Injuries At Trampoline Or Jump Parks Can Be Serious
A trampoline park, sometimes called a jump park, is an indoor facility, where the floors, and sometimes the walls, are giant trampolines. In addition to jumping, the area may be equipped with monkey bars, things to climb on and hang from, rock climbing walls, or basketball nets. Many adults also use jump parks, as a form of exercise.
But many of these parks don’t take safety very seriously, and a number of accidents have happened in jump parks. Kids have broken their legs, or else been injured when hardware, like safety harnesses, break.
Why the Parks are So Dangerous
Even if the equipment works as it should, the inherent nature of a trampoline park is dangerous.
The first reason is obvious—because the floor is a trampoline, there is no solid ground to stand on. The ground is constantly going up and down, as other people are using it. If someone 20 feet away jumps on it, the ground underneath your feet won’t be where you expect it to be.
The other problem is that when a trampoline rebounds back up, it can rebound up with such force that it can injure someone, particularly smaller children. Trampolines are pulled tight to give them bounce. When they are pushed down by the weight of someone jumping, the rebound force can often be hundreds of pounds of force. Some have equated the force of a trampoline to being “hit by a hammer.”
Often, kids of different sizes and weights will play on a trampoline park. That can create a problem. If a child jumps and lands on the trampoline, the trampoline is now just inches (or less) away from the hard ground below it. If you land on the trampoline while it is being pushed low by the force of the neighboring child’s body weight, you will push the floor of the trampoline even lower—potentially into the hard ground. That means you are really landing not on a bouncy trampoline, but on the hard floor underneath.
Worse, many of these parks are monitored by inattentive staff, or staff that aren’t properly trained on keeping the property safe, or in reacting when there is an accident.
Waivers and releases are Not Valid
To keep from being sued, many parks will require that adults sign waivers, promising not to sue the trampoline park if their child is injured. However, these are invalid as to children—a parent cannot sign away a child’s right to sue. In fact, a parent can’t even agree to protect the trampoline park, by repaying the trampoline park for any damages it incurred as a result of being sued (this is called an indemnity agreement).
Note that this ineffectiveness applies to minors—in some cases, liability waivers can be effective for adults, who are signing on their own behalf.
Have you been injured at a jump park, or a trampoline park? Call the Tennessee personal injury lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today.