West Palm Beach Trampoline Accident Lawyer
For many families throughout the country, the trampoline sitting in the backyard is part of everyday recreation, at least when the weather allows. Over the past couple of decades, trampolines have become more and more common. They allow children to explore their imaginations while also getting plenty of exercise in the meantime. However, they also come with the inherent risk of injury. Add in neighborhood kids who may want to use the trampoline without proper supervision and eventually, legal concerns are going to come up. Let’s get to the bottom of them here.
How Dangerous Are Trampolines?
Let’s start here. Again, trampolines come with some degree of risk and there’s no avoiding that. They stand roughly four feet off the ground and exist solely to launch people even higher into the air. Falling off could obviously lead to some serious injuries, but even landing back on the mat could involve problems if you come down incorrectly.
That explains why there were a million ER visits for trampoline-related injuries between 2002 and 2011 according to Indiana University School of Medicine. Of those visits, 289,000 of them were for broken bones. This represented more than a billion dollars spent in visits to the emergency room.
It should also be pointed out that the American Academy of Pediatrics has been rallying against trampolines in the backyard since 1999. On top of that, many homeowner’s insurance policies flat out forbid them. Others have exclusionary phrases regarding them.
That brings up the first legal facet of a trampoline accident. If you own the trampoline and someone gets hurt on it, will your insurance company come to your rescue? This is something you should always look into before purchasing one. It’s not like your insurance gets checked prior to buying a trampoline, so if you don’t check, you’ll never know. You could have a major liability on your property right now, as far as your insurance is concerned.
Even if your insurance does cover you, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically in the clear if someone gets hurt while using it.
Who Is Liable for the Accident?
This is what it really comes down to. Trampoline accidents aren’t as clear as, say, a slip and fall accident. Just because what it happens on your property doesn’t necessarily mean you’re responsible for the results. In this way, it’s much like a pool (speaking of which, your insurance may only cover you if you have a fence around your trampoline).
There will be two main questions when it comes to a case involving a trampoline injury. First, was the owner negligent? Second, did the injured assume the risk of the injury? Should the court find that, yes, the homeowner was negligent and the injured party didn’t assume any risk, then the former will most likely be paying damages.
Homeowner negligence generally comes down to three factors. First, the homeowner might land afoul of the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, meaning they didn’t take reasonable steps to prevent children from trespassing and using the trampoline.
Second, there’s the question of maintenance. The homeowner might be negligent if they didn’t properly take care of their trampoline and that’s what led to someone getting hurt.
Third is the question of supervision. It’s understood that children can get hurt on trampolines, so it only makes sense that they would need to be properly supervised. If supervision wasn’t provided, the homeowner will most likely be in trouble.
Although this may make trampoline accident cases seem clear cut, they tend to have a lot of gray areas, nonetheless. Whether you’re the plaintiff or defendant in one, then, it makes sense to find an experienced attorney to represent you.