Many people take their families to visit an attraction in Orlando to have a great time. There are various rides for all preferences and ages, fun things to do, magical characters to meet, and delicious food to enjoy. Yet, there is nothing perfect in this world, and these family fun spots are no different. Every year, visitors get hurt at attractions in Orlando or even lose their lives as a result of catastrophic injuries. And, in most cases, the reason for these tragic events is the lack of proper safety measures, mechanical failures, or poorly trained staff. If you were injured in this manner, talk to an experienced Orlando personal injury lawyer at VG Law as soon as possible.
It is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible after getting injured at an attraction in Orlando because these businesses are not obliged by law to file an incident report or investigate such an incident. If you do not act quickly, the entire matter will be swept under the rug by the management. After all, they cannot allow their business, which is supposed to be a happy place, associated with injury, pain and suffering. Unfortunately, this also means that you have very few chances to obtain fair compensation for your medical care costs and other economic losses. An experienced personal injury attorney at our law firm will make sure that the owners and administrators of these attractions in Orlando are held liable for their negligence.
When we think of water parks, amusement park rides, and other fun activities, we find it difficult to associate them with danger and pain. Yet, a research study published by Science Direct shows that both at a global level and in the US, people suffer severe and sometimes even fatal injuries at attractions. For the United States, the research study relies on statistical data collected by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency overseeing all types of products accessible to consumers, including attractions and theme park rides.
These findings are also in line with what our personal injury lawyers know after years of helping clients recover fair compensation after being injured at various attractions in Orlando. The risk of a tragic accident is higher for specific rides, such as roller-coasters and other similar rides operating at very high speeds. Users can suffer a wide range of severe injuries, from broken bones to spine and brain injuries.
The attraction industry is worth billions of dollars. Names like Universal Studios or Walt Disney World are equal to success and large profits even in a shrinking economy. This should prompt attraction owners and managers to do their best to keep these places safe for all guests. In reality, accidents with deadly consequences happen all too frequently due to:
1. Human Error
Experienced attorneys know that staff at any popular attraction are often overworked. They have to be on duty for long hours with very short or no breaks at all. During the busiest season, attraction operators will also hire temporary staff, which are not always properly trained to keep visitors safe and supervise and operate the rides.
All these issues lead to severe accidents caused by human error. Staff reacts too late or not at all to prevent or mitigate the consequences of a mechanical malfunction. Any ride operator error, no matter can slight, can lead to a life-changing injury or even death, sometimes for the youngest and most vulnerable visitors to these parks. Such as the 14-year-old who fell to their death at ICON Park in Orlando.
2. Equipment Malfunction
A seat belt that does not click securely in place, a rusty roller-coaster wheel, improper maintenance of rides, and failure to follow the instructions of the maintenance manual - all these are instances that cause traumatic accidents due to defective or malfunctioning equipment.
And as these rides are getting more and more sophisticated, so do the things that can go wrong with them, including:
Ride operators and their supervisors should always make sure that everything works properly before they open a ride to any visitors. However, attraction employees are instructed to keep the rides going and keep the revenues coming in at the ticket booth. In such a situation, an Orlando personal injury lawyer will make sure that the liable parties pay for their negligence and for putting profits over people's safety.
3. Slip and Fall Accidents
Many injured at attractions in Orlando are caused by a slip and fall, especially at water parks. Inadequate supervision and lack of warning signs to identify and clean slippery surfaces can cause severe accidents, from foot injuries to hip fractures, especially among frail elderly people.
No matter how busy an attraction may be, care in operating and managing it should be one of the top priorities. All areas open to the public should be safe for everyone - from the very young to the very old.
4. Inadequate Ride Safety Instructions
Employees should explain safety rules to all guests. Also, clearly visible signs must be posted, including non-English signs for Spanish-speaking visitors. Sadly, unclear explanations of safety features and poor design of signs cause many people to get hurt because they did not understand these rules properly.
Although the attraction management may try to blame this kind of accident on you, remember that they have a duty of care towards you. You are an invitee on their property, and, as premises liability rules state, the property owner or administrator is obliged to make the property safe to use by everyone who has a legitimate reason to be there.
One example of inadequate safety instructions is when a woman suffered injuries at Fun Spot in Orlando when another guest slammed into the back of her go-kart. According to the woman, Fun Spot staff failed to properly train guests on how to safely operate the go-karts.
5. Food Poisoning
Altered, expired, or improperly handled and prepared food can make people sick at attractions in Orlando. This is not a rare occurrence, and it is not something to treat lightly. Food poisoning can be very dangerous, especially for people with other preexisting conditions.
If you feel sick after eating or drinking anything at an attraction, make sure that you receive medical care as soon as possible. It is in your best interests to get well and to be able to prove that the food or drinks bought at the attraction were responsible for your condition.
6. Negligent Security
Sometimes, accidents at attractions in Orlando happen because security staff did not do their job properly. We are not talking only about security guards, but also lifeguards around pools and water slides, supervising staff around various rides, and anyone whose job it is to prevent an accident.
Some of the features and rides at these attractions are dangerous for very small children and other groups of people. Operators and supervisors should make sure that each of these groups is prevented from accessing these attractions. When they fail to do so and a tragic accident occurs, the owners are liable for their negligence.
As we explained above, attractions such as theme parks are not obliged to file an injury report with law enforcement authorities or to conduct an internal investigation. This means that you need to be extremely careful what you do if you want to file a personal injury claim or take legal action and be successful.
Since you cannot count on the owners and administrators to collect evidence and make it available to you for your injury claim, you have to do most of the work. Here is a clear list of actions to take:
1. Inform an Employee or Supervisor of Your Accident
It is important to make staff aware that you suffered an accident. Any staff member is the right person to approach. You should ask them to call a manager or their supervisor and give a brief statement about what happened. Do not issue any opinion. Say, for example, "I slipped and fell", nothing more. Remember that, while some employees want to be helpful and offer you a witness statement, they may fear losing their job and be uncooperative. So, do not assume that any staff is willing to help your case.
2. Document Everything about the Accident Scene
You probably know that, in any personal injury case, it is recommended to take some photos of your injuries and property damage. In the case of an accident at an attraction in Orlando, you should photograph and film everything around you.
CCTV footage may get "lost" and eyewitnesses may be difficult to reach (since many people come from other US states to visit tourist attractions).
3. Make Sure that You Followed Recommended Safety Rules
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has a list of general safety tips for guests that you should know before you visit any attraction. Basically, you should be aware of and comply with height and weight restrictions and always use the safety devices provided.
Failure to do so will be found out - your accident will be investigated thoroughly as soon as you notify them that you are filing an injury claim. Although Florida is a state that applies the pure comparative fault principle, your percentage of fault will be deducted from the actual damages you suffered. Thus, the attraction management will do their best to assign you a higher proportion of fault for your accident.
4. See Medical Attention Immediately
Even if you believe that you only suffered minor injuries, you should call an ambulance or - if you are in a position to do so - go to the nearest hospital for treatment as soon as possible after your accident. Some types of injuries, such as internal injuries or internal bleeding may not have any symptoms for hours or days.
Also, as your personal injury attorney will explain to you, your action against an attraction has more chances of success if you can clearly prove that your injuries were directly caused by the accident you suffered. If you see a doctor several days later, the managers will claim that your injuries have nothing to do with the accident at their premises and that you got hurt later and now try to get them to pay for your medical bills.
5. Do Not Discuss Your Accident with Management or Insurance Adjusters
Once you reported an accident to the employees, a manager will know of this incident and contact you. They will most likely try to explain that you cannot file a claim or sue them because you were also at fault for your accident or for various other reasons. This is part of their intimidation technique. When they see it does not work, they will try to close the case quickly with a lowball settlement.
The best policy at this moment is to refuse any offer and to refrain from discussing your accident with an attraction representative or insurance adjuster. They are very good at making people say something self-incriminatory without being aware of it.
6. Hire an Experienced Orlando Personal Injury Attorney
At VG Law, we know how devastating it is when a weekend of fun and entertainment turns into a severe accident or even a tragic loss of life. We have the commitment and the experience to fight your legal battle against attraction owners and operators and will fight to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about paying upfront fees for an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney. Get in touch with us as soon as possible to schedule a free case review: 833-HELP-365!