New Jersey Trampoline Accident and Injury Lawyers
Trampolines can leave you or your children seriously injured or even crippled
The experienced premises liability attorneys at Aiello Harris recognize that trampolines are serious gymnastic equipment. Very simply they are not toys. The general public, for the most part, does not realize this. This is evidenced by the thousands of consumer trampolines purchased every year and which are seen in backyards. In addition, trampoline parks have cropped up all over the country utilizing trampolines in a variety of ways outside of the scope that they were originally intended to be used which is as a gymnastic pieces of equipment utilized by trained gymnasts.
Various standards have been written and created that govern or provide guidance on both the construction, design and use of trampolines in both a consumer or backyard setting and a commercial setting such as seen in trampoline parks.
The basic tenets of trampoline use are :
- One person on a trampoline
- Jump in the center of the trampoline
- Children under 6 years of age should not jump
- Mature and knowledgeable supervision with skill progression and coaching (flips and somersaults require advanced skills).
Despite the above, the use of trampolines has morphed into their use as toys and recreational equipment. Trampoline parks have even added features to their trampolines such as basketball nets or dodgeball etc.
As trampoline parks are rising in popularity across the United States, so are injuries resulting from this booming industry. According to CBS News, emergency room visits due to trampoline park injuries has risen from 2,500 in 2013 to 18,000 in 2017. Trampolines can cause both minor and severe injuries ranging from scrapes to a life-altering head injury. Common injuries sustained at trampoline parks include: Broken legs and compound fractures. Head trauma, spinal cord and brain injuries.
If you are injured in a trampoline accident can you bring a court case or lawsuit in a court of law?
The answer to this question is “it depends”. Many trampoline parks require that participants and patrons sign papers known as waivers, releases and agreements to arbitrate before they are allowed to use the facilities.
In New Jersey the Appellate Division has upheld the validity of some arbitration provisions signed by patrons at trampoline parks. The language of the arbitration provision must be carefully reviewed in order to determine if arbitration will be mandated. Pursuing a trampoline park injury claim in arbitration is significantly different than pursuing an accident case or other type of accident case in court like auto accidents with the help of a New Jersey personal injury attorney. Different arbitration organizations have different rules and procedures that can limit certain rights including the right to discovery which is the exchange of information by each side. Arbitration also comes at a cost for the arbitrators. In most situations the parties must mutually agree upon an arbitrator. If you’ve been injured
What about the waiver and release? Does that bar your trampoline park injury claim?
Again, “it depends”. The waiver and release may very well bar claims by adults for their own injuries. However, in New Jersey a waiver is not valid to defeat the claim of a minor, i.e. someone who is under 18. Also, in some cases you may be able to defeat the waiver as to an adult.
Trampoline Park Injuries Are Increasing as More Parks are Built
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that between 2000 and 2009, there were 22 deaths related to all trampolines (in homes and in parks), and in 2012 there were about 94,900 hospital emergency room-treated injuries. These injuries are typically caused by the following:
- Colliding with another person on the trampoline
- Landing improperly while doing stunts or jumps
- Falling or jumping off the trampoline
- Falling on the trampoline springs or frame
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that while most trampoline injuries currently occur at home, the number of injuries in parks is rising along with the rising number of parks themselves. While the average number of trampoline-related emergency room visits per year remained fairly steady between 2010 and 2014 (about 92,000), park-related injuries shot up from 581 to 6,932. In 2011, about 35-40 parks existed in the U.S., as compared to 280 in 2014. There are now over 800, with no sign of the industry slowing down.
In a January 2019 study comparing trampoline-related injuries sustained at commercial jump parks versus home trampolines, researchers found the following results:
- Fractures and dislocations accounted for 55 percent of jump park injuries, versus 44 percent of home trampoline injuries.
- In adults, fractures and dislocations accounted for 45 percent of jump park injuries, versus 17 percent of home trampoline injuries.
- More lower extremity fractures were seen at jump parks versus home trampolines in both children and adults.
- Adults had a 23 percent surgical rate with jump park injuries versus a 10 percent surgical rate on home trampolines.
On the whole, there were more fractures/dislocations, lower extremity fractures, fractures in adults, and surgical interventions associated with jump parks versus home trampolines. Study author Dr. Ryan Voskuil noted that the jump park trampolines have a stronger bounce than home ones and that parks place obstacles around the trampolines to make the experience more exciting. Many parks also offer features (such as basketball dunk and dodgeball) inconsistent with basic trampoline tenets of safety. Park trampolines are also interconnected, which can increase the risk of collisions and “double-bounces.”
Call Us Today To Request a 100% Free Trampoline Park Attorney Consultation
If you or any of your family have been injured at a trampoline park you need the right trampoline park lawyer in New Jersey who knows how to properly handle these types of cases.
Please contact us at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. at 908 561 5577.