Going to Disney World should be a fun-filled experience. You get to meet your favorite Disney characters in person, go on rides that you cannot find in other theme parks and come back with wonderful memories. However, for some people, a trip to Walt Disney World means an accident leaving them with physical injuries and psychological trauma. Whether you suffered a slip and fall or an accident on a ride vehicle, you should present your case to an experienced amusement park accident attorney at VG Law to find out how much compensation you are entitled to.

We do not recommend trying to negotiate your settlement claim on your own. Disney is one of the biggest corporations in the world, employing experienced attorneys and relying on experts whose job is to protect the image and brand value of the so-called "happiest place" on Earth. They will most likely try to dismiss your claim, or offer a financial settlement that may not cover your actual damages, and also comes with a confidentiality clause, barring you from even discussing the incident that caused your injuries.

What Are the Causes of Common Types of Accidents at Disney World?

a family enjoys a day at an orlando theme park

Amusement parks, especially highly popular ones, visited by millions of people each year, should strive to make their premises safe for all visitors. And they generally do. At Walt Disney World Resort, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Polynesian Resort, Disney Springs, and other parts of Disney World, staff and ride operators have clear instructions on operating and maintaining various pieces of equipment.

However, accidents still happen. Most of them result in minor injuries, but many accident victims suffered severe injuries and emotional distress, especially children. There is even a Wikipedia page that documents all incidents and wrongful deaths that occurred at Disney World.

The most frequent causes of accidents suffered by Disney World visitors are caused by:

  • wet or slippery surfaces leading to slip and falls accidents
  • malfunctioning parts in various rides
  • inadequate security
  • food poisoning
  • boating accident
  • amusement park accidents caused by improperly trained staff
  • bites at the Animal Kingdom
  • swimming pool accidents.

By far, the most common accidents at Disney World involve slip and falls, contaminated foods and drinks and ride malfunction.

What Are the Most Accident Prone Areas of Disney World?

Looking over cases filled by people who suffered one type of injury or another while at Florida Disney World, it appears that accidents can happen anywhere in the huge theme park. Adults and children suffered injuries in:

  • the Space Mountain ride
  • the Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • the Contemporary Resort
  • the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • the Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • the Fort Wilderness
  • the Disney-Hollywood Studios
  • the Caribbean Beach Resort
  • the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.

Even the famous Magic Kingdom has seen its share of visitor accidents. Some of these accidents were allegedly caused by staff wearing Disney character costumes and acting unprofessionally or with deliberate intent. Others were caused by other visitors, and the plaintiffs alleged that there was not enough security to prevent them. Incidents leading to the filing of personal injury lawsuits also occurred in the parking area at the entrance to Florida Disney World.

Types of Injuries Caused by Incidents at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

An experienced accident attorney in Florida can tell you that even an apparently simple slip and fall can have serious consequences, especially for children and elderly people. They may appear to simply take a small fall, yet they end up being carried away by ambulance in critical condition. An injured person at Disney World can suffer from:

  • head injury
  • brain injury
  • burning by electrical shock caused by contact with an exposed electrical cord
  • broken bones
  • ankle injury (sprain)
  • cuts and bruises
  • loss of fingers and toes.
a brother and sister enjoy the merry go round at a theme park in florida

Also, people with a pre-existing medical condition may suffer panic attacks leading to chest pains and triggering a heart attack.

Can You Really Sue Disney?

Although Walt Disney World Co. is an iconic company worth billions of dollars, it is still a business, which has to comply with all the laws of the US and of the state of Florida, including those related to personal injury claims and personal injury lawsuits. Indeed, there are documented cases of

So, yes, you can technically sue Disney if you were hurt on their premises. However, you should first hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to examine your case and give you professional legal advice. Not all cases are won by plaintiffs - indeed, many of them do not even reach the trial phase. Although you suffered a severe injury, you must prove that Disney and its staff in rides, resort hotels and various other attractions are responsible for your damages.

Nevertheless, you may have a case, even if you were breaking park rules when you were injured. The state of Florida uses a pure comparative negligence principle in personal injury law, meaning that even if you are 90% at fault for a generic accident, you are still allowed to file a claim and receive 10% of the compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages and various other economic and non-economic damages.

The Challenges of Proving a Slip and Fall Case in Florida

How do you prove that a business was at fault for your theme park injury involving a slip and fall? The Statutes of Florida have a very specific wording for this issue:  the existence of a "transitory foreign substance" on the premises. Moreover, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the business had "constructive knowledge of the existence of this dangerous condition. This means proving one of the following:

  • the transitory foreign substance was there for such a long time, that the business should have found out about it
  • the occurrence repeats frequently, thus the business should have foreseen it.

Moreover, an accident victim must prove that there was no warning sign (a "Wet Floor" sign, for instance), alerting visitors. Thus, as you can see, filing a premises liability claim against Disney World, is something you should entrust to a team of experienced Orlando Disney World injury attorneys.

Reasons to Hire an Attorney after Being Injured at Disney World

As explained above, insurance companies representing Disney may offer settlements for accidents occurring at the theme park. But they come with a gag order - you will have to sign a confidentiality clause that prevents you from talking about the incident to anyone, including your family and friends. What happens if you realize that you did not get a fair settlement for your future pain and loss of quality of life? You cannot do anything, because you would break the confidentiality agreement and you would have to pay a hefty sum to Disney in damages.

The only realistic alternative is to seek legal assistance from personal injury lawyers. They will tell you whether you have a case that will be settled or will go to court and how to file a wrongful death lawsuit if a loved one ultimately died due to the physical injuries they suffered while on a ride or in one of the many Disney theme resorts, such as Port Orleans Resort or the Contemporary Resort.

It is important to realize that Walt Disney World Co. will not simply pay you to avoid going to trial and hurting their public image. They have experienced lawyers who can get your case quickly dismissed on summary judgment if you do not have all the necessary elements to prove that the company was negligent and their negligence caused your injuries and damages.

Remember that Time Is Running Out

Another important issue you must keep in mind is that there is a statute of limitations for personal injury cases - the period of time you have available to file a personal injury lawsuit. In the state of Florida, it is 4 (four) years starting with the date of the accident.

You may believe that you have enough time after your Beach Club Resort or Coronado Springs Resort accident. But you may have to spend time in the hospital, treating your injuries. Plus, you need to go through various legal procedures, not to mention the period of negotiations with Walt Disney World Co. insurance representatives. All these aspects take time. If you are fighting for your justice on your own, you may reach a point when it is too late to hire a personal injury attorney, because the statute of limitations expired.

Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm that Gets Results!

a couple enjoy a day at a theme park in orlando

At VG Law, we always fight for the maximum compensation for our clients in settlement negotiations or jury awards. We know your rights and will seek every type of financial relief you are entitled to, from economic damages (medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future incomes) to non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish and emotional distress).

We know that the last thing on your mind when you prepare to go to Disney World is hiring a personal injury attorney, but we want you to remember that you have the right to get compensated and we are here to support you and win your case. We work on a contingency fee basis, so call us now for a free case review.

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