The accident attorneys at The Ellsley Law Firm
fight for the rights of trampoline injury victims
Once upon a time, trampolines provided hours of wholesome backyard fun. Today, the traditional trampoline has received a slightly more extreme makeover and morphed into a recreational pastime. Trampoline parks offer jumping experiences to people of all ages and skill levels. These parks can be found in cities around the world, including communities across Florida. With adrenaline comes risk. Tens of thousands of people become injured on backyard trampolines and at commercial trampoline parks each year. Trampoline injury victims in Plantation, Florida may be able to file a claim to receive compensation for their injuries, and The Ellsley Law Firm is here to help.
Liability in trampoline injury cases
Trampoline injuries do not always give rise to civil court claims. Nevertheless, there are instances in which negligence plays a role in a trampoline accident. Examples include:
- a parent or other adult is negligent in supervising children playing on a trampoline
- a commercial trampoline facility does not minimize foreseeable hazards
- a trampoline manufacturer sells a product that has a design defect or a manufacturing defect
- someone negligently causes injury while using the trampoline alongside others
Negligent supervision in trampoline accidents
In some accidents, a parent, worker or another responsible party may be charged with the role of supervising others. The parent of an accident victim may have entrusted another adult with the responsibility of supervising visiting children while playing on a trampoline. Recreational parks employ workers who monitor visitors as they utilize the park's attractions. Parents who are responsible for supervising play dates and children's gatherings may be liable if another parent's child becomes injured as a result of improper supervision. A trampoline park may be liable if a worker does not properly supervise park visitors.
Trampoline parks and other businesses that make trampolines available to visitors have a duty to keep guests safe. Florida divides visitors into three categories:
Florida law identifies a duty owed by businesses to visitors in all three categories. Invitees are customers or people who are on the premises to do business. Licensees are people who may not necessarily have an open invitation; however, they are not prohibited from visiting the property. A salesperson who is soliciting the business or someone who stops by to use the bathroom would be an example of a licensee. Trespassers are people who visit a property without permission. Businesses owe trespassers a duty once they have been discovered on the property.
Trampoline parks are required to make reasonable efforts to eliminate foreseeable hazards in the interest of keeping guests (invitees) safe. The park must warn licensees of potential hazards to help prevent injury. Once discovered, the park must also warn trespassers of hazards on the premises. An invitee or licensee may be owed less of a duty if the party becomes injured in an area of the party that exceeds the scope of the individual's invitation to be on the property. For example, a business may not owe a park guest who becomes injured while sneaking into a storage area the same level of duty the individual would be owed while utilizing the areas of the park that are intended for guest entertainment.
Product liability in trampoline accidents
Trampoline accidents may be caused by a defect within the product itself. Whether an accident occurs on commercial equipment at a trampoline park or on a trampoline that is intended for use in everyday households, accident victims may have a cause of action. An item may be inherently dangerous if the item is designed or manufactured with a defect. Design defects affect every model of the item a manufacturer produces. A manufacturing defect may affect one or more units of the product. In either case, the company that manufactured the product is liable under Florida law, setting up a product liability lawsuit.
Product liability claims can be based on the theory of negligence or on strict liability. When an accident victim claims the manufacturer's negligence caused injury, the plaintiff must prove four elements:
- the manufacturer owed the accident victim a duty
- the manufacturer breached the duty owed to the accident victim
- the breach of duty caused the accident
- the victim was injured in the accident and sustained damages
Under the theory of strict liability, the plaintiff is not required to prove the elements of a negligence-based claim. Therefore, a Florida civil court may find that a manufacturer is liable even if the manufacturer exercised reasonable care in attempting to prevent injuries. Strict liability occurs when a manufacturer places a product that is inherently defective and dangerous into the stream of commerce. Courts apply the theory in cases in which the manufacturer produces a product that the intended consumer would expect to be safe with reasonable, foreseeable use of the product. Strict liability may apply in cases involving:
- defective design
- manufacturing defect
- failure to warn
A manufacturer may be strictly liable if it fails to properly label the product and/or the product's packaging to warn the intended consumer of related hazards. For example, if a trampoline has a weight limit, the manufacturer must include a warning label to sufficiently notify those who purchase and use the product.
Injuries from trampoline mishaps
Injuries sustained in a trampoline accident can range from mild to very severe. The most common include:
- broken bones
- head injuries
- neck injuries
- back injuries
- spinal cord injuries
Victims of trampoline accidents may receive compensation for medical expenses and, in cases involving working accident victims, lost wages. Accident victims who have very severe injuries may also receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Contacting a trampoline accident lawyer
Florida's civil court process can be confusing. An injury lawyer in Plantation can help trampoline accident victims determine the best approach toward seeking legal remedy for their injuries. Call us now to receive a free case evaluation.