Watching horrifying videos of bounce houses uprooting and rolling across fields like tumbleweeds, floating two-stories above the ground and deflating like a turbo-charged balloons with tiny children inside is understandably, enough to make any parent permanently ban there child from these inflatable attractions.
As their popularity grows, bounce houses, bounce castles and bounce slide injuries become more common. While the actual probability of serious bounce house injuries occurring is very low, the injuries that have been sustained by a relatively small number of children across the country have made these attractions a target for news media and have been the focus of this summer’s collective parental angst labeling them as an “epidemic.” However, when an serious injury does occur, liability, meaning, who is responsible for your child’s injuries after a bounce-attraction related incident, is dependent upon the several factors which are covered below.
When the question of liability arises, it must first be determined whether the child is injured due to negligence. Liability depends on how the injury occurred, who was supervising, what contractual documents were in play between the company and renter, if safety guidelines were issued and were appropriately followed and even whether or not any potentially dangerous weather conditions could have been anticipated. The injured child’s family has to be able to prove that one or more of the responsible parties did not act with reasonable care and that those actions or lack of actions were the cause of the harm.
What safety measures can I take as a parent?
If you are renting a bouncy attraction it is important to perform a few safety checks to make sure that it’s up and ready for safe play. Never just assume that the person installing a bouncy house has performed all of the following list of procedures or will be supervising during play. Moreover, a reputable company will take the time to meet with the renter before, during and after installation to ensure that each of these safety checkpoints have be met with care and that the role of the renter and/or supervisor during the event is clear:
- Check the inflatable for signs of leakage or damage before and after inflation.
- Always ensure the inflatable is properly anchored to the ground.
- Use reasonable care to ensure that the structure is in a safe open area.
- Never make plans to use the inflatable structure during inclement or dangerous weather.
- Make clear information about any possible dangers to riders and their parents.
- Do not allow riders to become overly rowdy or physical with each other.
- Be sure to prohibit kicks, flips or stunts.
- Make sure children empty their pockets, remove their shoes and that they do not in any outside objects into the inflatable.
- Allow riders to take turns and adhere to the limit for how many persons should be allowed into the inflatable at one time.
- If possible only allow children of the same age to play together during play sessions in the bounce attraction.
- Have scheduled break periods in place to ensure that children are safe from dehydration and do not suffer from heat exhaustion during hot summer months.
- Prepare to have a supervisor available at all times during the period of time that the bounce attraction is in use.
- Always ask for any further safety information from the rental company if it is not automatically given and then strictly follow any and all guidelines set forth.
It takes attention to detail, planning and care to ensure a very safe and happy bounce house experience for your little ones. In cases where a child has been injured, whether or not reasonable care was used by the installer, operator and/or the supervisor to prevent the accident and resulting injury will determine the issue of liability. If the person/company should have reasonably known an accident might occur and did nothing, than that individual or company might very well be found liable for damages.
If your child is injured, call Rocky today!
As you can see from all the factors involved, proving bounce house negligence can be a very involved process which may require intense investigation and deal with sifting through the intricacies of Tennessee law. If you or a family member has been seriously hurt or injured due to the negligence of the person or company that installed or operated a bounce attraction than you may be entitled to seek damages. Don’t wait, the time on filing a claim is limited. Helping injury victims is all we do and we’ll fight to get you the compensation that you deserve. Call today (615) 425-2500.