What Should I Do After a Water Park Injury in FL?
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What Should I Do After a Water Park Injury in FL?
Florida’s year-round sunny and hot weather makes visits to the water a fun and relaxing way to spend the day. However, visiting a water park should be a safe and enjoyable experience rather than resulting in a trip to the emergency room. If you or your child suffered a preventable water park injury in FL, you could potentially recover compensation for injuries and expenses.
Knowing what to do when an injury occurs can be essential for protecting your right to justice and compensation. Getting prompt medical care, documenting the accident, and contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer can all be vital first steps when someone in your family gets hurt.
Morgan & Morgan’s tenacious accident lawyers have helped countless injured clients recover the settlement they need and deserve. We could help you too. Get started now and contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Safe Are Florida’s Water Parks?
Many water parks go to great lengths to ensure the safety and comfort of their visitors. However, some facilities put profit before safety and cut corners on maintenance of the facility, slides, and rides.
When a preventable water park accident happens, the results can be tragic. Individuals potentially suffer catastrophic or permanently disabling injuries such as spinal cord damage, head and brain injuries, fractures, and debilitating back injuries. Moreover, drownings and near-drownings, waterborne disease transmission, and slip and falls can all occur at Florida water parks.
Florida Water Park Regulations
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is generally responsible for regulating amusement parks and water parks in Florida. However, some of the state’s most prominent amusement and water parks, including Walt Disney World, are exempt from government inspections as long as they have more than 1000 staff members and full-time inspectors on site.
However, without independent oversight, a conflict of interest arguably exists when park inspectors investigate their employer in the event of an accident. When accidents and injuries happen at exempt amusement or water parks, they are typically not investigated by any public safety authorities.
Non-Exempt Water Parks
FDACS schedules semi-annual inspections for permanent amusement rides, including those in non-exempt water parks. The authority is also responsible for investigating any accidents that involve amusement rides in water parks. FDACS can enforce the closure of rides and levy sanctions on water park owners for any violations of the law that could be dangerous to public health and safety.
Act Fast After Getting Hurt at a Water Park
If you or a loved one suffered a significant water park injury in FL, acting quickly and decisively will be vital. Your next best steps after an accident can be:
Seek Prompt Medical Advice
If you declined medical help at the accident scene, consider getting checked out by a doctor during the next few days. Some potentially serious injuries can have a delayed onset and may not present with any symptoms at first. If you did not seek medical help and later develop serious symptoms, you might run into problems when seeking compensation. The defendant could argue that your injuries have nothing to do with the water park accident, and you may be unable to prove the contrary.
Report the Accident to Water Park Staff
Even if your injuries do not seem major at the time, make sure you report your accident to water park staff and management. They should provide you with a document to fill in. The report should list all important details of your accident and injury and can provide excellent evidence. On the flip side, if you do not file a report with the water park, the owner or management could later argue that the accident did not take place at all.
Contact an Attorney for Advice and Guidance
Consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you or a loved one got hurt at a water park. An attorney can help to protect your rights and determine whether you have a case against a water park owner or management company. A lawyer can also get started on your case immediately and collect any time-sensitive evidence, such as witness statements and photographs of the accident scene.
Collect Evidence of the Accident and Injuries
If you are hoping to recover damages with an insurance claim or by filing a lawsuit against the water park, you will need comprehensive evidence to prove your claim. Evidence can include but is not limited to:
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- Accident reports
- Medical reports listing your injuries and treatments
- Eyewitness statements
- CCTV camera footage
Make sure to keep all receipts of out-of-pocket costs such as transportation expenses and medication costs.
Causes of Water Park Injuries in FL
If you happen to slip and get hurt at a water park due to inattention or wearing inappropriate footwear, you most likely will have to deal with the physical and financial consequences yourself. However, there can be many ways in which a water park’s negligence or recklessness could cause patrons to suffer physical, emotional, and financial damages. Reasons for water park accidents can include:
- Defective rides
- Lack of lifeguards
- Unqualified or untrained lifeguards
- Overcrowding of the facility and equipment
- Lack of warnings about hazards
- Staff failing to enforce weight and height regulations
- Poor overall maintenance
- Unlocked doors permitting access to unsafe areas or toxic chemicals
- Slippery surfaces and loose mats
- Cluttered and obstructed walkways
If you suffered an injury due to a water park’s negligence, you should not have to carry the financial burden for your injury, medical expenses, and other losses. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced personal injury lawyers can work tirelessly to pursue adequate compensation.
Proving Your Water Park Injury Case
An injured individual seeking compensation will have to prove that the water park is responsible for their accident and injury, which can be challenging. However, owners and management of water parks must ensure their premises, rides, and pools are reasonably safe. This can include adequate and timely maintenance of all aspects of the park and providing trained staff. If a hazard or dangerous condition exists, water park management should remedy the situation as soon as possible or at the very least provide an adequate warning.
A water park could be negligent and responsible for your accident if it failed to provide a safe environment. However, to have a personal injury case and receive compensation, accident victims and their attorney must prove that:
- The defendant (the water park) owed the victim a duty of care
- The defendant breached duty by letting unsafe conditions persist
- The breach caused the victim’s accident and injury
- The victim sustained damages such as medical bills
Damages for Water Park Injuries
Severe injuries can cause physical and emotional suffering as well as astronomical medical bills and other expenses. If a water park is responsible for your injuries, you could receive compensation. While the exact amount and types of compensation recoverable will vary from case to case, you could be entitled to:
- Medical expenses and future medical costs
- Wage losses and future loss of wages
- Transport costs
- Household assistance
- Modification of your home and vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced life quality
A serious injury can turn a victim’s entire life upside down in a split second, with potentially devastating consequences for their career and home life. While compensation cannot turn back the time and restore your health, it can offer some comfort and help with financial responsibilities. Our compassionate and dedicated personal injury lawyers can assess your accident, calculate your damages, and go after the responsible party.
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Do I Have a Case Against a Florida Water Park?
If your accident and injury happened due to a water parks’ negligence, such as poorly maintained equipment, slippery surfaces, inexperienced lifeguards, or for other reasons, you might have a case. Water park lawsuits can be complex and could involve various at-fault parties, such as:
- The company owning the water park
- Water park management or concessionaires
- Negligent employees
- Manufacturers of defective equipment
- Companies responsible for maintenance and servicing of rides and slides
If you would like to find out whether you have a case and could file a lawsuit, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer. An attorney could clarify your options, identify all at-fault parties, and help with navigating the legal process if you got hurt at a water park.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Water Park Injury Lawsuit?
It is important to note that the time to file a lawsuit for a personal injury in Florida is limited. According to Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a), injured individuals generally have four years to file a lawsuit for a water park injury. The time starts running on the date of your accident and injury.
The right timing of a lawsuit can be crucial. However, filing too soon could mean leaving money on the table. It is generally advisable to wait until the victim recovered fully or reached maximum medical recovery. Only when an individual recovered to a certain degree will it be possible to estimate expected future damages such as medical expenses and wage losses. If you have a case against a water park, one of our experienced attorneys can advise you of the best possible timing for your lawsuit.
What Types of Injuries Could I Get Compensation for?
You could potentially claim damages for any injury that happened at a water park due to the negligence or willful actions of another party. Water park injuries can include, among others:
- Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Waterborne diseases and infections
- Potentially permanent health effects from a near-drowning incident
Tragically, some victims never recover from their injuries, and for some, injuries from a serious water park accident can prove fatal. If your loved one died due or you suffered severe injuries in a water park incident, you could be entitled to damages and should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Water park injury cases can be challenging to litigate on your own as you could be up against a large or even global corporation and its teams of lawyers. Individuals without legal representation could end up getting pushed into accepting a low settlement offer or may not be able to recover damages due to the tactics employed by insurance companies and powerful corporations. Companies may attempt to dissuade you from filing a lawsuit and pursuing the settlement you deserve.
Having an experienced and determined lawyer in your corner can level the playing field and signal to the responsible party that you are serious about fighting for your due. However, in practical ways, a lawyer can help you with all aspects of your case, including but not limited to:
- Offering legal advice and guidance
- Gathering the evidence to prove negligence
- Providing expert witnesses to strengthen your case
- Analyzing your accident and determining all liable parties
- Negotiating a fair out-of-court settlement
- Representing your case in the strongest terms at trial
Consider working with a lawyer, especially if you or a family member suffered from comprehensive or disabling injuries that could have profound effects for years to come. A lawyer will fight tirelessly for what you need to rebuild your life and could help to avert financial hardship.
Morgan & Morgan Can Fight for You
Morgan & Morgan’s accident attorneys have been fighting for the injured for over 35 years. We know how devastating and life-changing serious water park injuries in FL can be for victims and their families. If you or a loved one got hurt due to a corporation’s negligence or recklessness, get in touch. You do not have to go through this on your own.
Morgan & Morgan can be here for you every step of your way and fight for the settlement you need to put your life back together. We do not charge a dime unless we win and you recover compensation. Contact us today to determine your options for getting justice.