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Who pays the bills when your kid gets hurt during recess?

For grade school children, recess is often the part of the day that they most look forward to. They have the opportunity to burn off some energy, play with their friends and get out of the classroom for a little bit. Unfortunately, recess also carries with it substantial risk.

Every year, tens of thousands of young children suffer noteworthy injuries on playground equipment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 kids under 14 get hurt on playgrounds each year, and some of those children have to deal with serious injuries like amputations or brain injuries.

The day could come when your child needs medical attention because they fall off a slide, flip backward out of a swing or crash head-first into a metal pole while looking over their shoulder during a game of tag. If your kid suffers an injury serious enough to require medical care while on a school playground, who will wind up paying for their treatment?

Playground injuries can produce premises liability claims

The average playground injury is going to include contusions, scrapes or maybe a mild concussion. Other kids could end up breaking their bones, suffering a traumatic brain injury or experiencing other significant injuries like sprained ankles or even a torn tendon.

Such serious injuries could mean that your child needs a visit to the emergency room, expensive imaging tests or even surgery. If you don’t have the best medical insurance, that care could mean thousands of dollars in costs that your family can’t currently absorb.

Thankfully, you probably won’t need to sue to get help. If you have expenses related to a playground injury, the school probably has an insurance policy that will cover those costs. Typically, playground injuries fall under the umbrella of premises liability claims, meaning the liability that a facility incurs.

What if your child goes to a private school?

State-run schools typically have to meet certain standards regarding insurance, but private schools may not have the same standards in place, which could leave parents with injured children in a difficult position. Thankfully, there may be other options for those families, possibly including a personal injury lawsuit against the private school where their child got hurt.

For most families, the biggest hurdle to compensation will involve negotiating with the insurance carrier, not filing a lawsuit. Looking over the records of the incident with a lawyer can help you make sound decisions during a claim related to a school playground injury.