Theme Park Accidents In Florida
Florida is generally seen as the theme park state in the U.S., and justifiably so. While the big parks are in Orlando, Tampa has its share of amusement parks and other similar attractions, like Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, and while every precaution is taken, accidents can still happen. If you are injured this way, it is important to understand your options as you proceed in trying to obtain compensation for your harm suffered.
Unlikely But Severe
The significant majority of amusement park guests go and enjoy themselves with very little problem – Florida parks report injuries and deaths to the state every three months as part of a voluntary safety program, and there has never been a reporting period with more than double-digit totals, according to the Orlando Sentinel database of amusement park injuries and fatalities. If one examines statistics from the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), which show approximately 375 million people visiting North American amusement parks each year, one can easily conclude that any kind of physical harm suffered at a Florida amusement park is an isolated event.
However, when injury or death does happen, it can be quite dangerous. While many of those who lose their lives at Florida parks have preexisting health conditions, some do not – for example, one 40-year old is listed as tripping and fracturing her fibula, passing away of an allegedly related pulmonary embolism two weeks later. One simply can never know how their body may respond to a traumatic event, and if you are unfortunate enough to be injured or to lose a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence – if, for example, the deceased in that case had originally tripped due to a park worker not adequately warning that the floors were wet – it is only appropriate that compensation may be due to the affected person or their family.
Who Is Liable?
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the most common theory under which a case of that type is usually brought is called premises liability. Florida law recognizes three types of people that may enter onto someone else’s land – invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees are those who come for business reasons, licensees are those present for their own business, and trespassers, obviously, are on the land without permission. Each type of visitor is owed a different duty of care from the owner or operator. Guests at a theme park are generally classed as business invitees, meaning that they are owed the highest duty of care.
The duty of care owed to an invitee requires that a business owner make the property as safe as possible for them, as well as making at least a reasonable effort to warn for any conditions or hazards that could not be made safe. In a theme park, this duty can be met by placing signs, by blocking off areas or rides to traffic, and taking any other precautions that may be considered reasonable. A failure to do this can very plausibly give rise to a premises liability case, as an injured plaintiff will have a good chance of success if they can show that a dangerous condition was not warned for sufficiently.
Seek Experienced Legal Help
While theme parks are a wonderful place to spend time with your family or loved ones, they can, in some cases, be dangerous. If you are hurt, you need a knowledgeable attorney who understands the law around such cases. The Tampa personal injury lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group can sit down with you and try to help answer your questions about how best to proceed in your specific situation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.