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Injuries at Martial Arts Classes

Kids and adults alike enjoy the strength, flexibility, and discipline that can be gained in martial arts classes. Martial arts can also be a lot of fun. But like any athletic pursuit, they also involve a degree of risk. Participants should know the risks and keep in mind that they may not be covered by insurance or other legal protections in the event that they are injured while they practice.

Martial arts classes and liability waivers

Every martial arts course asks its participants to sign waivers of liability. The risks of injury in a martial arts class are fairly obvious. Participants may get injured simply attempting a strenuous move, like a kick or falling roll. They may also get injured during routine practice with other participants. Grappling styles like judo or jiu-jitsu involve close contact throws, leg locks, and other movements that can trap and turn joints in awkward ways. “Striking” styles like kung fu or karate can lead to accidental punches and kicks that can cause significant injuries. Many liability waivers are enforceable with respect to foreseeable injuries like these. A waiver typically will also specify that the participant assumes the risk of injury. The assumption of risk is an important legal defense in any personal injury case. Where the injured plaintiff knew about the risk of injury involved with an activity, but went ahead anyway, lawyers for the defense will have a sound argument that the plaintiff assumed the risk of injury and therefore the defendant is not liable.

Where liability waivers might not apply

A typical martial arts program is a safe and friendly environment, even if competition is intense. There are at least two cases where a waiver of liability might not be relevant in an injury. The first is if an instructor does something that is particularly irresponsible and causes an injury. For example, if an instructor (that is, an agent of the business that runs the program) ignores a participant’s cry of pain and continues to complete a move that causes serious injury, the instructor may be committing an act of negligence that could give rise to liability. A clearer cut example would be if someone involved in a class deliberately tries to hurt someone else. A waiver cannot excuse deliberately bad behavior, like purposefully punching someone with the intent to harm, or deliberately throwing someone onto a hard surface knowing that they likely will be hurt. Thankfully such cases are rare, but if they do happen it’s important for the injured person to talk to a personal injury attorney. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you have been injured at a martial arts case and you would like to speak to an attorney about whether you have a legal case, we are happy to provide a free attorney consultation. Call us today at 702-388-4476 or through our contacts page.

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries
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.