All About Water Park Injuries
When the summer heat gets to be too much, packing up the kids and heading to the nearest water park can seem like a fun way to beat the heat. A lot of kids would be delighted by the idea of getting to spend an afternoon going down water slides over and over again. But while water parks are full of things kids love, it’s very easy for someone to get hurt at a water park.
As of 2015, there were about 1,300 water parks in North America and attracted about 85 million visitors. That same year, data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that over 4,200 people needed to be taken to emergency rooms because of injuries that occurred on public water slides. The total number of people who needed to be hospitalized over injuries that occurred at a water park were likely higher, since that 4,200 doesn’t include injuries that occurred elsewhere in a water park.
If you visit someplace like a public beach or a hotel pool, there’s a very good chance that you will see a warning sign stating that there isn’t a lifeguard on duty and that guests swim at their own risk. But water parks are very typically staffed by lifeguards and other employees who are supposed to be overseeing visitor safety. So if someone is injured at a water park, who is liable for their injuries?
Liability for water park injuries largely comes down to how exactly the accident occurred. In some cases, the water park might not be liable for any damages. However, there are many times when the park could be held responsible. For example, if a child was injured as a result of a lifeguard not paying attention or because a water slide attendant didn’t properly warn people how to safely use a water slide, the park owner could be liable for damages.
Water park owners/operators also have a responsibility to properly maintain water slides and other park equipment to ensure that it is safe for park visitors to use. Recently, the state of Michigan ordered a water slide in Lapeer County to be closed because state inspectors found the stairs to be unsafe. In another case in California, the operators of a water park were indicted after a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on a water slide and investigators found that the child had been on a raft that had a history of going airborne and that the slide didn’t comply with safety standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials. 13 other people had been injured on the slide before the child was decapitated.
It’s also possible that an injury at a water park could be the result of a defective product. If the owner of the park was unaware there was a dangerous defect in the product, the manufacturer of the product could be liable for the injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured at a water park, it’s very important to get the help of a personal injury lawyer. Going up against a business can be extremely intimidating and a personal injury lawyer will be able to fight back against their lawyers and insurance companies to make sure that you get all the compensation you need for your recovery. At the Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to personal injury lawyers experienced in handling a wide range of cases, such as slip and falls, cases involving defective products, childhood injuries, and more. Contact us today for help with your case.