Trampolines and injury: Are there legal remedies?

Legal remedies, trampoline accidents and victims: a primer.

Trampolines are responsible for approximately 90,000 emergency room visits every year. The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly warned against the use of this dangerous form of playground equipment, and yet many parents continue to purchase these devices for their yards.

Parents that choose not to own a trampoline may believe their children are safe from the dangerous injuries that can result from its use, but the equipment is prevalent. Stores sell an estimated 500,000 trampolines to Americans annually. As such, it is likely a neighbor or friend owns one. Although your yard is safe, your child may find themselves on a neighbor's trampoline or jumping at a trampoline park for a birthday party. Which raises the question - what happens if use of another's trampoline results in an injury to your child?

This piece will delve into the potential legal remedies that are available in these situations.

Situation #1: Injury at a trampoline park

Trampoline parks have grown in popularity in recent years. It seems nearly every community has at least one trampoline park offering exciting jumping adventures for children and adults alike. But are these parks safe?

Before jumping, almost every trampoline park requires users sign a waiver. The waiver includes various provisions designed to indemnify the owners of the facility from liability in the event of an accident. Although these waivers will survive certain legal challenges, there are situations when a victim can defeat the protections of the waiver. These include instances when the waiver is overly vague or misrepresents the product or service. Any challenge based on allegations of gross negligence or use of a defective product can also overcome the waiver.

Situation #2: Injury from a backyard trampoline

Homeowners are often responsible for the costs associated with injuries that occur while visitors are on their property. This can include injuries from using a trampoline.

If there was any question that trampolines were dangerous, consider this: many insurance companies will exclude injuries caused from a trampoline from homeowner's insurance coverage. Even if the policy covers trampoline accidents, the medical costs of an injury can easily reach into the millions of dollars. Many policies offer a $100,000 in coverage, leaving a homeowner potentially liable for the remaining cost. In some cases, an umbrella policy may also be present, offering additional coverage. However, insurance companies do not always provide adequate payouts to victims. As such, a victim may need legal assistance to receive full compensation to cover the costs associated with the injury.

Resolution: Get an attorney

The overarching lesson from this piece: legal remedies are likely available for trampoline injuries. As such, those who are injured or who have a child that was injured while using another's trampoline are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in personal injury cases can pursue compensation for the costs connected to the injury on your behalf.