Indoor and outdoor trampoline parks have become a popular place to play for kids as well as adults. In addition to being fun, jumping on a trampoline can be good exercise, burning calories and developing core strength. Like any form of exercise, trampolining also involves a degree of risk. Landing awkwardly or falling off the trampoline can cause a range of injuries. At a trampoline park one must also be mindful of other people. Parks construct large “floors” of interconnected trampolines, so visitors can hop from place to place without restriction. Parks also tend to have equipment that is unfamiliar or unusual, which may increase the risk of injury.
A trampoline park’s safety is dependent on a range of factors. Some of these are within the jumper’s control, while others are not. Visitors to trampoline parks should keep all of these things in mind to improve their own safety:
- Jumping on a trampoline is a skill. It’s important that each jumper understand his or her own limits. Although it’s easy to catch some air hopping onto a trampoline with no training, the truth is that it takes practice to develop strength and skill. This is especially true for doing tricks like flips.
- Be mindful of other jumpers. Collisions are responsible for a significant number of injuries at trampoline parks. Jumping at a trampoline park is a bit like driving a car on a busy street. Even the most skilled driver can end up in an accident with another driver if the other driver isn’t paying attention. Jumpers need to stay alert for others coming into their space.
- Report damaged equipment. If safety padding is missing or loose, or a trampoline isn’t working correctly, it’s important to stop using the damaged equipment. The operator of the park should be told about the problem so it can be addressed.
From a legal standpoint every trampoline park requires its visitors to agree to liability waivers that place strict limits on the park’s responsibility for injuries. Properly drafted liability waivers are enforceable contracts that will forestall lawsuits against park operators for many common forms of injury. But each case is different. Whether a waiver applies to a specific injury should be evaluated by an attorney.
Trampoline parks are responsible for maintaining the safety of their equipment and premises. This probably means that they have a duty to take reasonable steps to inspect their facilities to ensure that they are in good working order. It also means that they should not introduce dangerous elements, like heavy balls that can be thrown around in a room meant for very small children. Given the inherent risks involved with trampolining, parks should provide adequate supervision of jumpers to ensure that everyone is following the rules.
Individual jumpers may also be responsible for causing injuries. In most circumstances a jumper at a trampoline park has an obligation to behave reasonably. Someone who is recklessly leaping around without regard for the safety of others might be liable for negligence if someone gets hurt as a result. People who jump while intoxicated may increase this risk. Bear in mind that a liability waiver signed at the door is only between he park operator and the jumper, and doesn’t restrict liability between jumpers.
For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases. If you have been injured at a trampoline park, our experienced injury attorneys are standing by to offer advice about your case. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.