Since Trampoline Gymnastics became an Olympic sport in 2000, it has become one of the most popular sports for members of the public to participate in. However, as with other adventurous sports, participants are always at risk of suffering an injury, or fatality in some cases. You may have seen the recent tragic case of a 37 year old man from Stockton-on-Tees who died as a result of his injuries, following an accident on a garden trampoline. The details of this accident can be viewed here.
What happens if an injury was caused as a result of another person's carelessness, despite the participant themselves taking care?
Trampolines at home
Each year, there are hundreds of injuries sustained from the use of a home trampoline. In fact, of all garden play equipment, trampolines have caused the highest number of accidents (reportedly trampolining is to blame for half of all activity-related A&E admissions in under-14s; Independent UK).
Although the majority of such injuries can be sustained through no fault of any party, there are occasions where the manufacturer of the trampoline, or owner of the trampoline, may be liable for your injuries.
For example, the homeowner may not have provided sufficient supervision or safely installed the equipment, therefore causing negligence in their care towards the injured party, as the injury was sustained at their property. Alternatively, if the trampoline equipment or parts were faulty, it would be the trampoline manufacturer that has been negligent in the production and sale of the trampoline.
If either the homeowner or the manufacturer have been negligent in their duty of care to the injured party it may be possible to make a claim against them.
We have seen a rise in the popularity of garden trampolines and also trampoline or adventure parks. Although the majority of those taking part leave such facilities with enjoyable memories, others can be left with life changing injuries as a result of the establishment's carelessness.
There are currently more than 150 trampoline parks in the UK, and it was reported that, in 2017 alone, 1,200 ambulances were called following injuries sustained at such parks.
Following an increase of A&E admissions of individuals visiting a trampoline park, the Publicly Accessible Specification (PAS) was established by members of the International Association of Trampoline Parks UK, British Standards and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSoPA). The PAS guidelines were produced to assist trampoline parks to identify key risks with the equipment and operation of the trampolines, with the aim of establishing an effective approach to managing the risk of injury. From August 2017, all UK parks had to demonstrate a compliance to the PAS in order to operate.
Despite such guidelines being put in place, incidents of negligence, which result in the injury of the attendees, are continuing.
Many people believe a right to claim compensation for their injuries no longer exists once a waiver has been signed, however, this is not the case as the parks owe everyone who participates a duty of care. It is the responsibility of the park owner's or the operator to ensure all safety and protection is provided; if the trampoline park operators have been negligent in some way, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
Negligence by the owners of the organisation can arise in various ways, causing injury, such as faulty equipment; lack of supervision; wrongly performing a trick, such as a flip or somersault, without having proper training, warning or induction; insufficient instructions provided by the park and its employees; or insufficient padding / safety equipment.
Injuries likely to be sustained
There are many injuries that can be sustained as a result of the negligence of a trampoline park operator or through faulty equipment, in particular:
- Leg injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Arm injuries;
- Head and neck injuries; and
- Face injuries.
Such injuries can vary in severity, ranging between sprains and pulled muscles to spinal damage and brain injuries.
To successfully bring a claim for compensation you would have to show you have suffered an injury following an accident, caused or contributed to by someone's negligence, and that you were owed a duty of care.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.