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Trampoline parks are commercial entertainment facilities where visitors pay to have access to large spaces designed with floors, and oftentimes angled walls, that are primarily (contrived of) built-in trampolines. Along with simply jumping on the trampolines, most facilities also offer additional activities such as foam pits to jump in, basketball hoops to play on, and even dodgeball arenas for team dodgeball matches.
The popularity of these trampoline parks has grown exponentially over the past few years. Less than a decade ago, there were only three trampoline parks nationwide. Now there are more than 800. Trampoline parks have grown into a billion-dollar industry over the past few years. You likely have a trampoline park in your neighborhood or in a nearby community, and if you don’t, you can probably expect to see one soon.
While trampoline parks can be a fun activity for children, teens, and adults alike, the lack of oversight and state regulations has allowed for unsafe safety standards and dangerous parks that put visitors at risk of serious injury and even death. As a result, a number of trampoline park lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individuals who have suffered an injury as the result of a trampoline park accident. If you believe that you may qualify to participate in a trampoline park injury lawsuit, contact a trampoline park injury lawyer to discuss the details of the event and find out whether you have a credible case.
Trampoline parks remain mostly unregulated at the moment. Trampoline park owners recently founded a trade organization, the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), which has developed trampoline park safety standards. However, these safety standards are merely recommendations, and trampoline parks are not legally obligated to meet these safety standards. While new parks are encouraged to follow these safety standards, they are not required to. Rather, IATP asks park owners to sign the IATP pledge stating that their park meets the standards set forth by the IATP to ensure optimal safety – this pledge operates on an honor system and there is no way to be sure which parks actually meet IATP safety standards.
The IATP has stated that they plan to implement third-party safety oversite by 2020.
Following a number of serious trampoline park injuries, a handful of states have begun the process of initiating government regulations and penalties. Arizona was the first state to enforce regulations over trampoline parks, passing legislation outlining the expected standard of safety for Arizona trampoline parks. Most recently, Utah passed a new law to make trampoline parks safer. They join seven other states enacting legislation to regulate the industry and establish safety standards.
Until your state has established trampoline park regulations, there is no way to ensure that your local trampoline park meets the safety standards established by IATP.
Some issues that arise when trampoline parks do not meet safety standards:
Due to the varying degree of trampoline park safety, trampoline park injuries range from minor injuries to serious and even fatal injuries.
Common trampoline park injuries include:
According to Reuters Health, as trampoline parks’ popularity continues to rise, so do the number of emergency room visits for injuries that occur in these facilities. “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the numbers have shot up from 2,500 in 2013 to almost 18,000 in 2017,” CBS News reports. While experts say trampoline parks are not any more dangerous than home trampolines, their popularity has caused a ten-fold surge in trampoline-related emergency room visits. Children under the age of 15 accounts for a majority of these injuries. Of this demographic, most injuries consist of broken or fractured bones because children in this age group have bones that are still in the developmental stages, meaning their bones are softer during the growing process. Children and adults age 15 and older are more likely to suffer upper extremity injuries, such as head and neck injuries because they are more likely to do flips and acrobatic tricks that lead to these types of injuries.
Although a majority of trampoline park injuries are not life-threatening, there have been a number of more serious trampoline park accidents that have resulted in traumatic brain injury, partial or full paralysis, and even a number of deaths. CBS News recently released a report revealing the dangers of the parks, even interviewing the family members of individuals who have been seriously injured or even killed as a result. The news outlet confirmed that in the last seven years, six people have died from injuries at trampoline parks.
To watch the report, please click here.
Trampoline park accident liability is situational and depends on the details of the event. If the injury was the result of the injured party breaking the rules of the park, liability may fall on the injured party. However, if the injured party suffered his or her injury as a result of dangerous park facilities, negligent maintenance, lack of oversite, overcrowding, lack of warning or instructions, collision, or other reasons not due to the injured party’s actions, liability may fall on the trampoline park.
Generally, there are three parties that could potentially be held liable for a trampoline park injury.
Establishing the correct liable party or parties depends on the nature of the accident itself. Discuss the details of the accident with a trampoline park injury lawyer to help establish who should be held liable for your trampoline park injury.
Often times, trampoline parks require participants to sign a liability waiver. While the language of these waivers varies by park, they generally relinquish trampoline parks of all liability for injuries or damages that visitors experience while at the park. Signing a waiver does make filing a trampoline park injury lawsuit more difficult, but does not completely prevent individuals from taking legal action against the parks.
An Indemnity clause — the section of a liability waiver releasing you of your right to sue a trampoline park for injuries that occur at the park — does not bar you from taking legal action to receive compensation for a trampoline park injury.
Courts often find that liability waivers of this nature do not hold validity because they grant too broad of a liability relinquishment.
Trampoline parks use liability waivers as a deterrent from visitors filing a trampoline park injury lawsuit, but they by no means completely disallow individuals to do so. The ability to file a trampoline park injury lawsuit, regardless of a liability waiver, depends on the specifics of the incident. If an individual signed a liability waiver, they should consult a trampoline park injury lawyer to discuss whether the waiver holds any actual bearing in the eyes of the court.
After contacting a trampoline park injury lawyer and establishing a liable party or parties, you should begin to build your trampoline park injury lawsuit.
The first step in building your case is collecting evidence.
You should begin collecting evidence as soon as possible following the incident. Collect photos of the facility, especially in the area where the incident occurred. Request witness information and statements. Collect information from any and all parties involved in the incident, including first responders and park staff. Draft a statement detailing your recollection of the event. Collect any and all documents provided by the trampoline park. Document injuries, costs associated with injuries, and the healing process – collect all medical bills and records and photograph your injury through the healing process. Document all other costs associated with the injury, such as time off work and lost wages.
Your trampoline park injury lawyer can help you formulate a comprehensive list of evidence necessary. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. So, be sure to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible following the incident.
At TorHoerman Law, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you build the best possible trampoline park injury lawsuit to gain compensation for the injuries and damages that you incurred as a result of your trampoline park injury. We are dedicated to making sure that our clients receive the full level of compensation for their injuries, and we guarantee this by offering contingency agreements – meaning we do not charge our personal injury clients.
CBS News. "Trampoline Parks Exploding in Popularity, but Expert Warns of ‘Catastrophic Injuries." CBS News, CBS Interactive, 29 Mar. 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/trampoline-parks-rising-in-popularity-expert-warns-of-catastrophic-injuries/.
"Experts Warn of 'Catastrophic Injuries' as Trampoline Parks Jump in Popularity." KWCH 12, KWCH 12, 29 Mar. 2019, www.kwch.com/content/news/Experts-warn-of-catastrophic-injuries-as-trampoline-parks-jump-in-popularity-507855421.html.
"International Association of Trampoline Parks." International Association of Trampoline Parks, www.indoortrampolineparks.org/.
Last Modified: July 11th, 2019 @ 10:52 am
As the popularity of trampoline parks continue to rise, so does the number of trampoline park accidents. If you or a loved one was injured at a trampoline park, contact a trampoline park injury lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a trampoline park injury lawsuit.
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