Trampolines can be a simple way for kids to have some fun — until an injury occurs. Unfortunately, trampoline accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents can be life-changing. Who is legally liable for a home trampoline accident, and what can you do if a child has been injured?
If You Are the Homeowner
Homeowners may be liable if a child injures themselves on a backyard trampoline. Part of legal liability may rest on the fact that backyard trampolines are fundamentally unsafe. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a statement discouraging any use of home trampolines at all. Homeowners may make themselves more liable to legal penalties and fines if they fail to observe reasonable safety precautions. In order to minimize the possibility of injury, here are some safety tips:
- Allow only one jumper at a time. 75% of injuries occur when two or more people are bouncing on a trampoline.
- Prevent children of different sizes from playing together, because smaller children are at significantly higher risk of being hurt.
- Cover all springs and support structures with foam padding.
- Ensure that all parts of the trampoline are in stable condition.
- Fully enclose the trampoline with netting. Never let children play without direct, constant adult supervision.
Because trampolines are inherently dangerous, even a homeowner who has observed safety precautions may be legally responsible for a child’s injury under laws governing negligence or premises liability. In some cases, a homeowner may be liable even if a child trespassed onto the property without the homeowner’s knowledge or consent because a trampoline is an “attractive nuisance.” Bottom line: backyard trampolines can be a problem.
If You Are the Parent of an Injured Child
Because it’s always deeply unfortunate when kids are hurt, parents may need to take some preventative measures if they’re at a house with a backyard trampoline. One of the most effective choices a parent can make would be to forbid their child to play on the trampoline at all, but this is obviously easier said than done. Some reasonable methods of minimizing the potential for injury can include the following:
Carefully and personally supervise all trampoline play.
- Make rules of play clear to children, especially rules prohibiting aggressive play or somersaults.
- Be willing to leave (or not attend) a party where the conditions are not safe.
When your child suffers an injury, it’s never easy. Caring for your child and obtaining immediate medical treatment are the top priorities, and many parents may have to seek legal compensation to cover the cost. Whether you are the parent of an injured child or a homeowner whose guest was injured, hiring a personal injury lawyer such as the Personal Injury Lawyer Fort Lauderdale Florida locals trust may be a wise choice to help work through these often complex issues.
Thanks to our authors at Needle Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into Personal Injury Law.