Bounce houses have become a popular feature of kids’ parties. As much as kids love them, bounce houses are also beginning to be blamed for a significant number of serious injuries. Before renting a bounce house or other inflatable amusement device for your next party, be sure to understand the risks.
The kinds of injuries that a bounce house can cause
Bounce houses have been responsible for a range of injuries, including:
- Injuries resulting from collisions between participants.
- “Flyaway” accidents in which children are trapped inside an unsecured inflatable that blows away.
- Falls from the inflatable to the ground.
- Twisted joints and broken bones caused by ordinary use.
- Disease spread through inadequate sanitation.
Some kinds of injury can be avoided through proper setup and supervision. Operators need to ensure that inflatables are set up properly, including staking to prevent them from being picked up or knocked over by strong winds. And adults need to supervise kids while they’re on or around bounce houses to ensure that they aren’t using them in a dangerous way.
Bounce houses and personal injury lawsuits
The parent of a child who is injured using an inflatable may have the option of pursuing a lawsuit. Here are some potential issues that may arise in such a suit:
- Who gets sued? The rental company that owns the bounce house may not be the only party at fault for a serious accident. The hosts of the party or other adults who took responsibility for supervising the children using the inflatable may also bear some degree of legal responsibility.
- Liability waivers. Most companies that rent bounce houses require their customers to sign liability waivers, which in Nevada can leave a business off the hook even for its ordinary negligence, at least with respect to the person signing the waiver. An important question in any injury case will be whether the person who was injured is bound by the terms of the waiver.
- Assumption of risk. People understand that jumping around inside a bounce house involves a degree of risk of ordinary bruises and bumps. But the legal defense of assumption of risk may not be available for serious injuries that are not as foreseeable. For example, the risk that a bounce house could fly away in a strong wind might not occur to someone. Bear in mind that assumption of risk may be a component of any rental agreement.
- Contributory negligence. In many kinds of accidents, more than one party bears a degree of responsibility. Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule reduces the defendant’s financial liability by the amount the plaintiff was responsible for the accident. A parent who leaves a child unattended in a bounce house might in some situations be deemed to have acted negligently.
GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while using a bounce house it’s important to understand your legal options. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area. Our attorneys are available to answer your questions and explain the potential avenues for seeking compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.