Trampoline accidents are more common than many people think. Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that every year, more than 100,000 people (a vast majority of whom happen to be children) are injured in trampoline accidents.
If you have been injured in a trampoline accident at your neighbor’s home, you have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries and seek financial restitution. The question is – who is the at-fault party in such a scenario?
Let us take a look.
Determining Liability in a Trampoline Accident
Depending on the circumstances that led to the accident, the following parties can be held liable for your injuries.
- Your neighbor
- The company that manufactured the trampoline
- Another trampoline user
When Can Your Neighbor Be Hold Liable?
If your neighbor failed to properly install and maintain the trampoline, they can be held liable for your injuries under the doctrine of premises liability.
For example, if your neighbor installed the trampoline right next to a concrete floor or structure or right below a low-handing power line, they can be held liable for failing in their duty to anticipate the hazards posed by the trampoline and for failing to warn you about them.
If your neighbor failed to maintain the trampoline properly, they can be held liable for your injuries as well. For example, if the accident was caused by an equipment failure, which could have been avoided if your neighbor had inspected, repaired, or maintained the trampoline properly, you can hold them liable for your injuries.
If your neighbor owns the property in which the accident happened, the compensation will be paid out from their homeowners’ insurance policy.
If your neighbor rents the property in which the accident happened, the compensation will be paid out from their renters’ insurance policy.
If the property owner has a comprehensive insurance policy which covers liability claims resulting from the injuries suffered by third parties on the property, you can receive compensation even if your neighbor (who rents the place) does not have renters insurance or if their coverage is insufficient to cover your expenses.
When Can the Trampoline Manufacturer Be Held Liable?
If the trampoline accident was caused as a result of a faulty part, the manufacturer can be held liable for your injuries under the doctrine of product liability.
In some cases, the manufacturer can be held liable even if the accident was not caused as a result of a defective part. For example, if the manufacturer failed to provide a set of instructions on how to safely install and use the trampoline or if they failed to warn the consumers about the risks associated with using the trampoline, they can be held accountable for the accident under the doctrine of product liability.
When Can Another Trampoline User Be Held Liable?
If the accident was caused by the negligent or deliberate actions of another trampoline user, they can be held liable for your injuries.
For example, if a person pushed you off the trampoline or knocked you down (knowingly or unknowingly), and if you were injured as a result, you can bring a civil claim against them and demand compensation for your injuries.
The Trespassing Exception in Premises Liability Cases
It should be noted that you can file a premises liability claim against your neighbor only if your presence in their home was lawful (you were either invited by them or if you sought their permission to enter their premises). If you entered their home without their knowledge, you cannot hold them liable for your injuries, since the law states that a homeowner does not owe a duty of care towards trespassers.
There is, however, an exception to this rule. If a child sneaks into a person’s house, uses the trampoline, and gets injured, the homeowner in question can be held liable – even though the child was trespassing. This is called the attractive nuisance doctrine, which states that if a property has an attraction that a child might find appealing, the owner is required to take reasonable steps to safeguard it and make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone – especially young children – without their knowledge and explicit permission.
Injured in a Trampoline Accident? We Can Help You!
Trampoline accidents can result in dislocated joints, broken bones, concussions, and other serious injuries. So, it is important to pursue legal action against the party responsible and recover the damages you are entitled to.
The trial attorneys at Shapiro, Appleton, & Washburn have been handling premises liability claims for more than 30 years and have helped hundreds of injury victims get the restitution they deserve. We are aware of the strategies that defense attorneys generally use to protect negligent property owners and we know how to counter them. We will use all the resources at our disposal to achieve the best possible outcome and recover the monetary damages you deserve.
Call our firm today at 800-752-0042 or contact us online for a free and confidential review of your case by one of our Virginia premises liability attorneys.