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Common Water Slide Injuries and the Question of Liability

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Water parks, amusement parks, and other attraction-based businesses can common places family spend time during the summer months. These organizations have a legal obligation to prevent injuries to attendees. Depending on how a water park injury happens, one or more parties may absorb liability for the victim’s damages. You should understand liability before you and your family head to the water park this summer in case anyone happens to suffer an injury while riding a water slide.

When the Park Is Liable

A water park or amusement park is liable for an attendee’s injuries if they happened on one of its water slides. The park may also absorb liability due to the actions of its employees. For example, if a ride attendant fails to instruct a child how to go down a water slide correctly and the child suffers a serious cut as a result, the water park may be liable for that injury. The water park is liable for the child’s injury in this situation because of a park employee’s negligence. Management is responsible for ensuring park employees understand their roles prior to opening the park.

An amusement park will also face liability for injuries that occur to visitors due to poor upkeep. Like all equipment, water slides degrade over time, and parks must diligently inspect, repair, and replace all of their slides and other attractions in a timely manner. Catastrophic damage may happen if a water slide or other attraction falls into disrepair. Deep cuts, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and drowning are all possible results of a defunct water park attraction.

Product Liability

A defective ride may be to blame for an attendee’s injuries. If a product manufacturer released a defective product, the injured party can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. A plaintiff in a product liability lawsuit does not necessarily need to prove the manufacturer was negligent: The plaintiff must simply show the court the product in question was defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages. A manufactured product can be defective by design, by assembly, or by inaccurate marketing.

Individual Liability

Some water slide injuries occur outside of water parks. Homeowners who have pools with water slides need to ensure their guests are safe. This includes proper care and maintenance of the pool and any slides that could potentially cause injuries. A homeowner must also warn guests to the property about any known potential hazards with which they may come in contact.

Property owners do not owe the same courtesy to trespassers. That is, property owners have no obligation to make sure a trespasser does not suffer injuries while interloping on private property. If a trespasser slips near a pool and suffers a broken bone, the trespasser cannot file a lawsuit against the property owner because the trespasser was illegally present on private property. The same applies to water parks. A water park would not be liable for injuries to a trespasser who enters the park illegally after hours and suffers an injury.

A water slide injury can lead to expensive medical bills, missed time from work, and other costly damages for which a victim can claim through a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. Damages typically cover all of plaintiff’s harms resulting from an incident of negligence, and plaintiffs may also receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering endured after a serious water slide injury. An experienced Dallas personal injury attorney is the best resource for navigating a water slide injury claim. He or she can assess your situation and explain your options for legal recourse after a water slide injury.

Posted by admin at 10:23 pm

Does a “Swim at Your Own Risk” Sign Actually Do Anything?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When it’s summertime in Texas, we tend to gravitate toward pools. On particularly hot days, kids swarm to public options, and they may even be tempted to swim in the neighbors’ pools – whether or not they’re at home. If a child is injured in a public or private pool, you may be wondering about potential liability or legal actions that you may take against the city or owner.

Responsibility & LIability

Before you get that far, you may be wondering: Is a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign enough to eliminate all responsibility for accidents that occur on the property? The answer is no. Texas laws in this area are multifaceted, and there is plenty to consider before taking your case to an attorney. Here are a few factors that may affect your claim:

  • Our premises liability laws. In general, a public pool or one owned by a hotel or similar business (e.g., a gym) can be held accountable for any injuries that occur; a posted warning sign may not matter. There are, of course, some exceptions. For example, the injured party can’t be a trespasser, and he or she must have used the pool as intended – for example, drinking and swimming after hours will likely result in partial blame being placed on the injured party. Regardless, the owner must make conditions as safe as possible and reasonably enforce any rules posted for the pool.
  • Assumed risk. A qualified Texas attorney will thoroughly explain this factor to you before agreeing to take your case. The presence of a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign does amplify this issue, as does the presence of a lifeguard. For instance, when a pool is clearly marked as “No Lifeguard on Duty,” swimmers assume a certain degree of risk when they jump into the pool. Though “Swim at Your Own Risk” is less specific, the same principle applies.
    However, the age and cognitive abilities of the injured party may affect this. For example, a child with a mental disability wouldn’t be expected to understand the risk these signs indicate. When this is the case, the claim will likely be settled by continuing to examine factors that may have contributed to the accident – such as neglect.
  • Negligence. This is another element that will likely affect the outcome of your claim. The pool’s owner is expected to keep the area safe and well maintained. This includes keeping all equipment in working order and ensuring the area is reasonably clear of obstacles. If a faulty or uncovered drain contributes to an accident, for example, it isn’t a known risk that the plaintiff assumed, regardless of any signage.
    The workers employed at the pool may also fall under scrutiny; if a lifeguard is on duty and he or she causes or fails to prevent damages, the enterprise may be liable for subsequent expenses. These individuals are to be fully licensed and qualified and it’s an area your attorney should explore.

Work Out the Specifics of Your Case with an Experienced Texas Attorney

Even though we’ve outlined some details here, real-life cases are far more nuanced and can only be explained through a consultation with an attorney. Product liability may be involved, which opens the claim up to an entirely new area of legal practice. You also need a lawyer committed to uncovering the minutiae of your case – from whether warning signs were posted clearly to confirming the owner’s security measures and demonstrating his or her ability to keep the pool safe.

Contact

For a personal, devoted look at your claim, get in touch with the Texas specialists at the Law Firm of Aaron Herbert.

Posted by admin at 9:56 pm