equipment was not functioning as it should, you would have to prove that was what caused your child’s injury.

The most likely targets for a lawsuit would be the owner of the playground, manufacturer of equipment or even the contractor hired to put it together. The possibility of suing a local government (i.e. a city-owned park) is also there, it is just much more complex. This is when speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney is paramount.

If your child or someone you know has been injured on a playground, don’t hesitate to contact a local Las Vegas Personal Injury attorney. The sooner you start the process the better. At Parry & Pfau, our team is equipped to help you receive the most compensation you need so let us help.


Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or [email protected]

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