Trampoline parks have gone through an explosion in popularity over the last decade in Mississippi and elsewhere in the U.S. Trampoline entertainment might seem an innocuous and inherently safe way to amuse your kids, but it seems that they can also be the cause of serious life-threatening injuries and the occasional fatality.
It’s hard to get accurate information about trampoline accidents and claims made by accident victims as customers often have to sign liability waivers when they use the facilities. In the event that they proceed with a claim regardless, they may have to sign confidentiality agreements limiting publicity about the incident.
Trampoline operators make billions of dollars all over the U.S., but the accident record suggests that not all of these operators are providing safe conditions. Some of the worst injuries appear to occur when children (and adults) collide with other people using the same trampoline or with the surface of the trampoline itself. They can do so at considerable speed, especially when the design of the trampoline makes a ‘double bounce’ more likely. It seems that some of the most serious injuries occur when children are hurt in a double-bounce accident. Because of the number of people using any one trampoline, injured trampoline users can often suffer agonizing pain trying to get attention or find a way off the trampoline.
Some of the most serious trampoline injuries are:
- Broken necks
- Dislocated shoulders
- Dislocated limbs
- Broken arms and legs
- Broken backs
Many of these sorts of injuries are of a catastrophic nature and will affect the victim for a long time.
Several states, but not Mississippi, have made new laws concerning trampoline safety. These include compulsory annual inspections and more oversight from insurers. There are no federal laws that govern the way that trampoline operators provide or maintain facilities.
Who is liable in the event that a trampoline accident happens?
All property owners in Mississippi have a duty of care if they open their doors to the public. This includes trampoline operators, whether customers are forced to sign liability waivers or not. The waiver does not exempt the operator from providing safe facilities and ensuring that unsafe conditions, including the design and maintenance of their trampolines, do not lead to accidents occurring. This means that if you or a child of yours is injured while jumping around on a trampoline, you may have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim against the operator if you have proof that the injury was caused by negligence.
The question of liability is a tricky one as the trampoline operator is most likely to claim that the injured customer was not careful enough or behaved in a dangerous way. Liability, as with any personal injury claim, must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. One of the reasons that double bounces occur more frequently is due to the design of some of the trampolines. Under the trampoline surface is a network of cables and chains made of heavy-duty steel. When a large number of people are bouncing around on some trampolines it causes a series of chaotic ‘waves’ of energy in all directions. It is this wave that sets off the greater chance of double bounces. These catch the bouncers unawares and can cause them to crash into other people using the trampoline.
Other liability issues arise when an operator has failed to maintain a trampoline or its immediate surroundings adequately.
You will need a determined premises liability attorney
If you, or a member of your family, have been injured at one of Jackson’s trampoline parks you should make an appointment to discuss your legal options with a Jackson-based personal injury attorney. It can be hard to obtain the compensation you deserve all by yourself as trampoline operators and their insurers are adept at hiding behind liability waivers. Contact the Diaz Law Firm online or call us in Jackson MS as soon as you can at 601-607-3456.