How Can I Prevent Trampoline Injuries?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Trampolines can be incredibly fun for children of all ages, and it’s a fantastic activity for the whole family during nice weather. However, trampolines also pose a measure of risk, and it’s important for you to understand the dangers of trampoline use to protect yourself and loved ones from injuries. Some injuries may even lead to lawsuits or other legal entanglements, so know your options in the event of a trampoline injury.

Trampoline Injury Statistics

Between 2002 and 2011, more than a million-people visited the ER for trampoline injuries. Of them, almost 300,000 involved broken bones. These injuries costs emergency departments somewhere in the $1 billion range. Most of those hurt are children, and almost 93% of them were under 16 years old.

Best Practices

The first step in preventing trampoline injuries is to purchase one with the best possible safety ratings. Check online for the highest rated trampolines and read reviews from other customers. Be sure to read the positive reviews as well as the negative, as some people who have bought the trampoline may have experienced issues that could apply to you as well. Purchase a trampoline with a safety net enclosure – this small additional cost will likely save you in medical bills. The safety net wraps around the outside of the trampoline to prevent anyone from bouncing off and onto the ground, which could cause significant injury. Remember that the safety enclosure will not prevent users from falling into the springs around the outer edge of the trampoline. While some manufacturers have designed trampolines without these springs, most of them have a ring of heavy duty spring that can cause significant injuries. Once you’ve purchased a trampoline, follow the biggest rule for trampoline safety: only one person at a time should use the trampoline. This sounds like a solid rule in theory, but most kids want to play on their trampolines with their friends and siblings. While it may be difficult for parents to convince their kids that only one person may use the trampoline at a time, enforcing the “one at a time” rule will significantly lower the risk of someone suffering an injury. Finally, the best way to prevent trampoline injuries is proper supervision. Some kids may get carried away and attempt dangerous tricks and flips that can lead to serious head and neck injuries. Whenever children are using a trampoline, carefully supervise them and prevent them from making any risky maneuvers.

Product Liability Claims

If you or a loved one suffers a trampoline injury, your first instinct may be to blame the manufacturer of the trampoline. While this may seem like sound logic, it’s important to remember that product manufacturers must follow very strict liability standards. If a manufacturer failed to provide adequate safety warnings or sold you a defective product, you may be able to file a product liability claim. However, most companies that make potentially hazardous items are very clear in their instructions for use and safety warnings. If you suffered an injury due to your own actions of misuse of the product, your claim will most likely not hold up in court.

Negligence Claims

In some situations, you may be able to file a personal injury claim if your loved one was under the supervision of another. For example, if your child’s daycare has a trampoline and your child suffers an injury because the daycare staff was not paying adequate attention, the staff may be liable for the injury. Hopefully, you can avoid these injuries by following these tips. After any type of trampoline injury, one of the best things you can do once you’ve addressed any medical concerns is to speak with a personal injury attorney about your possible options for legal recourse.
Posted by at 5:09 pm

Can a Consumer Always Sue When a Defective Product Causes Injury?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Product designers, manufacturers, and sellers are responsible for providing consumers with safe and properly marketed products. One of these parties may be liable for an injury if there is a hazardous flaw in the design or manufacturing of the item or if the risks or hazards associated with the product have not been properly labeled. You can attempt to sue a manufacturer or seller for a defective product related injury, but that does not always mean the lawsuit will lead to design/manufacturing changes or adequate financial compensation. An attorney may not recommend pursuing a product liability action if the injury was too minor to justify legal action, if the client was using a product for purposes other than intended, or if the client was acting carelessly.

Disclaimers: The Possible Exception to Product Liability Lawsuits

Many product manufacturers use warning labels and disclaimers to prevent individuals from filing product liability lawsuits. Much like a liability waiver, a disclaimer can protect a company from certain foreseeable risks associated with a product. For instance, a hair straightener may come with a disclaimer that the product reaches high temperatures and may cause burns or electrocution if dropped in water. However, it may not protect the company from a hair straightener that sparks, overheats, or explodes. While disclaimers can minimize the liability associated with a product claim, consumers should always seek legal advice before writing off a potential claim. Disclaimers, limited warranties, and warning labels are often not enough to protect a company from dangerous defects.

Understanding Product Liability in Texas

Texas operates under a strict liability rule. Strict liability allows injured individuals to hold a defendant without using the traditional standard of negligence. A plaintiff must only prove the product was sold in a hazardous condition, the seller or manufacturer knew the product would reach the consumer in that state, and the product caused the injury or harm. Proving a breach of warranty in addition to liability may strengthen a plaintiff’s case.

Breach of Warranty Cases

In addition to suing a manufacturer for a defective product, a consumer may also hold a company liable for breaching an implied or express warranty. Express warranties are written or stated protections that come with several types of products, and many provide for standard replacement or repair services for a period of time. Implied warranties apply to every product and require goods to pass certain criteria as sellable. In Texas, a product must pass a test of merchantability. If a product is not of reasonable quality, fit for use, or appropriately packaged, the seller may be liable for any resulting defects, product problems, or injuries. Breach of warranty cases may not require any physical injury, but can strengthen defective product cases. All a plaintiff needs to prove is that the seller did not meet the expectations set forth in an implied and/or expressed warranty. For instance, if you purchase a smartphone to help you with your business, but the seller sold you a product that only handles calls and texts, you may hold him or her liable for failing to sell a merchantable “smartphone.” To successfully win the lawsuit, you will need to prove the breach of warranty caused you serious harm (e.g. prevented you from conducting business).

Finding a Product Liability Attorney

Some injured individuals may not know if they have a legitimate personal injury claim until they speak to an attorney who specializes in defective products. Keep all your warranty and packaging material, and try to preserve as much of the product as possible. All of these items may help your attorney determine if pursuing a defective product/breach of warranty claim makes sense. For a free case evaluation, reach out to the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert PC.
Posted by at 11:47 pm