If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a water park attraction in Houston, TX, you may be wondering if you have any legal options. Injuries sustained on water slides and other water park rides can include spinal trauma, head trauma, broken bones, sprains, whiplash, drowning, and even death in some cases. You probably saw some sort of disclaimer about enjoying the water park “at your own risk,” but does that mean you cannot seek compensation if you have been injured?
EXPLAINING “ASSUMED RISK”
In some personal injury cases, the idea of “assumed risk” arises, which basically describes situations when an injured party knew there was a risk of injury associated with an activity but willingly took part in that activity anyway. In some states, if the water park can prove you assumed the risk of an attraction, it cannot be held liable for your injuries. In some states, assumed risk is not a viable option for water parks. Where it is a defensible position, they must still prove an injured person was made aware of the risk before he or she assumed it.
MAKING A CASE
In any personal injury case, the injured party must be able to prove negligence on part of the water park in some capacity. Negligence is typically defined as any action (or in some cases, inaction) that causes an unsafe situation for others. The injured party, or plaintiff, must establish that the water park had a duty to provide reasonable care in providing his or her services. He or she must then show that the park breached this duty in some way. This may be due to faulty equipment, failure to conduct regular safety inspections, or improper staff training.
Finally, for a negligence claim to hold water in court, the plaintiff must show his or her injuries were a direct result of the water park’s breach of duty to provide reasonable care. If the injured person did not follow safety instructions, such as proper posture on a water slide, or did not follow any park guidelines and a court finds this contributed to his or her injury, the plaintiff may be found to be partially (or fully) responsible for the incident. This is what is known as “comparative fault.” Texas follows this rule for personal injury cases in which the injured parties contributed in some way to the event.
In some cases, the injury may not have been the fault of the water park, but of a product manufacturer that sold them faulty or hazardous equipment. These cases will fall under the purview of a product liability lawsuit, and the injured party will take the manufacturer of the product in question to court.
OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Some people who have sustained an injury at a water park may think they have no legal recourse due to disclaimers the water park issued. Typically, these disclaimers state that the water park assumes no responsibility for any injuries that occur and that attendees enjoy the park at their own risk. While this may sound like a viable defense, disclaimers like this rarely hold up in court. They are meant to deter people who are injured from thinking they can make a case against the park.
Personal injuries can be complex issues, and when you have been injured at a water park, you may wonder if you are eligible to file a claim. One of the best things you can do is to contact an attorney with any questions you may have. The Nielsen Law Firm has more than 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases, so get in touch with our team today if you have any questions about a water park injury in the Houston, TX area.