Trampoline parks are increasing in popularity in Georgia and around the United States. Trampoline parks were relatively rare ten years ago, but by the end of 2014, there were nearly 350 trampoline parks open in the United States. The Atlanta area has its fair share of trampoline parks. Popular trampoline parks in the Atlanta metro area include Sky Zone Trampoline Park, which has locations in Roswell, Kennesaw, and Suwannee, XDrenaline Trampoline Park in Marietta, and Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park in Lawrenceville. Unfortunately, this popular source of entertainment is also a frequent source of injuries—some of which are serious. According to one organization advocating for trampoline park safety, you are 200 to 300 times more likely to get hurt at a trampoline park than on a roller coaster. If you were injured in a Georgia trampoline park accident, you may be wondering what your rights are. Is the trampoline park responsible for my medical bills? Can I sue the trampoline park? If I signed a waiver does that prevent me from suing?
Common Trampoline Park Injuries
At first glance, trampoline parks seem like fun, safe places where people go to have a good time. While people may believe there is some risk of injury in this type of activity, they frequently underestimate the nature and severity of injuries that a person can sustain in a trampoline park. Trampoline park injuries include severely broken bones, dislocations, concussions, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even death.
Georgia trampoline parks have been sources of some of these severe injuries. In one high profile incident, a youth football coach was paralyzed following an injury at a Peachtree City trampoline park called Rockbridge Adventures. At the Air Strike Trampoline Park in Augusta, Georgia, a young man sustained a severed foot in July 2015. Just days before that young man’s foot was severed, a young lady’s foot was nearly completely severed at the Air Strike Trampoline Park when she sustained a severely broken ankle.
Trampoline Park Liability
If you are injured in a Georgia trampoline park, the owner or operator of the trampoline park may be liable. The theory of liability for your case depends on the facts of your injury. Common theories of liability for a trampoline park accident include the use of unsafe products, inadequate supervision, inadequate warnings or instruction, failure to enforce trampoline park rules, negligent maintenance, and improper installation of trampoline park products.
In addition to the trampoline park owner or operator potentially being liable, you may also have a claim against the installer or maintainer of the product that caused your injury. For example, if the trampoline or other product that caused your injury was not properly installed, the person who installed it may be liable.
You may also have a product liability claim against the company that manufactured the product. Product manufacturers can be held strictly liable in Georgia for any defects in the design or manufacture of their product, or for failing to provide adequate warnings.
Proving liability in any case requires a close analysis of the facts and an in-depth investigation. Following a trampoline park accident, it is important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who can conduct the necessary investigation. Any investigation into a trampoline park accident should include interviews of all witnesses, an inspection of the accident site, and a request for any surveillance videos that captured the injury.
Can You Still Sue a Trampoline Park if You Signed a Waiver?
A common question that people have after a trampoline park accident is whether they can still recover for their injuries if they signed a waiver. Many trampoline parks require that visitors sign a waiver. Although the language varies by facility, most waivers contain language that says the customer releases the trampoline park from all liability, will not sue the trampoline park, and will hold the trampoline park harmless for any and all damages. While the language in these waivers is normally very broad and does not necessarily prevent you from holding the trampoline park liable, a waiver may affect your ability to hold the trampoline park responsible.
The effect a waiver will have in your injury case depends on a number of factors, including the language in the waiver, who signed it, whether a minor is involved, and whether the language was clear and unambiguous. Waivers are not enforceable in Georgia if they violate public policy. Additionally, even if there is a signed waiver that does not violate public policy, a person or business can still be held liable for gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
Trampoline park accidents can inflict serious injuries. If you or someone you know was injured in a Georgia trampoline park accident, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your claim, identify all the parties that may be responsible, and pursue all remedies that are available to you. The Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Brogdon Champion, LLC have the experience and resources to pursue a claim for your trampoline park injury. Call us today for a free consultation.