Who Pays the Medical Bills When a Child is Hurt in a Playground Accident?

Playground accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor scrapes to broken bones and head trauma. Depending on what, where, and why the accident occurred, someone other than the child’s parents may be responsible for the medical bills. In South Carolina, equipment manufacturers, daycares, and playground owners owe families and children a duty to follow the safety rules. Parents should be able to expect their son or daughter’s daycare, for instance, to supervise children on the playground and only use safe equipment. Likewise, when parents purchase a piece of playground equipment, there is a legal promise from the manufacturer and the seller, that what you are paying for does not pose needless risk to your kids.

When manufacturers, sellers, daycares, and other entities profiting off your child’s use of playground equipment, violate the safety rules, and as a result your child is harmed, the rulebreaker is responsible for the harm – including medical bills. Negligence (i.e. safety rule violations) can take several forms in the context of playground accidents. Examples include:

  • The daycare failed to properly supervise your child on the playground;
  • The playground equipment was inherently dangerous;
  • The playground equipment was outdated and had become unsafe; or
  • The surface of the playground violated child safety standards.

The negligent party (or their insurance company) is required to compensate your family for the full cost of your child’s medical bills. In other words, they have to pay the total charge, not just the co-pay. For instance, if your son’s medical bills are $10,000.00, but health insurance covered the majority of the charge, leaving with you a $500.00 co-pay, the at-fault party is still responsible for all $10,000.00 in medical expenses. In addition, if your child requires future medical treatment due to the playground injury, the at-fault party must compensate you for those future costs. If your son or daughter was injured because a daycare, manufacturer, or playground operator chose to break the rules and commit negligence, medical bills are recoverable. Compensation for all medical expenses - past and future - generally comes at the end of the case in the form of a lump sum settlement.

My goal is to help injured children receive justice across South Carolina, while also making our communities safer. Should you have any questions about a playground accident in South Carolina, I am here to help. You don't have to navigate the legal system on your own - call me today for free copies of my books as well as a free consultation at 803-790-2800.

Kenneth Berger
Columbia South Carolina attorney dedicated to securing justice by helping the truly injured