Waterpark Accident Attorney
Southern California is home to many waterparks. When the weather is especially warm, few activities are more refreshing and enjoyable than swimming, going down a water slide, or splashing about in the unique attractions that parks like Raging Waters Los Angeles, Buccaneer Bay, and Soak City have to offer.
While these destinations usually live up to their promises, there are some that end in tragedy or serious injury. If you or someone you love has been injured because a waterpark operator was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
At Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, an amusement park accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your claim to identify all liable parties, negotiate for a fair settlement, and take your case to trial if necessary. You only have two years to file a personal injury claim in California, so we’re ready to act as soon as you call.
When Fun Times Go Wrong: Injuries at Waterparks
Across the United States, more than 4,200 people are injured yearly at waterparks. A 10-year-old boy was injured a few years ago when he was launched out of a tube on a water slide at Emerald Glen Park in Dublin, California. Fortunately, his injuries were minor, but in another incident, a man fractured his pelvis and hip while using a water slide at Raging Waters theme park in San Jose.
Common waterpark injuries include:
- Cuts, bruises, and broken bones from falling or being struck by rides
- Food poisoning from spoiled or undercooked food at concession stands
- Slips and falls while traveling on slippery surfaces or getting on or off rides
- Neck and back injuries due to inadequate safety gear, ride malfunctions, deep-water diving, and fast-moving rides
- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries due to poor ride control, inadequate safety conditions, etc.
- Electrocution injuries from contact with unsafe wiring
- Drowning, which can happen when there is insufficient oversight or lack of control over how many people are using an attraction at once
Many people do not realize that waterparks and amusement parks are not regulated by the federal government. These types of parks are regulated by state laws, which vary widely. To compound the challenges, park owners frequently claim that injured visitors have waived their right to fail a claim- tickets usually include small print excusing owners and employees from liability for any injuries, including those caused by negligence or intentional misconduct.
Nevertheless, these waivers can be challenged in many cases with the help of a personal injury attorney. For example, the park may have been grossly negligent when building, maintaining or operating a ride or attraction, or the waiver was never valid. Anyone injured at a waterpark should immediately contact a water slide injury lawyer to review their legal options.
Causes of Waterpark Accidents
While several factors can lead to a waterpark accident, the most common include:
- Improper ride operation by distracted or inexperienced employees
- Poor maintenance that fails to uncover broken, rusted, or faulty ride parts
- Mechanical or structural failure
- Food poisoning
- Too many toxic chemicals in the water
- Unsafe electrical wiring
- Slippery surfaces
Regardless of the cause, if the park and its employees were negligent in any way, a water slide injury lawyer can help you identify the liable parties and pursue compensation from them.
Who’s Responsible for a Waterpark Injury?
Waterpark injuries may be caused by more than one party. Although every case is different, defendants in a personal injury lawsuit may include one or more of the following:
- Waterpark Owner or Operator: When an improperly maintained ride or other unsafe condition causes an accident, the water park owner or operator may be held liable for their actions or lack of effort. A company may also be liable if inadequate employee training contributed to the accident.
- Waterpark Employee: An employee might be responsible for your injuries if they were clearly negligent. For example, a ride operator let too many guests onto an attraction or a lifeguard was sleeping while on duty. In this case, the park may also be vicariously liable for its employee’s actions.
- Waterpark Guest: Accidents at water parks can also be caused by negligent guests. Overloading rides, jumping into crowded pools, disregarding safety warnings, or stopping during slides are all examples of risky conduct that may injure others.
Other potential defendants may include:
- Vendors who provide goods and services to the park
- The waterpark’s parent company
- The park’s insurance company
- Water slide manufacturers or engineers
What To Do After a Waterpark Accident
When you are injured at a waterpark, there are certain steps you should take to protect your compensation rights.
- Report the Accident Right Away: Fill out an accident report at the waterpark. The staff may try to dissuade you, but stand firm. Once the report is complete, request a copy for your records.
- Collect Evidence: If you can, take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries. Obtain the contact information of any eyewitnesses and note exactly how the accident occurred.
- Seek Medical Attention: See your doctor or go to the emergency room even if you don’t think you’ve been badly hurt, as some injuries take days to develop symptoms. In order to seek compensation from the responsible party, you will also need a medical report listing your injuries.
- Contact a California Waterpark Accident Attorney: When you suffer injuries, calling a personal injury lawyer is the most important step you can take to protect your rights. Water park owners and operators can be difficult to sue, and a lawyer can advise you on your legal options, investigate the accident, and seek compensation from the appropriate party or parties on your behalf.
Does Assumption of Risk Affect My Waterpark Injury Claim?
The assumption of risk doctrine shifts liability for an accident to those who engaged in inherently risky activities. During a waterpark accident lawsuit, for example, the park may claim it is not liable for damages because you voluntarily participated in an activity where injury or death was a constant risk.
However, even if the activity was considered inherently risky, the park may still be liable for your injuries if it violated state safety laws or regulations or somehow increased your risk. If the equipment was poorly maintained or the employees did not receive the training needed to provide adequate safety instructions, assumption of risk likely won’t be seen as a valid defense.
How Much is My Waterpark Accident Case Worth?
The compensation you may receive depends on the circumstances surrounding your injury. A spinal cord injury, for example, will typically cost more to treat and require more time off work and rehabilitation than a broken ankle. Most personal injury claims include the following losses:
- Current and future medical treatment
- Lost income
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Depending on your situation, other potential damages include:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
Occasionally, a judge may award punitive damages. They are awarded for extreme negligence and to prevent future actions of a similar nature. In California, punitive damages are only capped for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims, so if the waterpark was especially negligent, an award can significantly increase your compensation.
It is important to note that California’s pure comparative fault law can affect how much compensation you receive. This law states that if you were partly at fault for your waterpark injury, your settlement or award will be reduced accordingly. For example, if you are awarded $50,000 in a water slide injury case but a jury determines that you were 40% responsible because you stopped on the slide, you would only receive $30,000, which represents the park’s share of liability.
Injured at a Waterpark in California? Get a Free Consultation From a Los Angeles Injury Lawyer.
While there are thrills associated with waterparks, there are always potential dangers. If the worst happens, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the complexities of amusement park accidents. At Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, we fight for the money you need to recover from your injuries, and won’t settle for anything less. We offer free consultations, and if we take your case, you don’t pay us until we win compensation for you. To learn more or schedule your no-obligation case review, contact us today!