A new study shows that over the period of a decade, more than 1 million emergency room visits stemmed from trampoline accidents. The number of injuries increased from nearly 40,000 in 1991 to approximately 110,000 in 2004. But by 2011, the number dropped to slightly more than 80,000.
Costs to treat these injuries reached a staggering $1 billion. Most of the injuries involved broken bones in children, with more than half occurring to the upper extremities.
The most common fractured parts of the body were:
- forearms; and
Injuries that affected lower extremities mostly comprised fractures to the ankles and lower legs. Other types of fractures occurred to the ribs, spine and head. Spinal injuries occurred but were not common.
Most of the trampoline accidents took place at home. This has led some experts like Dr. Randall Loder, chair of the Indiana University School of Medicine department of orthopedic surgery and a surgeon at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, to call for a ban on backyard trampolines. While it is impossible to shield children from all hazards, there are easy steps a parent can take to avoid a trip to the ER this summer.
Liability for Injuries Sustained in a Trampoline Accident
This raises the question of liability when a child suffers injuries while at a friend or neighbor’s house. Any type of premises liability case requires proof of negligence.
One example of how to show negligence would be if the homeowners don’t take necessary safety precautions relating to the trampoline. Let’s say the owner knows that several children are using the trampoline but he or she doesn’t supervise. Alternately, the owner is watching the children but doesn’t stop them from engaging in dangerous maneuvers like somersaults or jumping off a structure. If a child gets injured in one of these scenarios, the owner may bear responsibility.
Another situation in which the owner may be responsible would be when the trampoline is in poor condition, such as missing protective netting or having a bent frame. Allowing a child to play on a broken trampoline can equal owner liability.
The circumstances of a trampoline accident will determine the viability of a claim. It’s best to consult an attorney who can explain one’s rights and legal options at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, where we are well-versed in premises liability claims: (800) 550-0000.