There are many great reasons to visit Florida — the endless sun, year-round warm weather, and gorgeous beaches are a few. On top of all of those things, Florida has enough amusement parks to keep visitors entertained for weeks. From Disney to Busch Gardens, there’s an amusement park to suit any taste.
For all the excitement in preparation for your visit, you don’t prepare for the possibility of getting injured. Unfortunately, injuries are a real risk any time you visit an amusement park for a number of reasons. On average, hospitals see over 4,400 injuries from children under 18 per year.
Were you or a loved one involved in a Florida amusement park accident and want to learn more about your options? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn everything you need to know about recovering from your injury.
Amusement parks and fairs put a lot of work into being a fun and safe environment for people to visit, but that doesn’t mean that they’re without risk. In fact, amusement parks are full of potential risks.
The first and most obvious safety risk is getting injured while on a ride. People have been injured from roller coasters coming off tracks and the failure of safety measures. This can be caused by many things such as defects of the ride or operator negligence.
Other possible injuries you can suffer at amusement parks are a lot like injuries you can suffer anywhere outside the park. For example, poor grounds maintenance can lead to slip and fall injuries. And if crowds get out of control, you can suffer bodily injury through trampling and crushing.
Your personal injury or wrongful death suit starts the moment you’re injured at the amusement park. The best thing you can do immediately after you’ve received care for your injuries and you’re stabilized is to contact an attorney to help guide you through the process.
Anything you say or do after an injury can be used against you in a lawsuit or settlement with the park.
For example, if you tell a ride operator that your head is okay after your head has been injured, but later claim to have suffered a severe head injury, then your credibility will be questioned. Instead, it’s best to stay silent about the extent of your injuries since many injuries take time to develop.
Personal injury cases are evaluated based on a number of factors, but the court or mediator will be looking to find out exactly who is liable for your injury. If your injury is due to something that the park did or didn’t do, then the adjudicator will look for negligence. If your injury is due to a defect in the ride, then it is a products liability case.
Every time you enter an amusement park, that park has a duty of care to make sure that your visit doesn’t result in an injury. When the park fails to fulfill that duty, then the park is considered negligent.
What does negligence look like?
If a park employee fails to perform a proper safety inspection on the ride, then that employee was negligent. A park can even be found to be negligent if they fail to put up proper signage alerting you to dangers such as slippery surfaces.
When you file a case asserting that the amusement park was negligent, then it is up to you to prove that the park breached its duty of care and that the park’s breach led to your injury.
If your injury is due to a defect in the ride, then you will file a products liability suit against the manufacturer or designer of the ride or its parts. Products liability suits work similarly to negligence suits — you have to prove that there was a defect in the ride and that the defect is the cause of your injury.
Of course, your injury can be the result of any number of factors.
In the event that your injury was caused by more than one person, then the court can apportion liability between the defendants based upon their contribution to your injury. For example, if a defect in the ride was 25 percent the cause and park negligence was 75 percent of the cause for your injury, then liability is apportioned accordingly between the manufacturer and the park.
The purpose of compensation after an injury or wrongful death is to make you or your loved ones financially whole. The amount of compensation you stand to receive is dependent upon a number of factors.
If you’re injured at the park, but not disabled, then the purpose of compensation is to cover medical bills and any ongoing medical care, as well as any income you lost due to your injury.
But if your injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to work, then the court will look at your age at the time of the accident to determine the number of working years you had ahead of you. They’ll also determine your earning capacity prior to becoming disabled. These factors are on top of the damages for medical bills and ongoing medical treatment.
In all cases, the court determines your own responsibility. For example, if you’re too short to get on a ride, and the park also fails to check your height and make sure you’re properly secured on the ride, then you will share responsibility. If your own negligence contributed to your injury, then your award is reduced by the percentage of your responsibility.
Visiting an amusement park is an exciting and memorable experience for the whole family. But it also places you and your loved ones at risk of injury. In the event that you have to deal with an injury or wrongful death, remember to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence and your right to recover damages from the liable party.
Not sure where to start looking for an attorney after being involved in a Florida amusement park accident? We can help. Contact us today for a free consultation!