If You Are Injured at a Water Park, Who Is Responsible?
By Space Coast Daily // June 1, 2020
Americans visit water parks expecting to experience the thrills of extreme water slides, to have a relaxing float in a lazy river, and to have fun playing with their children.
No one goes to a water park expecting to get injured, but the fact is thousands of people are injured at water parks across the U.S. each year.
As we all learned after a water slide that decapitated a 10-year-old boy led to murder charges, tragedies can and do happen at water parks. Children have drowned in wave pools, and park-goers have succumbed to brain-eating amoebas. Not all injuries are this severe, but any injury can expose negligence on the park’s behalf that is putting people at risk.
If you or a loved one is injured in a water park, who can be held responsible is determined by several factors. Depending on your state’s laws, you may also be found partly responsible for an accident.
What to Do If You Are Injured
After an injury, take the following steps to ensure that your needs are properly taken care of. Following these four tips can strengthen your case if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Assess Your Injuries
After sustaining an injury at a water park, it is important to assess your injuries. Determine the extent of the injuries, and if your injuries are serious and it is safe to do so, remain where you are and wait for help to arrive. If your injuries are minor, determine whether medical attention is necessary, and use an antibiotic ointment and a bandage if appropriate.
If there were witnesses to your injury, get their names and contact information in case their testimony or statements are needed later. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and any contributing factors, as well as the injuries you sustained.
Report Your Injuries
If an employee has not been made aware of your injuries, be sure to make an official report of your injury with the park as soon as possible. Describe how the injury occurred, where it occurred, and what injuries you sustained.
Consider the Water Park’s Duty
Just because you sustained an injury on their property doesn’t mean that the water park is at fault. Under the premises liability laws, the water park has a duty to their customers to show reasonable care by maintaining and inspecting the park and keeping the area reasonably safe.
Establishing a Claim
If you feel that the water park is at least partially liable for your injury, you should begin gathering evidence to support your claim.
This evidence can include:
• Medical records
• Reports made to employees
• Pictures and video of the scene of the accident
• Pictures and videos of the injury
This evidence should be gathered and organized for presentation to legal counsel.
It is important to consider that should a lawsuit be filed, the court may also review records managed by the water park, such as maintenance records and any history of past injuries.
Assumption of Risk
The park may argue that the customer assumed a certain level of risk by entering the premises, for example, the risk of slipping and falling in a puddle of water.
Customers must demonstrate a reasonable amount of care while they are participating in water park activities. If customers act carelessly, they can be found at least partially liable for their injury, reducing or eliminating the liability of the water park.
File a Lawsuit
If legal counsel believes that you have a case, they will help you file a lawsuit against the water park. The lawsuit begins when an individual files a civil complaint against the water park alleging that the park was careless or irresponsible and should be held liable for the accident.
Most personal injury attorneys work on contingency and offer free case evaluations. You can visit this link if you want to request a case evaluation. Personal injury cases may be settled faster and for more money when you are represented by an experienced professional.
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled before the case actually is tried in court. A settlement occurs when both sides come to an agreement after a time of negotiation. Negotiations can begin at any time, and a settlement can also be agreed to at any point before a final judgment is made.
Arbitration can be an alternative to filing a lawsuit against a water park. In arbitration, each side presents their case to a neutral third party, who then makes a decision. Arbitration is well-liked because it is faster than a lawsuit, it is less expensive, and it is more flexible in the way it proceeds.
In most cases, both sides agree to the arbitrator. Arbitrators often specialize in a specific type of subject matter, making them a great alternative to a judge.
In order to begin the arbitration process, one side will send the other a written demand for arbitration. This demand will include pertinent details, such as the specific dispute and the type of compensation or desired resolution.
Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. If you or a friend or family member has been hurt at a water park, an attorney can help you review your options and decide how to proceed. You may be able to get a settlement or award that will help you pay for medical treatments and cover your lost wages.