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Common Water Slide Injuries and the Question of Liability

Posted in Pool, Safety on 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.