8 Tips for Suing an Amusement Park for Accidents
Amusement parks are often the setting of injuries or even death cases due to malfunctioning machines or negligence. If you got injured during a ride or while engaging in other leisure activities, you can bring a legal claim against the entertainment facility. Here are some essential tips.
First thing, report the incidentIf you or a beloved one suffered any injuries due to the services provided by an amusement park, act fast. The first step you must take is reporting the incident to the management. The persons that are in charge of the facility should be aware that an incident occurred and act accordingly. They must be able to provide first aid services on-site and if the injuries are severe, contact 911 immediately. An injury or incident report should also be written right after you have spoken with the facility's staff.
Although your injuries don't seem serious, it's always recommended to report them. You might lose the chance to link them the amusement park if you wait for too long and the injuries lead to following health issues.
Pay attention to any possible witnessesIf there were any people near you when the incident occurred, it's essential to talk to them. They are witnesses, and their testimony is crucial during the legal procedures. Whether you end having a trial or you settle out of court, these people will grant credibility to your case. So, make sure you or someone who accompanied you while you were injured gets the witnesses 'contact details.
Collect all the available evidenceThis is an important step you mustn't overlook despite the rush of the moment. Even if you are injured, try to make an effort to document the circumstances that lead to your accident. The accident scene must be recorded as it was at the time the event took place. So, try to take some photos with your cell phone and capture the cause of the accident (e.g. malfunctioning machines, broken equipment). Audio recordings can also be valuable especially if the park's staff uses improper language or refuses to provide first aid support.
Do a thorough medical check-upSome of the injuries caused by the accident might seem superficial; they can even go unnoticed at the beginning. Nevertheless, don't ignore them; sometimes minor pain can indicate severe damage like internal injuries. A thorough medical check-up will help you understand how serious the injury is and take proper action for your health. Moreover, a medical examination is also necessary if you want to bring a claim against the amusement park. You have to understand how severe the physical damage is to figure out how much money you can recover. The recovery period, the treatment and the hospitalization costs will also matter during the legal process, so pay particular attention to these details and keep all the bills and medical proofs at hand.
Evaluate your lossesAll the losses that derive from the injuries suffered at the amusement park must be documented. Medical expenses always come first, but there is a long list of additional losses you could be compensated for. Here are some of the main aspects you should consider:
o lost wages you should have earned if the accident hadn't occurred
o if applicable: job/business opportunities you could have benefited from
o promotion opportunities or bonuses you were no longer eligible for at work
o emotional suffering and psychological trauma especially if the incident was severe and it involved the death or injury of a beloved one
o companionship and society loss
o subsequent physical impairment; sequela
Don't sign a settlement offer without consulting your attorneyAfter the accident, the culpable party, in our case the amusement park, might come forward with a settlement offer. Their aim is to solve the problem quickly and avoid a court trial that could seriously harm their reputation. Signing the settlement offer and recovering the due amount of money is also a reasonable solution for you. However, you shouldn't agree to settle before you consult with a legal representative. An experienced lawyer will immediately understand if the park's offer is fair and if the sum is enough to cover your losses.
Also, try to avoid talking to the other party's legal experts or any insurance companies unless your lawyer can take part in the discussions. Any information you disclose might be used to your detriment.
Don't waste time and file as soon as you canEvery state has its laws, and it's important to be aware of the statute of limitations they stipulate in the case of amusement park lawsuits. This refers to the maximum time within which you are allowed to start the legal procedure against the other party. Your lawyer will be able to provide you precise instructions on when it's better to file and how much time you have left.
In personal injury cases, it is recommended to bring the claim as soon as possible. This enables lawyers with recent and undeniable evidence and helps them get relevant testimonies from witnesses.
Know what to expect in case of safety rules non-complianceAmusement parks might use rules non-compliance as a defense. This is why it's always important to read the park's regulations regarding the age, and physical requirements a customer must comply with to enjoy their services. Owners often use this argument during the legal process against customers who are underage or don't have the necessary weight to take the ride.
If you take your kids to an amusement park, try to pay attention to any requirements that are posted near the facility. Moreover, make sure you and the rest of your group follow any specific safety rules like fastening your seatbelts while taking the ride. These are also essential because careless behavior might relieve the amusement park of any responsibility.