Claiming compensation for a trampoline accident
The Guardian is reporting that ambulances were called to trampoline parks more than 300 times in a single year. Because these parks are rapidly growing in popularity the number of trampoline accidents is expected to rise, placing further strain on an already overstretched NHS.
For most, trampoline parks seem like a perfectly innocent and light hearted way to have fun; appealing to a wide range of people – adults as well as children. However, the risks associated with trampoline parks can leave the unwary with more than they bargained for. The injuries being sustained range in severity, but serious incidents are not uncommon. Broken limbs were the most common reason for an ambulance call out with injuries to the spine and head also being reported. At one centre three people broke their backs in just one day. The injuries sustained therefore have the potential to be life changing.
What is the legal position of customers who have suffered a trampoline accident?
Many people assume that the waiver customers are asked to sign upon entrance to these parks prevents them from making a legal claim if something goes wrong. However, this is not necessarily the case. In particular, liability for causing personal injury cannot be legally excluded.
The equipment in use at a trampoline park can be dangerous. All it takes is a bad landing on one of the trampolines or into a foam pit and you can sustain a severe injury. Not only can this result in you being unable to work, but perhaps unable to look after yourself or others. The victim can therefore be left without any income or support. So, if the park has been negligent and the customer suffers injury as a result then the customer is entitled to claim compensation.
It must of course be recognised that using a trampoline is an inherently dangerous activity. It is inevitable that accidents will occur as a result of using the equipment and users should recognise this before taking part. Care must always be taken by customers using the equipment and the companies running the parks are entitled to expect people to act reasonably and not take unnecessary risks. However, this does not give the parks immunity from a civil claim being made where avoidable accidents occur.
There have been reports of some centres failing to show the health and safety video which they say is shown at the beginning of each jump. So, where a trampoline park has been negligent in advising on the risks of using their equipment and the customer suffers injury as a result then the wavier will not prevent the customer from making a compensation claim. Similarly there is a duty on the parks to maintain equipment and ensure that they are not dangerous or defective in any way. Where breaches of safety standards do occur then legal liability can arise.