Trampolines are popular among active children with energy to burn, but a fall can cause serious injuries. If your child has been injured in a trampoline accident, you may be wondering if you can seek compensation for damages.
Types of Trampoline-Related Injuries
Common types of trampoline-related injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Cuts and scrapes
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Injuries can be caused by a number of factors such as landing wrong when jumping, making contact with the springs or frame, or being hit by another person jumping at the same time.
Most children who are injured in a trampoline accident will make a full recovery. However, brain, neck, or spinal cord injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities resulting in significant medical expenses, as well as a loss of future earning potential.
Liability for Injuries
Liability for your child's accident-related expenses can rest with several different parties. For example:
- Premise Liability. If the trampoline was placed on unstable ground, incorrectly assembled, or your child was not properly supervised while using the trampoline, the owner of the property may be held liable. Failing to have a fence or suitable enclosure limiting access to the trampoline can also be taken as a sign of negligence, since many homeowner's insurance policies actually require this safety precaution.
- Personal Injury. If the injury was caused by someone behaving in a reckless manner that placed your child at risk, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. For example, an adult who attempted to perform risky stunts on a trampoline while a toddler was bouncing nearby could be seen as negligent for failing to take reasonable precautions to ensure the child's safety.
- Product Liability. If your child was injured because of a flaw in the trampoline's construction that posed an unacceptable safety risk, you may have a valid product liability claim. Cuts caused by faulty spring guards or broken bones caused by landing on insufficient padding may be examples of this type of claim.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, more than one party may be liable for your child's injuries. For example, it's possible that your child's injuries could be the result of both a property owner's negligence and a defect in the trampoline itself.
Waivers and Eligibility for Compensation
If your child's injury occurred at a trampoline park instead of a private residence, you may have been asked to sign a waiver before the incident occurred. These waivers cause many parents to mistakenly believe they have no right to compensation when a child is hurt. The truth is that a waiver does not protect the trampoline park from liability for injuries caused by negligence. This means that you can still file a claim for compensation if your child's injury was caused by inadequate safety precautions or poorly maintained equipment.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
If your child has been injured in a trampoline accident, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- Emergency medical care
- Physical therapy or other relevant follow-up care
- Anticipated future medical needs for a child who has been left permanently disabled
- Lost wages for a parent who must miss work to care for an injured child
- Lost wages for a teen who works part time
- Loss of future earning potential if the child's injuries resulted in a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering, including both the physical pain and emotional trauma surrounding the incident
Medical expenses until age 18 and lost parental wages are awarded directly to a child's parents. Future damages and a child's pain and suffering compensation are held by the court and awarded to the child on his 18th birthday. If the child requires a guardian due to a disability, the guardian will oversee distribution of the funds.
An experienced attorney will be able to gather evidence to support your claim, help you document your accident-related experiences, and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault. Appointments are available at six locations throughout Louisiana.