Virginia Trampoline Park Accident Lawyers
Fighting for the Victims of Serious Injuries at Trampoline Parks
As trampoline parks have exploded in size and popularity in recent years, so have the number of trampoline park injuries, which are often serious. We frequently receive inquiries from people whose children have been badly injured at these parks, and we expect the number of calls to increase.
With large parks being opened up in Newport News, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach, our Virginia trampoline park accident lawyers are taking more calls. The most common serious injuries at trampoline parks include:
- Broken bones, including leg and arm fractures often requiring surgery;
- Facial injuries from hard falls and collisions;
- Serious knee, ankle, shoulder and elbow sprains, strains and ligament damage often requiring surgery.
Although more children are injured on backyard trampolines than at commercial facilities, a body of evidence suggests injuries at trampoline parks are often more serious, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
Despite the frequent reports of serious injuries at trampoline parks, many people may not even contact a lawyer after an incident because they mistakenly believe they have signed away their rights. Here are some frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions to Virginia Trampoline Park Accident Lawyers
1 Did I Sign Away All My Rights When I Signed the Liability Waiver Before Entering the Park?
No. The pre-injury liability waiver or release you signed is not enforceable under Virginia law in Virginia state courts. Typically, before entering the park, you must sign a wordy legal document known as a release or waiver. The trampoline park releases and waivers we have reviewed attempt to relieve the park of all responsibility for what happens to you or your children while in its park. The trampoline park is attempting to leave you with the impression that you are entering at your own risk, and that it is not responsible for whatever happens to you while inside.
While portions of the waiver you signed may be enforceable or useable in an effort to prove you understood the inherit dangers of trampoline parks, the pre-injury release from liability is not enforceable under Virginia state courts. The Virginia Supreme Court explicitly ruled these pre-injury liability waivers offend public policy and are void. Were this not the case, a trampoline park could act with negligence and disregard for your safety without consequence.
2 I Was Seriously Injured. Do I Have a Viable Personal Injury Claim Against the Park?
Although a waiver is not an absolute barrier to pursing a personal injury claim against a trampoline park, you may not always have a case. It’s not enough that you were injured at the trampoline park. You have to prove the park was negligent in causing your injuries. Possible examples in which a trampoline park may be liable for causing your personal injuries may include:
- Damaged equipment, such as broken or missing springs, damaged or worn jumping surfaces, and missing safety equipment or padding;
- Unsafe design or layout of the park and trampolines inside, which may promote collisions or unsafe landings; or
- Inadequate staffing, or the facility’s failure to obey occupancy limits.
3 What Do The Medical Professionals Say About Trampoline Parks?
In 2012, The American Academy of Pediatrics urged pediatricians to “actively discourage recreational trampoline use.” This includes back yard trampolines as well as parks.
The report cited statistics compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It found there were 97,908 trampoline-related injuries nationwide in 2009. Of those, 3,100 required hospitalization.
A recent study in Pediatrics found injuries at trampoline parks rose dramatically from just under 600 in 2010 to almost 7,000 in 2014. The study reflects the massive growth in popularity of these facilities.
When You May Have a Claim for a Trampoline Park-Related Injury in Virginia
If it can be proven you were injured as a result of the park’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim to pursue.
However, if your injury occurred incidentally to normal trampoline park activities, you may not have a case. For example, if you were jumping up and down but landed awkwardly while using well-maintained equipment or trampolines, then you will likely have a very difficult time pursing that claim. It is not enough that you were injured. You must prove you were injured because of the park’s negligence.
While these cases can be very challenging because the trampoline park will invariably argue you assumed the risk of injuries that are sometimes inherent at a trampoline park, you have a right to assume that the park will act reasonably with regard to your safety.
If you have been seriously injured while at a trampoline park, and you believe the park was negligent, then you may have a valid claim and we would encourage you to contact our Virginia trampoline park accident lawyers for a free consultation.
Call Bill O’Mara or Griff O’Hanlon of our experienced premises liability team for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.