Was the playground one of the attractions of the Atlanta apartment complex you chose? Perhaps you wanted your child to have a safe place to play close to home. You trusted that the property owner would make sure it was safe for children.
Everything was fine the first few times your child played, but then he or she suffered a serious injury. Did the apartment complex fail your child in some way?
What makes a safe playground?
Keeping children safe on a playground involves some mathematical calculations and other measures in order to eliminate any hazards that could cause injuries like the following:
- The playground equipment needs around six feet of space around and under it for safety. Swing sets need even more space, depending on their size, and any structures taller than 30 inches need at least nine feet of space.
- Structures or equipment 30 inches or taller must have barriers or guardrails.
- Openings in bars, rails, ropes and rungs must provide no less than 3.5 inches and no more than nine inches of space in order to keep children's heads from catching.
- The surface of the playground cannot contain tree stumps, gravel, rocks or concrete. In fact, it needs to contain some type of material that helps cushion falls, such as mulch, rubber mats or sand.
- The playground should not have any sharp or pointed edges such as exposed bolts or "S" hooks.
If the playground on which your child received an injury failed to meet these standards as set by the National Safety Council, the property owner and/or manager could bear some legal liability. When the complex put in the playground, it had a duty to make sure it did not present any obvious hazards to children.
What can you do now?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that emergency rooms see no less than 200,000 children under the age of 14 a year who suffered injuries on playgrounds. At least 20,000 of those children receive a diagnosis of a concussion or some other traumatic brain injury. Some of those children could have lifelong health repercussions. Perhaps your child will as well.
It may be possible to pursue compensation for the injuries your child suffered if the evidence proves that the apartment complex either negligently or recklessly failed in its duty to maintain the safety of the playground. In order to know for sure, you may benefit from discussing the situation with an attorney.