Water Park Injury
A day at the waterpark should end in lots of carefree memories, not a trip to the emergency room. If you or your child were hurt at a water park, you deserve justice and fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced Miami water slide accident lawyer like those at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., can review the circumstances of your injury for free and will help you evaluate your legal options.Summer Fun Can Lead to Tragedy
Water park safety recently gained national attention after a tragic accident in August of 2016. That summer, a young boy died from a gruesome neck injury after riding an attraction at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The ten-year-old was killed on the Verrückt, an extreme waterslide billed as being taller than the Statue of Liberty. The 165-foot slide had been open for not quite two years, and was opened late after being delayed for weeks due to failed safety tests. While the park made some adjustments to the ride, the precautions added were not enough to prevent the child’s death.
While the Schlitterbahn case is one of the most well-known, thousands of injuries and multiple deaths at waterparks go largely unreported. According to the International Association of Amusement Park Rides and Attractions, over 4,300 people a year need emergency treatment after a trip to an amusement or water park.
Florida residents are especially likely to be injured at waterparks. South Florida weather and the presence of both major theme parks and smaller attractions like Paradise Cove Waterpark in Pembroke Pines or Splash Adventure Water Park at Deerfield Beach combine to make Floridians statistically more likely to visit a water park and be injured on a water ride.Water Park Negligence Can Cause Injuries
Water parks have a responsibility to provide patrons with a safe environment to have fun. However, in the quest to create the tallest, fastest, and scariest rides, parks can cut corners on safety.
Water parks and water slides are more susceptible to failure and accidents than are other types of attractions. A recent study by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs examined 552 amusement park injuries over the course of the year in that state. Of that number, 122 accidents occurred on water slides and water rides in general accounted for 40% of that state’s total—even though water rides made up only 11% of the available attractions.
Though the results of that study applied to New Jersey, the problems with water slides and water parks are prevalent nationally. Unlike rollercoasters, which contain sophisticated restraints meant to protect passengers, people on water rides are usually protected by nothing more than an inflatable raft. Many water rides offer no protection to the rider at all. Additionally, constantly changing variables like wind, rain, and the rider’s size and weight can make it impossible for engineers to predict how a person will be impacted by a specific attraction.
Because of these factors, serious injuries at South Florida water parks are increasingly common. Some of the more frequent injuries at these parks may be due to:
- Untrained employees failing to watch for children’s safety,
- Defects in the design or construction of a ride,
- Poorly maintained rides,
- Ride operators under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Slippery or hazardous surfaces,
- Lack of warning signs advising patrons of danger, and/or
- Dimly lit areas where assaults or attacks may occur.
If these factors (or others) contributed to a water park visitor’s injuries, he or she may have the right to file a negligence lawsuit against the water park.Don’t Take on Major Corporations by Yourself
After an injury on a water slide or at a water park, you may be contacted by attorneys or insurance adjusters for the park where you were hurt. It is not uncommon for parks to move quickly to settle injury claims to avoid bad publicity. If you are approached with a settlement offer after an injury, it is important to speak with an attorney about your options before signing any documents or making any agreements.
Lawsuits against a water park or theme park can be complicated. Parts of the park may be owned by multiple corporations, the rides may be maintained by a separate company, or a specific employee may have personal liability. On your own, it can be difficult to know who to sue, how much you should receive, and what a fair settlement entails.
At Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., our attorneys have decades of experienced helping injured people throughout South Florida. If you were injured on a water slide or in a water park, it is important to seek experienced legal help as soon as possible. Don’t wait to get the assistance you need! Contact our Miami personal injury attorneys by calling (877) 475-2905 today and schedule your free consultation.