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My Child was Injured in a Bounce House - Who is Responsible?

A common sight at fairs, large picnics and other family gatherings are the colorful, inflatable bounce houses. They offer a lot of fun for kids but are they safe? In the past year it would have been almost impossible for anyone to have not seen the news, showing these houses tumbling, or even carried aloft, from high wind gusts to the gasps of horrified adults. While weather related occurrences are not common, bounce house related injuries have sent thousands of children to the emergency room.

Bounce House Injury Statistics

In 2012, Pediatrics published a study called "Inflatable Bouncers in the United States, 1990-2010" which reported that more than 64,000 children were treated in the emergency room for injuries related to inflatable bounce houses, during the ten year time period. Since that study, the popularity of bounce houses has continued to rise steadily along with the number of injuries. The most common accidents are from falls, ignoring instructions and rules, or improper installation.

Who is Responsible?

From 2008 to 2010 the number of children treated for bounce house related injuries doubled to an average of 31 children per day, nationwide. Most of these injuries are to legs or arms and often caused by one child falling onto another. More serious injuries do occur, such as traumatic brain injuries and neck injuries. When a serious injury occurs, liability, or responsibility for the accident, may lie with the supervisor, operator, installer or manufacturer. The determination of negligence depends on how the injury occurred and who was responsible for supervision. Were there any contractual documents between the company and the renter? Were safety guidelines stringent enough to protect the children in the event of bad weather? Were large children allowed in the house with toddlers?

The operator of a bounce house, has a duty of reasonable care to ensure the safety of the children. If that duty is breached and a child is hurt, the operator could be held responsible. It must be proven that the injury was the result of negligence. If a child is injured rough housing inside or colliding with another child, it is unlikely there was contributing negligence to blame. If the operator allowed too many children inside at once or failed to be secure the bounce house properly, negligence is more likely the cause of injury.

Bounce House Safety

A lack of safety inspections or regulations may also be considered negligence. Even though these inflatable bouncing houses are manufactured with safety as a main priority, many facilities are infrequently inspected or poorly regulated. There are strict guidelines for the installation, proper anchoring method, weight and capacity limits and operational standards, which include observation of local weather conditions.

Anyone who is renting a bounce house, or bounce castle, should pay close attention to the following guidelines:

· Inspect the bounce house for any damage or leakage

· Be certain that the bounce house is securely anchored to the ground.

· Keep abreast of up to the minute local forecasts making sure that no one enters during approaching bad weather

· Provide parents and riders of any potential dangers

· Do not allow bouncers to become rowdy. Remember they are bounce houses, not wrestling houses of acrobatic houses.

· Be sure kids empty their pockets and remove their shoes and not bring any object from outside into the bounce house.

· Take turns with smaller groups of the same size/age group. This will prevent overcrowding and injuries fro m bigger kids falling on smaller kids.

· Do not allow long play in hot summer months to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.

Keeping kids safe and happy in their bouncy environment takes planning, scrutiny and care. Whether or not the supervisor , operator and/or installer used reasonable care to prevent harm to the children will be indicative of the presence of liability. If it was apparent that an accident might occur and the individual or company provided no means of prevention, a finding of liability may lead to recovered damages.

These types of cases are very complex and require representation of a law group with vast experience in premise and product liability as well as personal injury. Vititoe Law Group is that law firm. If your child was injured in a bounce house accident, or any other amusement accident, and you believe negligence was involved, reach out to Vititoe Law Group by calling 818-851-1886 or contact us online, to arrange a free consultation. Don't settle for any law firm - call Vititoe Law Group today.

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