Mar 24 2010

Child’s Play Can Lead To Serious Injury

  • Playground accidents can lead to serious injuries

  • Necessary precautions should be taken to prevent injuries on playgrounds

  • 150,000 accidents a year on playgrounds

Children will always end up with bruises and scratches as a result of rough and tumble in the playground, from a game of football in the local park or tripping up while playing tag in the school yard. However, children can suffer horrific injuries from falls sustained from playground equipment or if a piece of loose clothing gets caught in the merry-go-round. Such incidents can result in brain injuries and spinal cord injuries if the child lands on his or her head, strangulation injuries, broken bones and serious frictional burns.

While it has to be accepted that accidents to happen, many playground accidents could have been prevented if the playground designer, equipment manufacturer or school took various precautions to stop these accidents from happening

Playgrounds should be fun and safe for children but a report by Safe Kids USA stated that around one hundred and fifty thousand children under the age of fifteen suffer serious injuries each year after accidents on play grounds and end up in hospital. These injuries are down to defects in playground equipment and around seventy five percent of these accidents occur in public places such as the school playground or the local park.

Not all playground accidents are a result of defects or due to a design fault, however injuries do occur because the playground had improper protective surfaces, the playground is not adequately maintained or children are allowed to play on playground equipment not appropriate for their age level. Inadequate supervision is a main cause of accidents in the school playground.

If your child has been injured as a result of a playground accident you may wish to consult a lawyer to see if a defect in playground equipment has contributed to the accident or of lack of supervision of your child led to the injury.

For more legal information on playground equipment defects visit the website of The Barber Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. This article should not constitute legal advice.


Feb 22 2010

Who’s Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip and fall accident is one of the most common accidents that can occur when on someone else’s property. From a slick sidewalk to a wet floor that has not been marked, conditions are often times slippery enough to cause a fall. However, for a business owner or property owner to be liable for the fall, a number of elements need to exist.

Liability Requirements

To start with, there needs to be a hazardous condition. Some people are just clumsy. Being clumsy is not enough of a reason to hold someone accountable for a slip. However, a restaurant’s sidewalk covered in an inch of ice without any signs might be.

The first thing that needs to be proved is that the owner caused the condition to exist. Second, you must prove that the owner knew of the condition and did not do anything to fix the problem. Finally, the owner should have known about the problem, as any reasonable property owner would have been aware of the problem and repaired it. Going back to the slippery sidewalk again, a reasonable operator would not only have noticed the problem on their way into the building, they would have heard complaints already about the conditions.

Seeking Damages for a Slip and Fall

When it comes time to seek damages for a slip and fall on someone else’s premises, you must first prove the liability of the other party, then show that they could have fixed it and did not. You will also need to have the necessary testimony and evidence in hand to prove all of this. In some cases, even if you were the victim of a negligent premises operator, it can be hard to prove these conditions without some form of testimony to show your side of the story. Most states protect the business owner from frivolous lawsuits, and as a result, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.

If you have slipped and fallen on someone else’s property, be sure to research your rights and take whatever steps necessary to deal with the issues that arise. This article is not meant to be legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal consultation.

Don’t let a slip and fall catch you off guard. Contact Weinstein Law today for your options. Serving clients in the Fort Lauderdale area.


Oct 28 2009

Premises Liability and Types of Visitors

Premises liability refers to holding the owner responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises. Some states focus on the type of visitor-owner relationship for determining owner responsibility for injuries that occur on their property.

Invitee

An invitee is someone who was invited onto the property for the commercial benefit of the premises owner; for example, a customer in a store. In this case the property owner has a duty to protect invitees from harm and to warn of any potentially dangerous situations on their premises.

The property owner is responsible when:

  • The risk to invitees is unreasonable
  • The owner knows, or reasonably should have known, about the condition

A property owner may be required to inspect the premises regularly to ensure that a dangerous situation hasn’t been created, such as when something has been spilled on the floor that creates the danger of a slip and fall.

Social Guests or Licensees

A licensee is a person invited onto the premises for a reason that is not commercial. The property owner in this case is responsible for any injuries on their property when:

  • The owner knows, or reasonably should have known, about the condition
  • The owner did not try to make the condition safe
  • The owner did not warn the licensee of the risk created by the condition
  • The licensee did not know, or have reason to know, the condition existed

Trespasser

A trespasser is someone who enters the premises without an invitation. It is possible for the owner of the property to give notice of the possibility of injury when the owner knows it is likely that trespassers will enter the premises. This requirement applies to conditions that the owner knows to be likely to cause serious injury or death, and when the condition isn’t obvious.

Children

When the owner knows that uninvited children are likely to be on the premises, the owner must give notice of dangerous conditions that are likely to cause serious injury or death. If there is a condition on the property that is dangerous, and artificial (not natural), but likely to attract children, the homeowner has a duty to eliminate the danger or otherwise reasonably protect the child. Examples of artificial conditions that are attractive to children are:

  • Vehicles
  • Trampolines
  • Swimming Pools

In determining responsibility of the owner of the premises, some states take the reason the guest is on the property into consideration. Invitees who are on the property for the commercial gain of the owner are afforded the most protection against slip and fall injuries, while trespassers are afforded the least.

This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your local area for more information about premises liability law.

Additional Legal Pages: For more information about premise liabilities please visit Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA.