Trampolines have been in use for decades. They are one of the most sought-after backyard equipment pieces for families, and there are entire parks with trampolines built into the floors. They are extremely entertaining to use, but they are also dangerous when there are possible issues. Throughout the years, numerous individuals have been hurt on trampolines, whether by their own misattributions and errors or due to the mistakes of other parties, whether property owners or manufacturers. If you were injured because of a defect with a trampoline or because of another reason, you can take legal action against the proper party. Our team of attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group has litigated numerous claims involving defective trampolines, injured parties, negligent businesses, and more. We are well versed in the area of law and will do everything in our power to win you a fair settlement for your claim.
Trampolines are entertainment structures that have a taut canvas pulled between coiled springs. You can jump on them and achieve great heights, perform acrobatic maneuvers, and more. They may come with protective netting and mesh to prevent falls off the trampoline. Often, families buy them to keep them in the yard so their children can be entertained.
Trampolines can also be present in trampoline parks, which have been popping up all over the country. These parks are essentially large open areas where the floor consists of trampolines. There may also be ball pits, ramps, trapezes, basketball hoops, and more present for people to play games.
Camps also can have trampolines. Summer camps, YMCA facilities, and sleep-away camps generally have at least one trampoline for recreational use.
Causes of Trampoline Accidents
There are many ways that trampoline accidents can happen. Issues with trampolines themselves are quite common. The springs could be defective or loose, or they could be improperly affixed to the frame. The frame may be weak or not sturdy, which can lead to it bending during use. Exposure to the elements could have also deteriorated the trampoline, which made it unsafe for use without the awareness of the owner.
At facilities and camps, it’s possible that there is a lack of supervisors or workers who can oversee the jumpers. The facility may also have dangers inside of it, such as jutting barriers, low-hanging lights, hard surfaces near the trampolines, and more.
Some causes of trampoline accidents include:
- Colliding with another user who is on the trampoline
- Landing on someone who has not jumped on the trampoline
- Failing to complete flips or somersaults
- Falling from the trampoline onto the springs, frame, ground, or other surface
- Jumping into shallow ball pits or foam pits from a great height
- Landing at the time another is jumping
- Rough play among individuals on the trampoline
- Falling tree branches if the trampoline is outdoors
- Missing the canvas and going between the protective padding and the springs
It is important that you understand how to avoid trampoline accidents, as well. Prevention is the best way to not get injured, and you should not go on any trampoline without sufficient knowledge. Some ways to avoid getting hurt are:
- Do not allow children under 5 years old to go on the trampolines
- Do not have multiple users on the trampoline at once
- Ensure constant and adequate supervision
- Ensure proper placement of the trampoline away from trees, wires, structures, sheds, garages, pools, and more
- Place some kind of surface around the trampoline, like sand or foam, to absorb impact if someone falls off
- Do not attempt acrobatic or athletic maneuvers without training
- Avoid old, rusted, or noticeably worn trampolines
- Don’t use trampolines with exposed springs and frames (they should have foam protective pads)
Some locations require that there are fences surrounding trampolines to discourage trespassers from using them. You can read safety manuals and you should always adhere to all the rules and regulations present in facilities. Listen to any workers as well who may request that you not perform certain activities.
Premises Liability and Product Liability Laws
A trampoline accident can result in a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence and can be filed if you were owed a duty of care that was breached in some way, resulting in an accident and injuries. Given that trampoline accidents can occur in a number of ways, you will need to file the correct type of claim.
A product liability claim concerning a trampoline can be filed if you owned the item and there was a problem with it. Product liability claims require that you show that there was a design error with the trampoline, a manufacturing error that caused it to be defective, or had a lack of hazard signs or warning symbols on the trampoline or its packaging. You will be able to sue the company because they should have made sure there were no issues with the trampoline, from the creation process to the distribution.
On the other hand, you can file a premises liability claim if you did not own the trampoline or you were in a business place when the accident happened. People are considered either invitees, licensees, or trespassers when they are on private property. Customers are considered invitees, or individuals present for a mutual benefit; they are given the highest duty of care. Licensees are social guests, and are given slightly less protection. Trespassers have no legal right to be on the property and are the least protected, but still cannot be deliberately targeted in some ways. To understand each one, consider yourself an invitee if you went to a trampoline park; a licensee if you visited a neighbor; and a trespasser if you were using a stranger’s trampoline without their knowledge.
Premises liability claims require that you prove that the property owner was negligent somehow. There are three separate points you can use:
- The owner knew there was a problem with the trampoline or on the property and he did nothing to fix it or provide warnings about the dangers therein
- The property owner caused the hazard in the first place
- The property owner was not aware of any defects with the trampoline or that it needed any repairs, but reasonably should have been if he were responsible and attentive as another property owner would have been
If you do not know which party to file a claim against, you can speak with our attorneys. We have decades of combined experience in personal injury law and have handled a large amount of trampoline accident lawsuits. We will ensure that the correct defendant is on the receiving end of your claim.
Injuries from Trampoline Accidents
Trampoline accidents can be very severe. Some backyard and outdoor trampolines do not have safety nets, or owners do not install the safety nets, which can cause jumpers to suddenly fall from the trampoline and land on the hard ground or on the metal frame. Other defects with the trampoline, such as broken springs, can cause damages if they suddenly come undone. Further, trampoline parks could have dangerous environments nearby, or they may not meet certain safety standards or regulations.
Some of the most common injuries from trampoline accidents include:
- Broken bones in the wrists, arms, legs, and more
- Broken fingers and toes
- Muscle strains and damages
- Torn ligaments
- Dislocations of joints
- Herniated or ruptured discs in the back
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding and hemorrhaging
- Crushing injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Blunt force trauma
- Eye injuries and loss of sight
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Brain damage
- Closed head injuries
- Severed limbs and digits
- Knee injuries to the ACL, MCL, LCL, and more
- Hip damage
- Nerve damage
- Loss of range of motion
Some of these injuries may be permanent and require ongoing treatment to deal with. You could end up in a physical therapist’s office for weeks or months, for example, to return to walking if your legs were broken in the accident. If you suffered serious damages, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation from a skilled trampoline accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
How to File a Claim for Trampoline Accident Injuries
There are numerous steps that you need to take to file a lawsuit if you were hurt on a trampoline. It is important, first and foremost, that you determine if you are filing a product liability claim or a premises liability claim. Both are forms of personal injury lawsuits, but the intended target and the ways to prove negligence are slightly different with specific nuances to them.
Immediately after the incident, you need to go to the hospital or doctor for medical treatment. You should not wait too long to get medical assistance, for a few reasons. The first is due to your health – the longer you wait to get treated, the worse your injuries can become over time, and the damages may become permanent. Also, your lawsuit may actually suffer. The insurance agent handling it will look at the time between the incident and the treatment and he will doubt the validity of the case. He can claim that you were not seriously hurt or that you were hurt by something else, but you are trying to blame it on the trampoline incident. You will need to hold on to all medical receipts, doctor’s statements, MRI results, X-rays, medical charts and records, insurance billings, prescriptions, and more from your visit. This will give you an itemized account of what you suffered, how it was treated, and how much it cost.
You should take as many pictures and videos as you can of the trampoline, the environment it was in, the place of business, and more. Further, it is beneficial if you take pictures of your injuries so you can show how hurt you were before you begin to heal up. If the environment changes or someone gets rid of the trampoline, you will only have the photos to use as evidence. Request security footage if the accident happened at an entertainment center.
You should seek out any eyewitnesses who saw the event happen. They can provide you with their testimonies and statements about the incident, as well as provide additional evidence they may be privy to. In some cases, these eyewitnesses may also have been victims, which can lead to everyone joining together for a class action lawsuit. A class action lawsuit against a trampoline manufacturer or a company consists of the cumulative evidence of all injured parties. The total settlement, though, will be distributed evenly among all the parties, so you may not actually receive the fullest extent of what you deserve. It may be more beneficial for you to stick with a single claim as one plaintiff.
If you owned the trampoline, it is important that you do not throw it away, recycle it, return it to the store, try to fix it yourself or bring it to a shop to be repaired, or do anything else that can change its state. If you do, the insurance agent can claim that there is no way of knowing what the defect or problem was, or when the issue arose. You should preserve the trampoline exactly as is so there is no way for it be presented as anything other than evidence for your claim.
You must produce some kind of receipt if you bought the trampoline, such as a credit card statement, paper document, email, proof of purchase paper, and more. Similarly, if you were at a trampoline park or similar location, you can get a bank statement showing payment to the facility.
It is very important that you gather specific insurance details, contact information, business details, and other identifying info from the defendant. You can also file an incident report if the accident happened at a company, and you can retain the name of who you interacted with or the email address of the recipient.
Finally, it is in your best interest to speak with an expert trampoline accident lawyer and let us handle your claim. We will organize your evidence together so that nothing is missing, write the demand letter in which we request compensation, and send your claim out. If you have never taken legal action, you may be completely lost when you try to move forward. Our attorneys can ensure the legal process is extremely smooth and you are given the best representation available.
There have been various lawsuits across the country against individuals who had troublesome trampolines in their yards, but facilities have also been sued. One case in particular was against a trampoline park, in which a 17 year old was hurt while playing a game of dodge ball. He slid beneath protective padding and shattered his kneecap on an exposed bolt. The firm used video reenactment technology to prove that the design was actually flawed and would not stop these types of incidents from happening in the future. Despite a waiver being signed, the firm was able to have it rescinded. In the end, the client walked away with a seven-figure verdict (over a million dollars).
Another man was at a trampoline park with his son when he was injured. The man had also signed a waiver, but it too was rescinded. He was injured when he jumped into a foam ball pit, but it was shallower than expected and he ended up paralyzed from the neck down. He ended up with a $3 million settlement.
These million-dollar settlements are not common, but they do show what can possibly be earned. Most of the time, settlements and verdicts for trampoline injuries seldom cross the six-figure mark. However, each case is different, and there’s no telling what factors your lawsuit may have that another does not. The goal is to secure you every penny you deserve if you were hurt because of the trampoline’s issues or the owner’s negligence.
Trampoline Accident Lawsuit Statute of Limitations
California has a statute of limitations of 2 years from the date of the injury. This is an important distinction – it is not 2 years from the date of the incident or accident. If an injury appears some weeks after the accident, the statute will not be backdated to the time you fell off the trampoline.
The statute of limitations is the time limit during which you can file a lawsuit. It provides ample time for the plaintiff to gather proof, and it allows the defendant to be off the hook if someone tries to take action in an unreasonable amount of time. Generally, it is recommended to quickly get started on the lawsuit so there’s no risk whatsoever of missing a deadline, but there’s also the added benefit of keeping your evidence preserved. Any physical proof will be intact, and eyewitnesses will have a better chance of recollecting accurate facts about the incident.
If you do not take legal action in that time period, you will not be able to receive any compensation for your damages. The primary reason that many individuals fail to get restitution is related to the statute of limitations – they do not know how much time remains on the case or they try to sue once the statute has run out.
Fortunately, the statute of limitations is not completely set and static. It can change based on circumstances of the case. A few of the exceptions have been outlined below:
Victims who were under the age of 18 years old at the time of the incident do not have to adhere to the statute of limitations, since minors cannot legally sue on their own. They can have someone represent them and file a lawsuit on their behalf if they wish, but if they choose not to go that route, they can simply wait until they turn legal age before filing a personal injury claim.
Victims who were seriously injured and left physically incapacitated after the incident, such as by falling into a coma, or who were left mentally unwell, such as by suffering a nervous breakdown, cannot legally sue, as they are not in their fit minds or states. They can instead wait until they return to physical health or functional mental health before they sue.
There is also the chance that the defendant will leave the state of California or will leave the country. If he is no longer present, the lawsuit will not be able to be filed, and the statute of limitations will be frozen until he returns. Some defendants make rash decisions to leave because they do not want to face a lawsuit, or they believe they can evade punishment. Bear in mind that a company headquartered in California can still be sued, as it will not change locations like a single property owner or manager can.
If you are unaware of the statute of limitations for your lawsuit, reach out to our skilled trampoline accident attorneys in Los Angeles. We will organize your claim and ensure that the necessary documents are submitted to the insurance agent well within the deadline.
Compensation from a Trampoline Injury Lawsuit
The possible compensation that you can receive from a trampoline accident will largely depend on your injuries. The factors of the case will be weighed by the insurance agent overlooking the claim. He will consider a number of points, such as the following:
Severity of your injuries: If your injuries were minor, you likely won’t receive a large settlement offer. However, if they resulted in various treatments, changed your range of motion, or permanently affected your health, your settlement offer would be increased.
- Impact of your injuries: If your injuries were extreme but you made a full recovery, your settlement offer may still be large. Although, your injuries may have prevented you from living your living to the fullest capabilities or may have introduced new hindrances. For example, if you were left in a wheelchair after the accident, you would need to install ramps in your house or widen doorways. You also may not be able to complete your previous job duties anymore or even work in the same field, which could greatly impact your earning capacity.
- Your age: Depending on your age, the agent may increase or decrease the settlement value. If you have a fully established household with dependents or bills, you may be given a settlement larger than you would receive if you were young and living at home without a certified career.
- Your responsibility in the incident: If you were partially responsible for the incident, you could face a reduced settlement offer. Partial responsibility can range from not properly assembling the trampoline to continuing to use it despite knowing it was broken. You could also have been inebriated at the time of the incident, trespassing, or allowed a young child to go on the trampoline unsupervised. If the case goes to court, the jury very well could rule you negligible to a degree and slash your verdict.
Insurance agents are primarily concerned with preserving the profits of the company. They do not want to pay out claims to injured plaintiffs and they would rather the entire ordeal just go away. It can lead to bad press and publicity, for one, which could hurt future sales. Sometimes, insurance agents will simply take a long time to look over a claim or answer and evaluate it. They will then make you a very small offer months after the claim went through. They do this because they want to feed off the desperation that victims feel. They want victims to believe that all they’ll be able to receive is that small sum.
Our attorneys will ensure that the insurance agent handles your claim in a speedy manner and does not make any tiny offers. If he does, he is acting in bad faith, and we can follow through and see to it that he’s punished for his mistreatment or mishandling of the claim. We will negotiate a fair deal for you, as you should not be expected to cover the various debts and expenses associated with a trampoline accident if you were not in the wrong, if there was an error by the company, or if a property owner was negligent in some way.
You may be able to receive the following forms of compensation from your case:
Medical expenses: Medical treatment is not cheap, unfortunately. The various bills add up over time, from the time of the incident to weeks later. You could owe costs for ambulatory transportation to the hospital, anesthesiologist fees, surgery costs, prescription drugs and medication costs, hospitalization or extended stay fees, emergency room fees, physical therapy or rehabilitation sessions, future treatments, and much more.
- Property damage: If you bought the trampoline and it broke, you could be fully reimbursed for the cost of the purchase. You may also have lost personal items, like jewelry or your cell phone, or they could have been broken and need to be repaired.
Loss of income: It is possible that the trampoline accident prevented you from returning to work for a period of time. You could receive reimbursement for the wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, benefits, and more from the time you were not employed. You may also need to take additional time off work to get treatment of some kind or to further heal from the damages, which could result in loss of future income for your case. In some cases, the extent of your injuries could cause you to be unable to return to work at all, permanently. This may lead to you receiving permanent disability, but the funds might not be on the same level as your previous salary. The company can pay for these losses.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering damages are those that are not measured by actual losses or receipts. They concern emotional trauma and mental scarring. You could very easily be afflicted with some form of anxiety or PTSD after a traumatizing incident on a trampoline that resulted in severe injuries. Pain and suffering damages usually result in the most amount of compensation.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are additional forms of monetary compensation that are handed out when the defendant has acted with gross negligence or has intentionally tried to cause harm to the plaintiff. Gross negligence means a blatant disregard for life and safety, and companies may be guilty of this by not performing proper upkeep on trampolines and surrounded areas, for example. These damages are generally viewed as excessive, though, and can only be won by a skilled attorney.
- Wrongful death damages: Wrongful death damages can be handed out if a family member or loved one died in the trampoline accident. There are generally limits as to who can collect compensation; most of the time, it is dependents or spouses. These damages may include funeral and burial fees, such as cremation costs and payment for a cemetery plot; pre-death medical bills if the individual was hospitalized prior to passing away; pre-death pain and suffering damages to cover the trauma and fear that was felt; loss of consortium and relations for spouses; loss of expected savings, inheritance, and income for those who were financially impacted; and more.
If you attempt to handle the trampoline accident lawsuit by yourself, you may not be able to secure every penny you need. The maximum settlement can be won only if you have expert negotiation tactics and know the law inside and out. Our attorneys can take on your case for you and wrestle the fairest settlement from the agent. You should focus on recovering from your injuries, tending to the damages of anyone who was hurt, returning to your daily life or career, and more. The stress of a lawsuit can negatively impact your health, as it requires a generous amount of dedication, money, time, and knowledge. Let us relieve you of that burden and assist you with your trampoline accident lawsuit.
Free Second Opinion on Your Trampoline Accident Lawsuit
Many times, individuals will seek legal representation from the first attorney they locate. The issue with doing next to no research and handing your claim over to just any lawyer lies with the dedication of the firm.
Many attorneys are content to take on numerous cases and breeze through them. They will simply negotiate a small offer, take a large percentage for themselves, and see you to the door. These lawyers are acting in bad faith and are not putting your needs and best interests first. All that happens is the insurance company and the attorney walk away with their pockets lined, and you still owe money to various entities.
If you already have an attorney, you can come to our firm for a free second opinion on your trampoline accident lawsuit. We will look over the facts of your case and help you understand the value of it. We will tell you if your current lawyer is acting for your gain or if he’s simply trying to hurry through a claim. If he is pressuring you to sign a small offer, he’s likely not working for your benefit.
In the event you feel your representative is not good enough for your case, you can switch to our firm, free of charge. We do not ask that you pay for any evaluations, and we will not inform anyone that you sought advice or information.
The Best Lawyers in Town
The Downtown LA Law Group employs some of the most highly rated attorneys in Los Angeles. We have decades of combined experience in personal injury law, and we know the ins and outs of the legal system better than anyone else. Our team has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars, and we are confident that we can win any case that lands on our desks. We completely dedicate ourselves to our clients, and we always give you the information and updates you need. If we have to go to court to win your case, we are willing to do so as well. We will defend your rights in front of a judge and jury and see to it that you are given a fair verdict.
To set up a free legal consultation, call our law offices today. All consultations are completely confidential, as well. None of your private or personal information, nor any details about your case, will be shared outside of our office walls. We encourage you to ask us any questions you want and we will address all of your concerns. Further, we will tell you what we believe we can win for you in your case.
If you wish to hire us to represent you, we will ensure you pay no out of pocket expenses thanks to our zero fee guarantee. We will not charge you any legal fees at all – we will only have our bills paid if we win your case. A portion of the settlement from the defendant will be used to pay for our fees. If we lose, we do not request any payment from you, and we eat the losses of the case. At no point will you have to dip into your bank account to pay us a dime.
To learn more about trampoline accidents or to file a trampoline accident injury claim, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group today.