In Chicago and throughout Illinois, bounce houses are a trendy option for children’s birthday parties and special occasions of all kinds. Unsurprisingly, as this trend has become more prevalent the rate of bounce house accidents and the insurance claims related to them have risen dramatically. The injuries associated with these events can be quite severe, and the medical bills from a so-called inflatable injury can often amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has experience representing adults and children injured in inflatable accidents in Chicago.
Bounce House Rentals, Facilities & Privately Owned Inflatables…Yes, It Makes A Difference In Approaching The Case
The most common bounce houses are those that one rents, which the rental company delivers and sets up on the client’s behalf. However, it is important to note that bounce house accidents are not limited to the rented variety, and much of the spike in inflatable injury cases can be attributed to dedicated bounce house facilities, which are springing up all over Chicago and the surrounding areas.
When choosing a bounce house to rent or a facility to attend, it is very important to challenge that company’s reputation and safety record. It should come as little surprise that some businesses are far more experienced and effective in this regard, and the sacrifice of safety is not worth the savings that may be available.
Illinois Bounce House Injuries
In 1995, there were more than 1,000 children treated for an inflatable injury in a Chicago emergency room. In 2010, more than 11,000 children were similarly treated. That is a staggering rise over a 15-year period, and the statistics suggest that those numbers will continue to rise annually for the foreseeable future.
Based on a study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately three percent of bounce house accidents result in a hospital visit, mostly due to broken bones. More than one-third of those injuries occurred among children (click here for our child injury page) that were 5-years-old or younger. A significant portion of the breaks were severe and required surgery.
Legal Responsibility and Waivers Role In Litigating Illinois Bounce House Injury Cases
When hosting a bounce house, it is very important that the renter be aware of their legal responsibility. Keep in mind that companies that rent bounce castles and the like normally require the renter to sign a waiver. Bounce house facilities do the same and will not provide service to those who refuse. When a consumer signs a waiver, the consumer is accepting the risk associated with the activity, and thus the company is no longer liable. When hosting a rented bounce house, such as for a birthday party, a lawyer may recommend having the parents of attending children sign a similar waiver.
Keeping Children Safe: Parental Inspection and Supervision
Parents should not rely on the goodwill or legal responsibility of a bounce house host. Instead, they should be proactive and inspect the play area for proper setup and any potential dangers. It is also important that children in the bounce house be supervised by an adult at all times. Statistics indicate that a majority of bounce-house-related injuries occur because there were too many kids in the structure or a child was acting inappropriately, such as having other toys in the area. Unless a parent trusts the host implicitly, they should stay to supervise their own child.
It is essential to understand that signing a waiver only means that one accepts the risk associated with the activity. Accidents do happen, and playing in a bounce house can be dangerous, just like so many outdoor activities that children enjoy. A waiver does not, however, mean that one accepts risk associated with negligence, such as inadequate maintenance or improper setup. If your child has been injured in a bounce house rented by you or hosted by another entity, then you should contact a lawyer immediately. It may be that the rental company, the facility or the host is liable and therefore must pay the medical bills and other damages associated with your child’s injury.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, Committed to Protecting You & Your Child When Injured In An Inflatable
A fun party or event can quickly turn sour when a child or adult is injured in an inflatable accident. While no one ever intends for anyone to get hurt while having a good time in a jump house, these apparatuses are ripe for serious injury as safety is generally an afterthought. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers knows the dangers with these recreational devices and is committed to holding all responsible parties accountable for their negligence. We invite you to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your case without any cost or obligation on your part. As with all of our Chicago injury cases, we only charge a fee when there is a recovery for you.