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What Is the Water Park Injury Process in CA?
Sometimes, a fun and carefree outing to a CA water park can end up at the emergency room. However, if you get hurt due to a water park’s negligence, you could collect compensation for medical bills and other damages.
While personal injury law generally allows victims legal recourse, holding a large corporation or water park management company to account can involve complex legal issues. Let us handle the water park injury CA process. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated personal injury lawyers know how to tackle challenging cases and can fight for what you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine whether you have a case.
Important Steps in the CA Water Park Injury Process
After suffering an injury at a water park, knowing the best course of action can be vital for protecting your rights to legal recourse and compensation.
Your main priority will undoubtedly be your health or that of your loved one after an accident at a water park. Seeking medical advice as soon as possible can protect you from any undiagnosed injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Mayo Clinic, TBI may not show any symptoms until days or even weeks after the injury occurred.
A medical provider can also document your injuries and treatments in detail, providing you with a medical report which can be essential for holding the responsible party to account.
Report the Accident
Alert water park staff and fill in an accident report, no matter how minor your injuries may seem at first. By completing a report, you are protecting yourself in case your injuries turn out to be more serious in due course. Remember to get a copy of the report for your own records before you leave the premises.
Document the Accident and Injuries
Document everything to do with the accident, even if it seems trivial. Make sure to collect the names and contact details of any eyewitnesses, including water park staff. If you can, take pictures of the accident scene and any defects or maintenance issues that may have contributed to your accident.
Lastly, collect every receipt of your expenses connected to the accident injury, which can include:
- Medical bills
- Transport costs
- Costs for medical devices
- Costs for medications
- Wage stubs to show any lost income
Do Not Discuss Your Accident with Anyone
Unfortunately, whatever you say at the accident scene and later on could potentially be used against you. For example, you may be tempted to apologize at the accident scene, which could be misinterpreted as admitting fault for your injuries. Protect your legal rights by remaining calm and only communicating the necessary to water park staff and management.
Under no circumstances should accident victims post any details of the incident to social media. It is also advisable to decline giving statements, recorded or verbal, to the water park’s insurance company until you have discussed the incident with an attorney.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
When you or a loved one got seriously hurt at a water park, you need to know your options. Since claims against corporations can be challenging, consider speaking to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process and leave no stone unturned in fighting for the best possible outcome of your case.
The Legal Water Park Injury Process in CA
As per California Civil Code § 1714, victims can pursue damages if they have been hurt due to the negligence or willful conduct of another. The legal process for victims seeking damages after a water park injury typically begins with a demand letter. Before going one step further and filing an actual lawsuit, your lawyer will most likely try to secure an out-of-court settlement with the water park’s insurance company.
The Demand Letter
A demand letter can include the following information:
- The circumstances and facts of the accident
- The nature and extent of any injuries suffered
- Reasons why the water park is liable
- Details and costs of medical treatment
- Details of income losses and other monetary damages
- Details of any non-economic damages such as pain and suffering
- A suggested settlement figure
Once your attorney sends out a demand letter and both sides reach an agreement, a lawsuit can be avoided. Out-of-court settlements are generally quicker, offer a guaranteed settlement, and are generally much less costly than taking a case through the court system.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If negotiations for an out-of-court settlement are unsuccessful, the injured individual and their attorney will typically go ahead and file suit. The attorney will begin legal proceedings by filing a summons notifying the water park that they are being sued. Next, the attorney will file the official complaint, which generally includes:
- Details of the accident and injury
- Details regarding the water park’s negligence and liability
- The amount sought in damages
It is important to note that most personal injury cases are resolved with a settlement before trial. However, in some cases, especially when a lot of money is at stake, a trial may be unavoidable.
The Time for Filing a Water Park Injury Lawsuit Is Limited in CA
Those injured at a water park should know that they do not have an unlimited amount of time for filing a lawsuit and recovering damages. According to the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, individuals generally have only two years to file suit for a personal injury. If you miss the deadline, you may lose the right to recover compensation. The clock starts ticking from the moment you or your loved one suffers a water park injury. Discussing your case with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible can prevent you from missing the deadline to file suit.
Accidents and Injuries in CA Water Parks
Accidents in waterparks can happen due to slippery surfaces, overcrowding, defective equipment, and a multitude of other reasons. Although water parks generally employ lifeguards, staff could be overwhelmed due to overcrowding of the facility. In some cases, lifeguards may lack the qualifications or training required to assist effectively in emergencies.
Water Park Injuries
Slips and falls, diving into the shallow end of the pool, and getting pulled underwater, are just some examples of accidents that can cause severe injuries. Some of the injuries seen at water parks can include:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Torn ligaments and other soft-tissue injuries
- Bacterial infections
Some of the individuals hurt at water parks suffer lifelong devastating consequences such as a permanent disability.
Near-Drowning and Drowning Accidents
The potential for drowning accidents can be a concern at water parks despite the presence of lifeguards. Figures from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that around ten individuals die each day due to drowning in the US. In crowded swimming areas and on slides, children can get knocked out easily and experience a frightening near-drowning event. Lack of oxygen in a near-drowning can cause permanent brain damage.
Water park injuries can change lives and devastate families, particularly when a victim suffers fatal or permanent injuries. However, victims and their families could be entitled to compensation for their expenses and suffering. If you or a loved one experienced the tragic consequences of a water park accident, a seasoned attorney at Morgan & Morgan can determine your next best steps for getting justice.
The Water Park Could Be Responsible for Your Injury
Sometimes, we get injured due to our own inattention or carelessness. However, at other times, a water park’s staff, management, or owner could be responsible for an injury. If your injury happened due to no fault of your own, you could potentially sue the water park. Negligent reasons for water park accidents can include:
- Damaged or defective water park equipment
- Overcrowding of the slides and rides
- Lifeguard inattention or error
- Lack of warnings regarding hazards
- Insufficient number of lifeguards
- Lack of weight and height restriction enforcement for rides
- Poor maintenance of the pools and equipment
If you or your child got hurt due to a CA water park’s negligence, the park could be responsible for your damages and injuries.
Can I File a Lawsuit if the Park Says I Am Partially at Fault?
It is not uncommon for a water park to allege that an injury victim caused their own injuries. In the first instance, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your accident and find out who is liable. However, even if you have some degree of fault for your accident, you could potentially still claim some damages under California’s comparative fault law. The amount you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
When fault for the accident is contested, having a personal injury lawyer fight for the compensation you deserve can be crucial. The defendant will most likely pull out all the stops to prove that your own negligence is to blame for your accident and injuries. An attorney can help to protect you from any attempts to push the blame for the accident on you.
Proving negligence is essential for recovering your due after an accident. Generally, you will have to prove that:
- The defendant had a duty of care
- They breached this duty
- The breach directly caused your accident and injury
- You suffered actual damages such as medical expenses
The management or staff of the water park should provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors. Breach of duty can occur, for example, if a water park failed to ensure adequate maintenance or employed too few lifeguards, as well as for other reasons.
Which Types of Compensation Could I Receive?
Depending on your accident and the severity of your injuries, you could recover various types of compensation, including but not limited to:
- Healthcare expenses and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income and future lost earning capacity
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Loss of life quality
You could also receive other and additional types of damages.
How Can an Attorney Help Me with a Water Park Injury Case?
Holding a water park to account for your injuries and financial losses can be an uphill struggle. Standing up to a large corporation and its lawyers and insurance companies can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Moreover, there could be numerous defendants in your case, including:
- The water park owner or management
- Employees of the water park
- Other water park visitors
- Third-party companies that provide services or goods in the park
- Waterslide or ride manufacturers
An attorney will be able to shed light on all the potential defendants in your accident which could open up several avenues for pursuing compensation. Your lawyer will protect your best interests and legal rights at all times, handling your case from beginning to end while you are free to concentrate on your recovery.
Handling Your Case from Beginning to End
Other ways in which a personal injury attorney from our firm could help include:
- Ensuring you receive adequate medical treatment
- Gathering the evidence required to prove negligence and liability
- Calculating your damages and expected future damages
- Liaising with your doctor to obtain medical reports and physician statements
- Communicating with the water park and its insurance company
- Negotiating a fair out-of-court settlement
- Representing you aggressively at trial
Most of all, having an experienced personal injury lawyer in your corner can give you peace of mind during what can be a stressful and upsetting time.
Morgan & Morgan Can Fight for You
Do not let a powerful water park corporation get away scot-free after causing your accident. If you or a loved one got injured due to a water park’s carelessness or recklessness, you deserve an adequate payout for your medical costs and other expenses. Morgan & Morgan understands just how crucial receiving a fair settlement can be for rebuilding your life after an unexpected injury.
While the CA water park injury process can be convoluted, you do not have to go it alone. Our attorneys can fight aggressively to hold the at-fault parties to account. You do not pay any attorney’s fees unless and until we win. Contact us now for immediate help and advice.