Staying Safe From Water-Related Slip and Fall Accidents This Summer
It’s the dog days of summer. With temperatures reaching their highest peaks of the year, it’s important to stay cool. Fortunately, the Philadelphia area offers a variety of water-related activities that are great for cooling off from the sweltering heat and humidity of mid to late summer in the city. Whether you’re going to a waterpark, beach, resort, or other water destination to cool off, it’s important to make sure you and your family stay safe. Sometimes, these destinations have slip and fall hazards which can cause serious accidents and injuries.
When Are Waterparks and Other Businesses Liable For Slip and Fall Accidents?
Obviously, wet surfaces are going to be unavoidable in waterparks, resorts, and other areas with pools and water activities. However, these facilities still have an obligation to make sure their premises are reasonably safe from any preventable hazards and that their guests are at minimal risk of injury. For example, water which is allowed to pool for too long can create an unnecessary danger and guests could get seriously injured if they slip there.
When a waterpark, private swimming pool, or other water-based business fails to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition, they may be considered negligent. Proving negligence is the cornerstone of any personal injury lawsuit.
Like all types of business owners, the owners of waterparks and swimming pools have a legal obligation to make sure their facilities are safe for guests. Most waterparks do a good job of this, but sometimes, waterpark management fails to live up to this obligation.
Some common forms of waterpark owner negligence which could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Failing to regularly inspect, maintain, and repair waterslides and other rides and attractions
- Failure to regularly clean puddles and wet surfaces
- Chemical spills
- Mold growth from poor cleaning practices
- Failure to provide non-slip, textured surfaces to prevent slipping
- Unsanitary practices allowing water-borne pathogens to spread and infect guests
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In the overwhelming majority of waterpark injury lawsuits, the waterpark owner will be held directly liable for the negligence which led to a guest injury. However, there are some rare circumstances in which an employee may be held directly liable. Accidents that are caused within the scope of an employee’s regular work responsibilities will be considered the responsibility of the park’s owners and management, but willful, reckless, or malicious acts may be grounds for a lawsuit filed directly against an employee. For example, an employee who intentionally trips someone could potentially be held directly liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
In any personal injury case, the court will also take into account how your own negligence may have played a role in causing your accident and injuries. For example, in the Hersheypark case mentioned above, the park argued that the guest was responsible for her own injuries because the display was “reasonably safe” and that she was only injured because of her own “comparative negligence.”
Additionally, many waterparks and other amusement parks may require guests to fill out a release of liability form before entering the park. This document prevents guests from suing a waterpark or its employees for injuries and deaths that occur while at the park. These documents aren’t always 100% legally enforceable and can make a personal injury case even more complicated. This is just one reason why anyone considering taking legal action against a waterpark should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer early.
Pennsylvania Woman Sues Hersheypark For Slip and Fall
In Pennsylvania, a woman sued the amusement park Hersheypark after she slipped and fell in a puddle on a wave runner on display. Wave runners are a cross between a motorcycle and a small boat and are located in the Shoreline Sprayground section of the park.
This woman posed for a photo in a mounted wave runner located on the boardwalk. As she was getting down, she stepped in a footwell filled with water. Her wet foot then slipped as she was disembarking the display, causing her to fall and break her ankle. She says this injury required surgery.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff believes that Hershey Entertainment is responsible for her injuries because they failed to make sure that the wave runner display was dry and safe.
Avoiding Slip and Fall Accidents
While many waterpark slip and fall accidents may be caused by negligence on the part of the park, others only occur due to a guest’s own mistake. While the park has a legal duty to make sure all of their facilities are free of preventable dangers, guests also have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a reasonably safe manner.
Some common forms of guest negligence in waterpark accidents include:
- Entering an area with a caution or warning sign
- Running on a wet or slippery surface
- Parents’ failure to supervise kids
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured In A Waterpark Slip and Fall
No one expects to end up seriously injured after a day at a waterpark or swimming pool. That’s because we all trust that the owners of these facilities have lived up to their duty to do all that they can to keep their guests safe. If you or a loved one has recently been seriously injured after falling at a waterpark, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your legal rights after a waterpark accident caused by negligence:
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, you’ve got to make sure you get the medical assistance you need as soon as possible. This helps make sure the injury doesn’t get worse than it needs to be and begins medically documenting your injury, which will be necessary during legal action.
Report and Document the Injury
After you’ve called for medical attention, it’s important to continue documenting your injury by filing an accident report with park management. Provide as many details as you can, including the circumstances behind the accident and the extent of your injuries.
Take Photos and Videos
Photos and videos of the accident scene and your injury can be powerful forms of evidence. These can help show any preventable hazards that are to blame for your accident, such as spilled cleaning liquids or pooled water. Photos and videos also help show the exact extent of your injuries immediately following the accident.
Get Contact Info From Witnesses
In a personal injury lawsuit, testimony from other park guests or employees who witnessed your accident can be powerful for proving your case. Ask for contact information from any witnesses in case you’ll need their testimony in a civil trial.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer
After you’ve gotten the medical care you need and taken the necessary steps for documenting your injury, we recommend speaking with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. Slip and fall cases are complicated in general, and even more so at waterparks because of the prevalence of water and wet surfaces. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you fully understand your legal rights and guide you through each step of the legal process. To find out more about your legal options following a slip and fall at a waterpark, get in touch with our Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers today.