Trampoline Injury Liability for Homeowners
Trampolines are often seen in backyards across the country, especially in homes with children. Despite their image as a fun way to get a workout, they are often considered dangerous, resulting in injuries for both your children and your guests. To prevent being sued after an injury on a trampoline, consider including it on your homeowner's insurance policy. If you have not yet purchased this item but are considering it, find out more about trampoline liability before deciding.
You can be sued for injury whether you are aware that others are using the trampoline or not. For example, if you are home and watching your children and their friends use the trampoline, you can be sued for negligence if any of the guests are injured. The same goes for when you are not home and thus not aware of your guests.
Unfortunately, even if someone trespasses into your backyard when no one is home, you face a lawsuit if they are injured. In this way, trampoline liability is similar to swimming pool liability, which requires that you take steps to keep your backyard off-limits to unwanted guests to avoid a lawsuit.
If you have homeowner's insurance, you should check with your agent to find out whether your trampoline is covered. Due to the suggestion by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children stay away from trampolines, as well as the number of injuries caused by them, many insurance providers refuse to take on trampoline liability. They may go so far as to cancel your home's policy if they find out you have a trampoline, or they may just exclude the item from coverage. Either way, this would leave you with sole trampoline liability, allowing you to be sued by anyone injured on your property.
Homeowners are wise to have insurance coverage for injuries such as this so that an injury claim is made against homeowners insurance instead of the personal assets of the homeowner.
Protecting Yourself from a Lawsuit
To reduce the risk of trespassers using your trampoline, put a lock on your backyard fence, and consider increasing its height if it is easy to climb. As long as you do not allow your children's friends to use the trampoline and can keep out unwanted visitors, your trampoline liability risk is lowered. Of course, you should make sure you have good health insurance in case of any injuries among your own kids. You should also counsel them on the dangers of the trampoline so they are careful during its use.
You can also take steps toward making it safer. The main method is through buying a large net that encloses the trampoline, which can stop kids from flying off the surface and hitting the ground. Make sure the padding around the springs fits properly, as well, as this can prevent kids from being pinched by them.
Seeking Legal Counsel
Whether someone has injured themselves on your trampoline, or you are simply seeking a homeowner's insurance policy to protect yourself, get a lawyer's advice. Otherwise, you might end up having to pay a lot of money for an injury that you had no control over.