What Evidence Is Important In a Playground Injury Claim?
In a schoolyard or playground incident where the condition is the problem, pictures are very important in order to preserve the evidence of what the condition was like when the child was hurt. It’s always important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that we can get an investigator to collect the evidence properly. On a supervision case, kids’ memories tend to fade, so it’s important to get statements from other kids who were there and find out what the other kids say happened. When a lawsuit is filed, we always get information by taking the deposition of whoever was there. Some of the best information can come from the child’s friends. So, the most important thing to find out in a school negligent supervision case is how many teachers or adults were present and what they were doing, as well as what the kids were doing and for how long they were doing it.
What Types Of Damages Can Someone Recover If Their Child Is Injured In A Schoolyard Or Playground Accident?
The types of damages covered are monetary damages for the child’s pain and suffering. You can also recover for associated medical bills. The amount of money that a child can ultimately get depends on the nature and severity of the injuries. Our New York playground accident attorneys always recommend that the parents photograph the children as soon as possible after the incident to document the condition. It is very sympathetic for a jury to see and understand what the child went through by seeing them in a cast, sling, or something of that nature. In addition, a case may go to trial years later. If the child is healed at the time of the trial, then pictures can really give the jury a sense of what the child went through at the time of the incident.
Another important factor to remember with children is that any settlement requires court approval, and the court will always issue an order that the money can’t be touched until the child is 18. If possible, we recommend putting the money into a structured settlement. That way, the money will grow at an interest rate over time. If you can get a 4% interest rate over 12 years, for example, then that money can increase by almost 50%. Our New York City attorneys who represent children in playground accidents have been very progressive and on the cutting edge of getting our clients into structured settlement type of annuities. We know the value that they can get by waiting, and it’s substantial.
Are Most New York Playground Accident Claims Dismissed Or Settled? Why Or Why Not?
I don’t think that any playground accident cases that our office has handled have ever been dismissed, as we do a thorough and complete investigation before filing a suit. If there isn’t a case, then we won’t file a suit. Our New York City playground accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to make sure that the case is basically bulletproof. We always do a background investigation to make sure that we can prove the case before we put in the suit. Most cases are settled because of the strength of the cases that we bring and because of the background investigation that we do beforehand.
What Are The Biggest Challenges For Someone Filing a Case Against A School Or Municipality?
If things are done right, then it’s not really a big challenge. If the information is documented shortly after it happens, then it’s truly not a difficulty. However, things become more difficult when people come to us after the 90 days have passed. At that point, we have to make a motion to get special court permission to file the claim. Another common problem is when people come to us too late and they didn’t take any pictures of the accident scene. In those cases, we have to attempt to establish what exactly the accident scene looked like at the time of the incident. We have to establish that the pictures that were taken several months after the fact do indeed illustrate the conditions that existed on the day in question.
Why Is It Critical To Hire An Attorney Who Is Experienced In Handling Schoolyard or Playground Accident Claims?
A lot of attorneys don’t even know that New York General Business Law, Section 399-DD was passed. It happened about 10 months ago, and it basically created statutes in regards to the standards that the playgrounds have to live up to. If an attorney doesn’t really practice in the playground claims area and attempts to take a case anyway, they might not know about this. In addition, they may not know how to get the appropriate photographs and measurements necessary to prove the case. They may not even know what they are looking for.
A lot of people have come to me after speaking to two or three attorneys. They tell me that their child has a broken arm because he or she fell at the playground, and that other lawyers have said there is no case. That’s not necessarily correct. An experienced New York City playground accident lawyer knows that the surfacing always has to be looked at. The question is not so much about whether or not the child fell, but whether or not the ground was sufficiently safe for them to fall. So, inexperienced lawyers just don’t understand the standards and the concepts involved in playground safety. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced New York City playground accident lawyer.
Our offices are located in midtown Manhattan. We are easily accessible for people from the Bronx from 4, 5 or 6 trains, and people from Queens are not far from where the E-train comes in. Our office is walking distance from Grand Central. So, we can easily take on a case from anywhere in the city and do a prompt investigation.
Get Information on Evidence In Playground Accident Claims or call the Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC for a free Initial Consultation at (212) 858-0503 and get the legal answers you are seeking