Trampoline Park
Injury Lawsuit

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Trampoline Park Injury

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Can I file a lawsuit for a trampoline park injury? 

Trampoline parks produce more serious injuries than home trampolines. This finding was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

 

In fact, from 2010 to 2014, there has been nearly a 1,100 percent increase in emergency room visits involving injuries sustained in trampoline park accidents. 

 

Going to a trampoline park seems like a good idea for family fun time, but it’s not the safest thing to do. Most facilities do follow a safety standard by maintaining their trampolines. 

 

However, no matter how much they reduce the obvious hazards, there is still a possibility of getting in an accident. Back in 2017, the number of trampoline-related cases in emergency rooms almost reached 18,000. 

 

Trampoline parks usually make you sign a waiver before you use the premises. This is to protect the facility from getting sued, and you might think that you’re not entitled to some compensation if your child sustains an injury there. Reread the waiver. 

 

It’s highly likely that it only applies if the facility was not being negligent when the accident occurred. If you can prove that the company was being negligent, then it’s all systems go for a personal injury lawsuit. You could even file a premises liability lawsuit. 

 

The Common Causes of Injuries in Trampoline Parks 

  •    1. Double-bouncing (could cause leg fractures) 
  •    2. Concussions from hitting your head on hard surfaces 
  •    4. Colliding with other jumpers or walls 
  •    5. Getting grazed or cut by the springs of the trampolines 
  •    6. Jumping into foam pits with insufficient padding 

 

The injuries you could get from visiting a trampoline park are often not fatal. However, you don’t have to incur a severe injury to have a strong case against a park, especially if you’re not responsible for that mishap. 

 

Do I still have a legal case even if I signed a waiver? 

 

You do if you can prove that the company was being negligent. If the trampolines were poorly maintained or your child was playing on them under defective conditions, then you have a case. If you’re certain that the equipment was not up to standards, then the waiver that you signed is automatically invalidated. A trampoline park is being negligent when:

 

  •   There is irrelevant equipment littering the premises.
  •   There are exposed dangerous materials like sharp metals and toxic gas. 
  •   The netting or padding is old or damaged. 
  •   The facility is overcrowded. 
  •   The facility is understaffed, and not enough people are monitoring the jumpers. 

 

Minor injuries you could get at trampoline parks include anything from skin irritation to fractured bones. The worst cases have led to paralysis and even death. 

 

There have been highly publicized lawsuits filed against trampoline parks where the injured parties emerged victoriously. In April 2019, a trampoline park in Louisville, Kentucky gave a 28-year-old man $495,000 as a settlement. He sustained a back injury in their premises because of wrongly placed punching bags. In 2016, a teenager from Houston, Texas was given almost $11.5 million for sustaining a traumatic brain injury at Cosmics Jump. 

 

In Minnesota, a man was paid $3 million because he was paralyzed. He broke his neck by jumping into a shallow foam pit. The trampoline park named in the suit, AirMaxx was proven to be grossly negligent. How much compensation that you’re entitled to relies on the degree of your injury. 

 

Trampoline Park Liability 

 

Whether the trampoline park is liable for the child’s injury or not depends on the details of the accident. If he or she was not following the park rules when the accident happened, then the park is free from liability. However, if the accident happened because of hazardous facilities and poor maintenance, then the park is liable. The staff is also required to instruct jumpers before they enjoy the facilities. 

 

If you find that the injured party is not at fault, consider these three parties that might be liable for the said injury: 

 

  1.   The company that installed the park (if it’s a franchise)
  2.   The park itself
  3.   The manufacturer of the park’s equipment 

 

Choosing which party to file a lawsuit against depends on the details of the accident. You would need some legal advice to sort this out. Talking with a trampoline park injury lawyer should determine which party should be held liable. 

 

Don’t shy away from consulting a lawyer even if you (as the parent) or the injured participant signed a liability waiver. Yes, liability waivers are written in such a way that the trampoline park washes its hands of injuries and damages that visitors might incur when using their facilities. But these waivers do not completely disallow injured patrons from filing lawsuits under the correct circumstances. 

 

If you read the liability waiver, it’s likely that you’ll come across an indemnity clause. This is the section that relinquishes your right to sue the premises if you sustain an injury there. Remember, it’s still possible to take legal action despite this clause. You have not ruined your chances of receiving compensation. 

 

The amount of money you could get from your settlement usually depends on the damages sustained by the injured party.   

 

When you take this lawsuit to court, the accident will be examined thoroughly. Liability waivers are commonly invalidated due to their broad or vague nature. As long as the accident happened because of the park’s oversight, then you have a chance of winning the case. 

 

Collecting Evidence for a Trampoline Park Injury Lawsuit 

 

You can build a strong case against the trampoline park by collecting enough evidence. Immediately after the accident, you should start taking photos of where the accident occurred. If there were any witnesses, collect their statements about the incident. This includes park staff and first responders. Come up with your own statement, detailing how you remember the accident going down. 

 

You should also document the injured party’s healing process. Keep medical records and bills because these will come in handy in court. This is commonly the basis of compensation. Your lawyer will most likely give you a list of all the evidence you should gather. 

Starting a Trampoline Park Business?
Here’s 10 Ways to Avoid Lawsuits

So you’re thinking about opening a trampoline park. Congratulations! Trampoline parks are the latest and greatest exercise hit in America today.

 

Trampoline parks are great in so many ways. Families love an activity they can take teens and tweens to in order to enjoy together. It’s a hit with family members of all ages. It’s also a great choice for families because it’s a healthy, physical activity.

 

For these reasons, trampoline parks are bursting at the seams. People book their tickets days and even weeks in advance in order to be able to take their turn in the park. It seems like these businesses can’t grow fast enough to keep up with demand.

 

Staying Safe and Staying Legal

 

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to a trampoline park as a business venture is keeping the business out of court. Trampoline parks are a lot of fun because they involve risks. Unfortunately, sometimes, that can mean injuries. Many people hesitate to venture into this kind of business because of the potential legal liabilities involved in a business that necessarily involves risks.

 

This fear is healthy, but potential legal liability doesn’t have to be scary, either. There are things that you can do to protect yourself from risks in this regard. With a few simple steps, you can reduce your risks of lawsuits and potential legal liability. 

 

Some of these steps involve trying to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Still others try to protect you in the event that you do find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Following these steps can give you peace of mind as you start down the path of this exciting business venture.

 

1. Hire the right people

Keeping your park safe and lawsuit free starts by choosing great people to work with. The people you hire should be trustworthy and dependable. They should be free of any criminal convictions that affect their honesty, such as fraud or theft. Assaultive crimes and convictions are a no, as well.

 

Showing up to work when they’re scheduled is one of the most important qualities in the employee of a trampoline park. That’s because safety depends on having a staff presence. This helps your guests follow rules and it helps employees have enough eyes and ears in the park to detect problems and rule violations before they lead to injuries.

 

When you hire, make potential employees aware of what is required on the job. Tell them that it’s going to be their job to enforce rules. Make sure they’re comfortable in a position of authority.

 

With the right people in place, you can keep your park safe. When employees are dependable and honest, you can have a large employee presence in the park. That leads to customers following rules more often, which in turn results in a smoothly operating park.

 

2. Train your employees properly

 

Once you have great people in place, the next step to avoiding legal liability and trampoline park lawsuits is to make sure that you’re properly training employees. When you hire a reputable Trampoline Park builder to manufacture, design and install your park, they’ll make certain that your employees are properly trained in every aspect of running the park successfully and safely.

 

Your employees are kind of like the lifeguards in the pool that is your trampoline park. You can avoid a lot of injuries in the first place by teaching employees what to do each day on the job.

 

Employees should be taught how to properly set up and take down equipment. If employees are taught how to properly care for equipment, this can prevent a lot of injuries before they start. It also prevents the types of injuries that are preventable when employees exercise due diligence.

 

You also need to take the time to teach your employees the rules of the park. This is where the lifeguard concept comes in. Your employees can prevent a lot of injuries simply by enforcing the rules in the park. If they see a group of people jumping on the same trampoline at the same time, they can tell the group to stop before someone gets hurt. If they see someone attempting a skill they’re unable to do safely, they can tell the person to stop before it goes any further. Stopping bad behavior in its tracks can prevent a lot of problems, injuries and lawsuits.

 

Taking the time to properly train employees can not only teach your people what to do to prevent injuries, but it can also give them the motivation to take their job seriously. When employees know why they need to do what they’re supposed to do, they’re more likely to take their job seriously. This can make things run smoothly in your park and ultimately lead to a fun and safe environment for both you and your customers.

 

3. Create a great waiver and use it

When a person walks in to use a trampoline park, the first thing that they need to do is sign a waiver. This part is so critical that our installation and training team will spend extra time with you to make sure that you have an iron-clad waiver.

 

A waiver is a legal document that a person signs when they want to take a turn in the trampoline park. Essentially the person is saying that they are giving up, or waiving, legal liability for some things that could happen during the park.

 

The fancy legal term for this liability is negligence. In the law, you’re financially liability for things that you do that cause another person harm, if you acted negligently. What does it mean to act negligently? That means if you didn’t exercise the amount of care that you should have exercised in that situation.

 

For example, you’ve set up your trampoline park. You’re supposed to walk around the park each morning before it opens to make sure that all of the mats are secure around the park. For whatever reason this doesn’t happen. Later that day, a patron is hurt when they crash into an open spring on a trampoline. In that situation, the patron could say that you acted negligently by not taking the time to make sure that the safety mats were in place around the park.

 

When you have your customers sign a negligence waiver before they use the park, they’re giving up their opportunity to sue you in a situation like that. In that event, they can’t sue you for negligent actions or inactions. This waiver is your most important defense when it comes to avoiding trampoline park lawsuits. 

 

The waiver should state that the person is giving up the right to sue the trampoline park for any actions, including negligent actions on the part of owners or employees, or for accidents or injuries caused by participation in activities in the park. You might want to consult an attorney to find the perfect waiver for your business, based on state laws.

 

One more important thing to remember in this context is that you must have the parent or legal guardian sign the waiver. An older sibling can’t sign a waiver for a younger sibling. Grandparents can’t sign for grandchildren. A friend’s parent can’t sign for a child, either. The only person who can sign a waiver is the person with legal authority to do so. That means a person over 18 or a minor’s parent or legal guardian, no exceptions.

 

4. However, stay vigilant

Just having patrons sign a waiver isn’t enough in and of itself to avoid lawsuits. You also have to do your part to keep your park safe. There are some exceptions to the negligence theories of liability, and you need to take steps to prevent lawsuits based on these other things.

 

One other way park owners can get sued is by the open and obvious doctrine. That means that if you have a danger in your park that is so apparent and obvious that you certainly must have known about the danger and you have not taken any steps to correct it, you can still find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit, waivers or not. You can also still face liability for things that you do intentionally, if they hurt someone else.

 

For this reason, have patrons sign the waiver, but also run routine safety checks at your facility. Make sure that you and your employees are following safety protocols at all time. Take time to look for dangers on your property, whether they are in the park itself or in your waiting area or parking lot.

5. Set up your park

The good news is that trampoline parks are more popular in the United States than ever. That means there are recommendations and expectations for you to follow when you set up your park. Trampolines all need to be prepared and maintained to ASTM standards. ASTM International is a worldwide corporation that creates guidelines for all kinds of industries. Many of the industries include entertainment companies such as amusement parks and trampoline parks.

 

Because the guidelines operate based on consensus among industry leaders, you’re pretty safe following them. You can explain to any court that the ASTM standards are the agreed-upon rules for industry operation, worldwide. This puts you in great company when it’s time to defend your practices. The group that creates the standards consults experts and other industry leaders when they make recommendations. The name ASTM stands for American Society for Testing and Materials, and the group has been in business for more than a century.

6. Maintain insurance

Another thing that can help you stop lawsuits is having great insurance. This can help you defend yourself in the event that you’re sued and it can also pay the cost of any damages in the event that you have to pay a settlement or judgment. This can give you a lot of peace of mind as you open your doors each day.

 

Having proper insurance is invaluable to your business efforts. An expert can help you evaluate your company and figure out what insurance you need. Making sure the insurance covers legal defense costs as well as liability can even save you the cost of paying for an attorney in the event that someone files a lawsuit.

7. Inform your customers

Once you’ve got insurance in place, hired great employees and created policies and procedures for setting up and maintaining the park, it’s time to think about your customers. There are even things that you can do as far as your customers go to avoid injuries and legal liability. These things aren’t hard to do.

 

The first step is to educate the customers on the rules. Customers should have to sit through a demonstration of the rules before they’re allowed to enter the park. Rules should include not sharing trampolines and not shoving other customers. You should also instruct customers that they are to follow any directions from employees at all times.

 

Even after your customers are told the lay of the land, there are other things that you can do to help them make good choices. Place signs listing the rules in several places around the park. These can be at entrance and exit points so that customers can’t help but see them as they move in and out of the park. Customers are empowered to follow the rules when they are taught in a safety sessions and then their learning is reinforced with signs.

 

8. Use cameras

In-house cameras today are inexpensive, but they can be crucial to protecting yourself. So many lawsuits in this day and age are frivolous. With cameras, it’s easy to go back and look at exactly what happened. When you use cameras, you avoid any disagreements about what happened and customers aren’t able to stretch the truth.

This can make litigation much shorter in both duration and intensity. The camera tells the story about what happened. What shows on video is hard to dispute. This can help you avoid frivolous lawsuits so that you can focus on providing a great experience for your customers.

 

9. Keep records

Documentation is another key when it comes to successfully running a trampoline park. Maintain records of all liability waivers. You should keep these records for years, until long after the statute of limitations has run for your jurisdiction for any trampoline park lawsuits. You should also hang on to video from activities of your business, especially on days with reported injuries.

 

Written records of reported incidents and days where injuries occur are also important to maintain. Keep detailed records of employee work hours so that you know who was at work if any issues arrive in the days or weeks to come. You never know what records might be the most important later, so keep it all for now.

 

10. Don’t worry

Although it might seem overwhelming to avoid injuries and legal liability in a trampoline park, rest assured that following these steps can help you avoid liability and defend yourself in the event of a lawsuit. Trampoline parks are fun, and most customers are only looking for a fun day of family activity and exercise. Making procedures and enforcing rules can help this happen. A sound insurance policy can also give you peace of mind. Have your customers sign waivers before they begin, and enjoy the experience as you jump into this new business venture.