Kids playing on a playground

Playgrounds and Park Accidents: Liability of Municipalities and Property Owners

Parks and playgrounds should be places for children to play and enjoy themselves without fear of substantial injury, but many things can go wrong in a park setting that increase the chances of children suffering harm. 

If you or your child sustain injuries in a park or playground, you may not know who is at fault. A premises liability attorney at The Kohan Law Group can investigate and find that answer, as well as those of other case-related questions, on the path toward fair compensation. 

Liability Depends on the Cause of the Accident

Playground and park accidents can happen for a multitude of reasons. Some of the most common include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Defective playground equipment
  • Improper equipment maintenance
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Raised or uneven surfaces, such as broken walkways or sidewalks
  • Negligent supervision 

Determining liability is one of the most important aspects of a park or playground accident case. Depending on the details of the mishap, several parties can hold responsibility at once, such as:

  • The property owner 
  • A municipality
  • Park equipment designers, manufacturers, or retailers
  • The supervising party at the time of the accident
  • The party responsible for property maintenance

Your attorney can thoroughly investigate your case to determine whose negligence ultimately caused the accident, and once you know who’s at fault, you can take steps to hold them liable and pursue fair compensation. 

Premises Liability: Holding Property Owners Responsible

The type of lawsuit you can file for a park or playground injury case depends on the accident itself, but most commonly, these accidents result in premises liability cases.

Premises liability is the area of law that governs cases involving a person suffering injuries on another’s property. Under such laws, property owners and occupiers owe park visitors a certain duty of care.

You may be able to file a premises liability case if you or your child are injured in a park or playground, but it is critical to figure out whether the park and playground were public or privately owned, as such a seemingly minute detail will determine the course of your case. 

Private Property Owner vs. Municipality

Filing a lawsuit against a private property owner and a municipality are two different things. 

If your accident occurred on private property, the property owner or occupier likely owed you a duty of care, and determining that duty depends on your legal status on the property at the time of the accident. 

Under the law, you are either considered an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser at any time you are on another’s premises. An invitee is someone invited onto a property for business reasons, while a licensee is allowed on the premises for social, non-business reasons. Invitees and licensees are owed a high duty of care, while a trespasser is not allowed or invited onto the premises and is thus owed no strict duty of care.

When it comes to private parks and playgrounds, you and your children are owed a duty of care; that is to say, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe and warning of dangers present on the property. 

Alternatively, if your accident occurred in a public park or playground, it may be the responsibility of its municipality, which is responsible for the regular maintenance of parks and playgrounds and warning of any potential dangers. 

While you may have the opportunity to file a claim against the municipality, these cases vary from regular lawsuits against private owners. As a governmental entity is involved, the rules and procedures that govern other premises liability cases would not apply.

A Premises Liability Attorney Can Handle Your Case

Whether your accident happened on private property or in a public space, you may be able to take legal action. A premises liability lawyer can determine liability and get you on the right path toward justice and financial recovery, and the Long Island attorneys at The Kohan Law Firm have years of experience fighting diligently for their clients. We want to do the same for you, so contact us today to schedule your consultation.

The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is essential to consult with a qualified attorney regarding your specific situation and circumstances.