Whether for exercise or for fun, trampolines have endured the test of time. Drive through any suburban neighborhood and you are bound to see large trampolines in backyards being utilized by children. Walk into some exercise clubs and you will see smaller trampolines being used for fitness purposes. No matter if you are a kid or an adult, trampolines are attractive contraptions. They can also cause serious injury if they are used incorrectly. Although one would not think that merely jumping can result in any significant injuries, individuals have been hospitalized with catastrophic injuries as a result of trampoline injuries.
Common Trampoline Injuries
Assuming that a trampoline is in good repair with no obvious protrusions or tears, individuals generally get hurt because of a “missed” landing. Using a trampoline safely requires the user to jump from and land as close to the center of the trampoline as possible.
Missing the center of the trampoline and instead landing on the edges can cause any number of injuries, such as:
- Sprained muscles or broken bones from having one’s foot caught in the edges of the trampoline;
- Spine or neck injuries, if the user trips and falls off of the trampoline and lands on his or her back;
- Head injuries, if the user topples off of the trampoline and lands on his or her head.
Trampolines (like any other device) break down from use and wear over time. A trampoline that sees heavy use may have a torn mat or broken springs. A trampoline may also become unsafe by being placed outdoors and its materials exposed to the elements and moisture. When a trampoline becomes worn, a user may unexpectedly fall through a torn mat or have the mat pull away from the springs. Or a spring may become loose and fly off of the trampoline, causing serious injury to those standing nearby. Finally, a spring may protrude through the mat or through the protective covering, which can cause painful lacerations or deep puncture wounds.
Who is Responsible for a Trampoline Injury?
Determining who is responsible for trampoline-related injuries is not as simple as pointing the finger at the owner of the trampoline. If the trampoline left its manufacturer’s facility in a defective condition, or if it did not contain sufficient warnings alerting users of the weight limits of the trampoline and how to use it safely, the manufacturer may be held partly responsible for the cost of a victim’s injuries. This is because manufacturers of any type of product have an obligation to produce and market products that are reasonably safe and that contain sufficient warnings to alert consumers of the likely dangers of the product.
If the trampoline was manufactured without defects but was in a state of disrepair at the time of the accident, the owner of the trampoline may be liable for the victim’s injuries. The owner of a trampoline (whether used for fitness or recreational purposes) has an obligation to any guests whom he or she may invite into his or her home to repair any dangerous conditions or keep guests from venturing into dangerous situations present on his or her property. In the context of trampolines, this means that if a person’s trampoline shows signs of wear and tear, the person must either have the trampoline repaired before allowing others to use it or discard the trampoline and prevent others from attempting to use it.
In most cases, the owner of a trampoline is absolved of civil responsibility for a victim’s injuries if the victim was trespassing on the owner’s private property at the time he or she sustained his or her trampoline injuries. These rules are a bit different when the trampoline injury victim is a child. Some jurisdictions follow the legal doctrine of “attractive nuisances,” which essentially holds that a property owner who has a feature or condition on his or her land which would entice children to trespass onto the owner’s land (such as a trampoline) is responsible for injuries to children that occur as a result of the attractive nuisance, even if the children were trespassing. The owner is absolved of liability if he or she took reasonable steps to keep children from trespassing on his or her property.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC Following a Trampoline Injury
Determining who is responsible for your or your loved one’s trampoline injuries – and then holding this person or entity accountable for those injuries – requires considerable legal knowledge and skill. Stern Law, PLLC is a premises liability law firm dedicated to helping trampoline accident victims recover compensation for their losses and expenses. No matter whether your injuries are temporary or permanent – whether you simply broke a bone or whether you suffered a traumatic brain injury – our firm can help. Call us at (844) 808-7529 to discuss your case.