Does your child make a beeline for a friend's house down the street after school every day because they have a trampoline in the backyard or a treehouse built in one of their enormous oak trees? Even if you've inspected a neighbor's backyard play equipment, it appears safe and they've assured you that they never let the kids play unsupervised, there are no guarantees when your child is at someone else's home.
What if your child falls and breaks an arm or gets a knock to the head and is diagnosed with a concussion? Chances are that your neighbors can be held liable for the medical bills and other damages.
They should have disclosed a trampoline, treehouse or other potential danger to their homeowners' insurance provider when they bought or built it to make sure that they were covered for any injuries. Many insurers won't cover trampolines. Some insurers require them to have certain safety precautions in place (like not having a trampoline too close to a street or having a protective net around it) to provide coverage.
Sometimes, homeowners obtain a personal liability policy (PUP) to increase their coverage in case of an accident. It's important to find out what coverage your neighbors have.
What if your child went over to their friend's house and used the trampoline or treehouse while they were away on vacation? Maybe they climbed the fence or they knew the security code for the gate. If they're injured, are your neighbors still liable?
Either a trampoline or a treehouse can be considered an "attractive nuisance." That's a potentially dangerous feature that makes a property more appealing. Property owners can often be held liable for injuries to children on these attractive nuisances -- even if they didn't have permission to be on the property. That's because it's assumed that a child may not understand the risk they're undertaking by using the trampoline, treehouse, pool or whatever the "attractive nuisance" may be without supervision.
If your child is injured on someone else's play equipment, whether it's at a neighbor's house, a daycare center, school or park, it may be wise to talk with an attorney. They can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.