There are few things in life that can deliver nostalgic joy the way bouncing on a trampoline can. As a kid, you either had a trampoline or really wanted one. And whoever had a big trampoline in the neighborhood was usually the envy of all the kids.
Although fun, trampoline injuries occur often in neighborhoods in the state of Georgia and around the country. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages trampoline use at home.
While modern trampolines have become safer with added netting and improved designs, injuries do still happen. Unfortunately, even the enhanced safety measures aren’t enough to prevent all accidents and crash landings.
Common Injuries Children and Teens Experience from Trampolines
It’s possible to be injured in almost limitless ways on a trampoline, but the following injuries are the most common in children and teens, including:
- Broken bones
- Upper extremity broken bones: This can include arms, hands, fingers, shoulders, and facial injuries.
- Lower extremity broken bones: This can include legs, feet, toes, ankles, and hip injuries.
- Axial skeleton injuries
- Head – Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Permanent neurological damage
According to one study, more than 1 million people went to the emergency room for trampoline injuries over a 10-year period. The total emergency room expenses for these trampoline injuries were over $1 billion, with more than $400 million specifically because of broken bones.
Where Trampoline Injuries Take Place
Most trampolines are still found at private residences, which is where most of these injuries occur. Children and teens are often injured while jumping on a neighbor’s or friend’s backyard trampoline.
While trampoline parks have become popular attractions in recent years, you usually have to sign a detailed waiver against liability to enter and use the facilities. Local cities typically will not risk the accountability of putting in a trampoline park, so these types of attractions are most often privately owned.
Understanding Negligence with Trampoline Injury Cases
Trampoline injury cases are generally brought under the claim of negligence. Most standard trampoline injuries will fall upon the homeowner’s insurance for liability.
However, trampoline jumping easily lends itself to horseplay, which can be the main cause of injuries. If it can be demonstrated that the injured victim was warned about horseplay but did not stop, the accident victim’s family may also be assessed some level of fault.
If other jumpers were found negligent or there were simply too many people jumping at once, then others may be held liable for any injuries.
Health Insurance Companies Will Seek to Avoid Paying for Backyard Trampoline Injuries
Like all injuries, trampoline injuries can be extremely expensive. Some of the medical bills that may be required include:
- Emergency room visits
- Professional injury evaluations
- Placing a cast
- Any hospital stays
- Follow-up doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractor visits
Occasionally, screws will need to be implemented into a fractured bone, which will significantly impact your medical costs. This is only a partial list of the expenses you can seek from a health insurance provider for a trampoline injury.
However, insurance companies will rarely just pay for the costs of injuries without inquiries about what happened. Health insurance companies will often question who should pay for the medical bills if it is known that the injuries occurred on a trampoline.
How to Get Trampoline Injury Bills Paid For
The size of the medical bills often dictates how easy or difficult an injury claim will be. If the injury expenses are small, your health insurance company may simply pay for them without any questions. If the injury bills are quite expensive, you will likely receive communication from the health insurance company explaining that they are fighting the charges. This means that you may want to communicate with the homeowner’s insurance company that insures the property where the injury occurred.
Typically, you will need to approach the homeowner and ask for information about their liability coverage, and specifically if they have trampoline liability insurance. After the homeowner gives you their insurance information, you can contact the company and see what they will agree to cover.
Although rare, it is also possible for a homeowner to pay you directly for any medical bills and expenses from injuries suffered on a trampoline to avoid a case or lawsuit.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage Pay for Trampoline Injuries?
In the ideal situation, the homeowner who owns the trampoline will have trampoline liability coverage or a personal umbrella policy (PUP) with their property insurance company. This means the homeowner communicated with the insurance company about the trampoline, and the financial protection is there for both you and the homeowner.
If the homeowner does not have specific trampoline coverage or a PUP, the compensation for the injuries will then shift to the homeowner’s basic insurance policy.
However, many homeowner’s insurance policies specifically exclude trampoline-related injuries. If that is the case, then their insurance company will not be responsible for paying for the damages. Therefore, the costs would fall to the homeowner to pay for the damages personally.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help with a Trampoline Injury?
A personal injury lawyer can assist with a trampoline injury claim in several ways. Below are a few important advantages victims have when they seek help from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- If the trampoline owner seeks to avoid giving any information about their homeowner’s insurance, a lawyer can step in and help get the necessary details. A personal injury lawyer will make sure a claim continues forward smoothly.
- If the homeowner’s insurance company denies a trampoline injury claim due to lack of coverage, then a personal injury lawyer can work to make the homeowner pay the costs personally.
- If an insurance company agrees to pay for a trampoline injury, they will sometimes miss expenses, especially with more severe cases. A personal injury lawyer can step in and ensure they cover the entire cost of the trampoline accident.
This is just a partial list of how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help with a trampoline injury. Each case and its circumstances are unique; because of this, all injury cases must be assessed by a qualified attorney.
How Can a Property Owner Protect Themselves from a Trampoline Injury Lawsuit?
The best way to protect yourself from a trampoline injury lawsuit is to have the correct insurance coverage with high protection limits. This can usually be achieved with a good personal umbrella insurance policy. A personal umbrella insurance policy can add $1,000,000 in liability protection, which can protect both your home and financial assets.
Can a Signed Waiver Protect a Homeowner from a Trampoline Injury Lawsuit?
If a waiver was written by an experienced lawyer, then it can potentially protect a homeowner against certain trampoline injury cases and lawsuits. Any waiver for a child must be recently signed by a parent or adult guardian to be considered valid.
Waivers, however, do not always protect homeowners from liability. If the homeowner exercises any negligence or the trampoline breaks and causes injury, then the waiver can be void because the trampoline jumper assumed the equipment would function properly.
If the waiver used was simply pulled from the internet or written by the homeowner, chances are the waiver is neglecting some language that will create loopholes, and the injured person may still be able to sue.
What Can Happen to a Homeowner If Their Homeowner’s Insurance Is Sued for a Trampoline Injury?
Each homeowner can face a different result if their homeowner’s insurance is sued because of a trampoline injury. If a homeowner has an insurance policy that covers the injuries, then typically, nothing will happen to them for a one-time injury claim.
Conversely, if multiple claims are filed, the homeowner’s insurance company might raise the premiums or cancel their coverage entirely. If a homeowner learns that they do not have insurance coverage for injuries suffered, then it’s possible the homeowner may be personally liable for the injury costs.
Our Team Can Examine Your Trampoline Injury Case at No Cost
If you or your child has been injured while using a trampoline, make sure you seek the advice of an experienced trampoline injury accident lawyer.
We can help. Call The Millar Law Firm today at (770) 400-0000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.