Children love anything that they can bounce on. Inflatable houses, castles, and obstacle courses are becoming mainstays at parties and public events because they draw large crowds. But what happens when your child is injured while playing on one? Who is responsible?
Bounce houses can cause serious injuries, from broken bones to concussions. Since they can be packed full of kids, even trampling injuries can result. When your child is injured in a bounce house, a hospital visit may be in order.
IS IT A CASE OF NEGLIGENCE?
Generally, bounce houses and other inflatables fall under premises liability, also known as “slip and fall” liability. This is a legal concept that applies to situations in which there is an unsafe or defective object on someone’s property. To win a premises liability case, you must prove that the property owner was negligent in some way. In the case of a bounce house, you must prove that the owner failed to provide reasonable care.
The key to winning a premises liability case hinges on whether the owner “knew or should have known” that a bounce house was unsafe. For example, you may not be able to prove liability just because your child was injured in a bounce house. If, however, that bounce was supposed to be supervised and was not, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Bounce houses and other inflatables also come with an assumption of risk. In other words, you may know that inflatables are potentially dangerous but you opted to let your child play in one anyway. This is a common defense against premises liability claims.
THE DUTY OF CARE SCENARIO
By law, a property owner must exercise reasonable care to keep people who may enter their property safe. This law applies to invitees, licensees, and even trespassers on a property. If, for example, a neighbor is throwing a party with a bounce house, you might be an invitee. Your neighbor is required to exercise reasonable care by keeping the bounce house properly inflated and calling children out if weather conditions become unsafe. Local municipalities and fairgrounds have the same responsibility, although they might also be responsible for providing adequate supervision for young children. In either scenario, we can hold a party liable for injuries if they fail in their duty of care.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE A CASE?
Each case of premise liability is different. An experienced attorney can help you determine if you are eligible to pursue a personal injury claim. If an attorney decides someone committed negligence, the process will look something like this:
- Filing a claim. An attorney will inform the negligent party that you are taking legal action. In the case of a private homeowner, your attorney will likely be seeking damages from a homeowner’s insurance policy. Public entities will have insurance as well. If an insurance company denies a claim, the attorney may file a complaint with the court.
- If both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case will go to trial. A jury and judge will ultimately decide if negligence is involved and if the settlement is fair to everyone involved.
If a bounce house accident injures your child, you may need compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. Are you wondering if you have a case for premises liability? Contact one of the experienced attorneys at Nielsen Law Offices. With our free initial consultation service, we will review your unique case and help you decide on the best course of action. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so you only pay if we win. To schedule your risk-free evaluation today, contact us.