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Can I sue a trampoline park after a catastrophic injury?

With the proliferation of trampoline parks in Florida and around the nation, it comes as no surprise that injuries are common. These can be very dangerous places for adults and children alike, especially when the injury is as catastrophic as a broken back or injury causing paralysis.

After an injury at a trampoline park, a visitor may be able to pursue compensation in Florida — even if he or she was partially to blame for the injury and even if he or she signed a waiver in some cases.

Injury trends

A recent study in the BMC sports science, medicine and rehabilitation included 16 studies as part of a meta-analysis of trampoline-related injuries over the past few years. The purpose of the study was to determine the type, severity and other trends in trampoline injuries.

The research seems to suggest that the rate of injury at these parks is much higher than the rate of injury on home trampolines. In fact, the rate of subsequent surgery after a trampoline-related injury is two times that of home trampolines. Similarly, the rate was six times that for full-size trampolines versus mini-size trampolines.

Considering that adults tend to be less resilient than children, it may come as a surprise that children are 150% more likely to face serious trampoline injuries than adults, and females are similarly more likely to face injuries than males.

Negligence law

There are many reasons why a trampoline park injury may be more common and severe than at-home injuries. Not least of these is the fact that owners of these facilities have a large number of trampolines to maintain as they see constant use.

Because Florida, as FindLaw explains, is a comparative negligence state, plaintiffs may be able to seek compensation after an injury — even if they were partially to blame for the accident. In these cases, a judge will evaluate the relative fault for the injury as a percentage, and the amount of damages the plaintiff could receive would reduce in comparison to his or her degree of fault.

Most of these parks require visitors to sign a waiver agreeing to accept responsibility for his or her injuries. But certain factors can negate these waivers. For example, these waivers do not remove the owner’s responsibility to practice reasonable care for their visitor’s well-being. If there were unsafe conditions, worn equipment or if a staff member gave out misinformation, the party may still be able to seek compensation.