Knott’s Berry Farm Injury Lawyer
Knott’s Berry Farm Injury Lawyer
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Knott’s Berry Farm Injury Lawyer
Amusement parks are generally expected to have the occasional accident due to the sheer volume of visitors each day and the thrilling rides that pose dangerous risks. However, Knott’s Berry Farm in California has become particularly notorious when it comes to injuries for guests—and if you or a loved one were hurt during a visit, you may need to speak with a Knott’s Berry Farm injury lawyer to pursue compensation.
The safety of your family should not be taken lightly, and theme parks have a responsibility to mitigate potential risks and provide a safe and secure environment for its guests. If you or someone you love has suffered due to the negligence of a theme park employee, the theme park management, or other liable party, don’t hesitate to contact Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury law firm in the country, for help.
Morgan and Morgan has extensive experience handling cases that involve injuries sustained at amusement parks. In fact, our law firm was started after founder John Morgan’s brother was injured at an amusement park that wouldn’t take responsibility for the accident.
We have experts that specialize in these often complex legal issues involving premises liability. While you may think you have few options, a free case evaluation with a Knott's Berry Farm injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and explain the best strategy to ensure you receive compensation for damages you or your loved one sustained.
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What Is Premises Liability?
In California, like all other states, property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their property is reasonably safe for visitors, especially when they are on the premises with the status of a customer. The duties of property owners include maintaining the property to keep it in a reasonably safe condition and undertaking steps to fix or warn of hazards and dangers. When a property owner fails in their duty and a visitor is injured due to this fact, the property owner may be held liable for damages.
That's the general spirit of the law. However, we'll get into more detail concerning amusement parks specifically a little later. To win a premise liability lawsuit against a negligent property owner, plaintiffs typically have to prove the following elements:
- The party that is being sued is the owner, occupier, or possessor of the property where the injury occurred
- The defendant breached their duty to maintain or keep the property reasonably safe for visitors
- The plaintiff was injured as a consequence of the defendant's breach of duty
- The defendant's breach of duty was a significant factor in causing the plaintiff's injury
Comparative fault is a recognized concept in California, meaning if you are found to have contributed to your injuries in some way, the damages you might recover will be reduced proportionately to your degree of responsibility. Here's an illustration. Suppose you had more than a few drinks at the Calico Saloon at Knott's Berry Farm. Afterward, you walk out and trip over an unearthed paving brick that is pretty obvious and land on your knee, resulting in a severe sprain. Now, the brick likely should have been recognized by staff as a danger and accordingly dealt with. However, if you hadn't been impaired, you probably would have seen it and avoided your accident.
In a scenario like this, a jury may decide you have some guilt. For example, they may decide you're 30% at fault, resulting in a 30% reduction in whatever award they conclude you are entitled to receive.
How Can a Knott's Berry Farm Injury Lawyer Help?
Morgan and Morgan's division of premises liability lawyers can help injured individuals recover compensation through various methods. Here are some common steps we take to ensure a successful resolution:
Investigate the Accident - Once your case is accepted, your Knott's Berry Farm injury lawyer will first evaluate all the facts surrounding the accident. This may include interviewing any eyewitnesses, accessing incident reports and medical records, visiting the site of the accident to inspect the conditions, and reviewing any available video recordings or photographic evidence.
Identifying Liable Parties - An amusement park accident could have multiple liable parties, including the property owner, ride manufacturers, and third-party vendors. After gathering all available information, your lawyer will understand which parties to hold accountable.
Calculate the Extent of your Injuries and Damages - One very critical skill your lawyer will have is accurately calculating your losses. This includes evaluating losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you may not realize you're entitled to request repayment.
Determine the Legal Basis for Liability - Identifying the potentially liable parties and assessing the damages are just a few steps in the process. Depending on the unique facts of your case, your lawyer will determine the legal basis of your suit, which may include negligence, product liability, or any other legal concept that applies to your accident.
Provide Guidance for a Claim or File a Lawsuit - Once sufficient evidence has been gathered, liable parties identified, and a legal basis has been settled on, the next step is to file a claim with the amusement park's insurers or file a lawsuit with the court. The general procedure is to draft a complaint, file it with the relevant court, and serve the defendant(s) with notice of impending legal action.
Negotiating a Settlement or Advancing With a Trial - Every case has exceptional circumstances that will impact whether a settlement can be reached through negotiations or if a more formal process must play out in court, leaving it to a judge and jury to decide. While negotiating is preferable for a variety of reasons, a trial is a viable option when all other avenues have been exhausted. Typically, complex cases that involve serious injury end up in court because large amounts of money are involved.
Throughout the process, your Morgan and Morgan attorney will work closely with you and your family to resolve the dispute in your favor.
How Do People Get Injured in Amusement Parks?
Amusement parks like Knott's Berry Farm are intended for thrills and chills, but not necessarily spills. This leads us to one of the most common accidents people sustain while visiting theme parks, among others:
Slip and Fall Accidents - Knott's Berry Farm, like any amusement park, has many different surfaces, such as stairs, walkways, and ride platforms, which can become dangerous if not correctly maintained and hazards managed. Rain can make pathways slippery, and walkways can become uneven without proper maintenance, which poses a risk to visitors. Slip and fall accidents can result in serious, if not life-threatening, injuries such as head and spinal trauma.
Ride-related Injuries - Rides like the Sierra Sidewinder and the Timberlane Twister are designed for entertainment. Still, they can become dangerous death traps if not adequately maintained or if operators engage in unsafe practices. Frequent ride-related injuries can include head and neck injuries, whiplash, and broken bones.
Negligent Security - Many people that enjoy Knott's Berry Farm are on vacation visiting from different areas, so people are less on guard, making them ideal targets for individuals with criminal intent. However, park owners and operators must know that large distracted crowds warrant sufficient security. Otherwise, their visitors can become unwitting victims of assault, theft, and other criminal activities.
Food Poisoning - Knott's Berry Farm has over 35 restaurants, grills, cantinas, bakeries, and snack shops. However, when food isn't properly stored or handled, it can result in food poisoning and other food-borne illnesses.
Overcrowding - Due to its popularity, Knott's Berry Farm can get quite crowded, especially during special events. However, these conditions can make it difficult to move and can result in people getting violently jostled around and even trampled on.
Improper Supervision - Some areas of amusement parks are mainly geared toward young children. Camp Snoopy allows children as small as 32 inches to ride attractions independently without parental supervision. If staff doesn't adequately supervise tiny tots, they may be injured on their watch.
It's crucial for amusement park owners, operators, and staff to take all the required precautions to ensure visitors don't sustain preventable injuries. This includes regular maintenance and inspection of the grounds and rides, adequate security, proper food handling, and sufficient training of employees.
Who Is Responsible for Safety at Amusement Parks?
Amusement park owners and operators are governed by strict safety regulations to provide protection for visitors. In 2000, California established the Permanent Amusement Ride Safety Inspection Program, which regulates ride owners through administrative and technical standards. If any injury or accident occurs, they must report it to the authorities.
Amusement park dangers are recognized at the state and federal levels, so certain rules and regulations have been implemented to address the issue. However, these policies won't necessarily apply to every injury and each instance.
Generally, if an unsafe condition exists or ride operators are negligent, they can be held liable for injuries that result from actions or inaction. Even so, California has a specific law that can impact your ability to recover compensation depending on the factors of your accident.
What California Laws Can Impact a My Knott's Berry Farm Injury Claim?
One law that explicitly limits the liability of amusement parks is the "Assumption of Risk" doctrine, codified in the California civil code. Under this law, voluntary participation in a ride or attraction presumes the risk of injury inherent in that activity when the guest is made aware of the danger and given proper instructions. The exception to this rule is that the ride or attraction must be maintained appropriately, and the operation must follow the product's instructions of use or any labeled warning or directions.
Even so, this doesn't mean Knott's Berry Farm or any other amusement park has immunity from lawsuits. Specifically, if the owner, operator, or staff contributes to the injury of a visitor by failing to maintain or improperly operating rides or failing to warn of known dangerous conditions, they can still be held liable for injuries.
What Damages Are Available in an Amusement Park Accident?
You may be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim when you're injured in an amusement park accident. Damages may include the following:
- Medical Bills
- Emergency Room Treatment
- Physical Therapy
- Ambulance and Emergency Services Fees
- Lost Wages
- Compensation for Scarring or Disfigurement
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
In rare cases, the court can assess punitive damages to punish wrongdoers that participated in particularly egregious behaviors, such as allowing a ride to operate without the proper inspections and licensing.
When to Contact a Knott's Berry Farm Injury Lawyer?
Timing is critical when you've suffered an injury because of someone else's negligence, including the time you let lapse before seeing a doctor. Generally, you will do yourself a big favor by seeking medical attention and contacting a lawyer as soon after the accident as possible. Morgan and Morgan are available for consultation any time of the day or night. We understand how devastating a serious accident can be, so we are prepared to take control of the situation to protect your rights, including:
Evidence Preservation - It's not unheard of for potentially liable parties to do all they can to cover up evidence of negligence. The sooner you contact us, the quicker we can send anti-spoilation letters. Once a party is made aware that the evidence is crucial, they cannot legally tamper with or destroy evidence. Likewise, quick action on your part makes it easier for us to locate and interview eyewitnesses and analyze the location for physical evidence.
Developing a Winning Legal Strategy - Your experienced Knott's Berry Farm injury lawyer will develop a legal strategy that fits the unique circumstances of your case. This will include determining the best course of action, considering the value of your claim and the potential defendants.
Contact Morgan & Morgan for Help
To maximize the chances of recovering compensation with a Knott’s Berry Farm injury lawyer, we urge you to reach out to Morgan and Morgan today for your free case evaluation. We provide our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you do, so nothing should be holding you back from exploring your legal options.