Personal injury law covers a range of injuries and negligent conduct: motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, construction accidents, dog bites, wrongful death, premises liability, and product liability just to name a few. The last two—premises and product liability—are two of the most complex types of personal injury claims because they often involve more than one liable party.
If you’re injured by a defective product, the manufacturer may be at fault, the retailer who sold the product to you may be at fault, and even an entity that transported the product from the manufacturer to the retailer may be partially at fault. The same is true with a premises liability case in that multiple parties may be responsible for an injury that resulted from a slip and fall on someone else’s property or public property like a city sidewalk or community swimming pool.
One type of claim that we see all too often are injuries sustained while jumping on a trampoline. Unfortunately, most of the time, small children are the victims. Even with all of the safety warnings, many parents still buy trampolines for the back yards and fail to install the safety features or enforce safety rules. And even with safety features on the latest models of trampolines, injuries are still rampant.
Parents buy trampolines thinking they will be healthy fun for their children, but trampolines are notoriously dangerous when used carelessly, or when improperly assembled or maintained. Trampolines are so dangerous that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against allowing your children access to a trampoline. The AAP urges parents and children to avoid trampolines altogether.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), an estimated 246,875 trampoline injuries requiring medical treatment occur every year in the United States, and of that total, 186,405 of the injuries happen to children aged 14 or younger. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), hospital emergency room-treated trampoline injuries almost tripled in the last decade, about 15% of trampoline injuries involved children under the age of six.
Who’s Liable for My Kid’s Injury?
Determining who is at fault for your child’s trampoline injury can be complicated, but a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in these difficult cases, like J. Clay McCaslin in Portland, Oregon, will hear the details of your case and advise you on what the best course of legal action to take.
When your child or other loved one is injured by jumping on a trampoline, the first question to ask to determine liability is whether the user was at fault for their own injury. Reckless behavior, intentional misuse of safety equipment, and other individual choices can mean no one else is responsible for the injury.
However, if the person jumping on the trampoline followed reasonable safety procedures and was using common sense, other parties could be to blame:
- Trampoline manufacturer
- Another trampoline user who may have collided with your child (or caused the injury in some other fashion)
- The owner of the trampoline
- The owner of the property where the trampoline was located
While every situation is unique, and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to assigning liability, there are a few standard scenarios in which a personal injury claim may be filed against the party at fault for the trampoline injury.
- An improperly manufactured part failed during routine use of the trampoline.
- The trampoline owner did not maintain the equipment properly, which caused an equipment failure during normal use.
- The other people on the trampoline did not use it responsibly or safely.
It’s crucial to be absolutely sure how and why the injury happened in trampoline cases because there are three types of cases that may evolve:
- A product liability case if the manufacturer caused the accident and injury
- A premises liability case if the owner of the trampoline is responsible
- A negligence case if another user on the trampoline is responsible
What makes these cases even more complicated is that your child’s trampoline injury may be a combination of one or more of the three listed here. The trampoline may have been defective, but the owner of the trampoline may have not provided a safe trampoline experience for your child.
If you’re looking for a trampoline accident attorney in Portland or a surrounding area of Oregon, please contact the Law Office of J. Clay McCaslin today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.