Orange County Water Park Accidents Attorney
Orange County is home to some of the state’s most popular water parks. Each year, millions of California locals and tourists traveled to spend time at Knott’s Soak City, Great Wolf Lodge, Water Ventures, and other area parks.
Unfortunately, water parks can be dangerous if rides are not maintained properly. If you or someone you know has been injured at an Orange County water park, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Law Offices of John Rapillo to learn about your rights as an accident victim.
For over 35 years, Orange County personal injury lawyer John Rapillo has been dedicated to helping accident victims recover meaningful compensation for their injuries. We understand how important a financial recovery can be after an accident and will fight to make sure that you get the money you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case, explain your legal options, and address any questions you may have.
Causes of Water Park Accidents
In 2015, an estimated 85 million people visited water parks across the country. That same year, more than 4,200 water park guests were rushed to an emergency room to treat water park-related injuries. Thousands of other water park guests sustained injuries that, while serious, could be treated on-site.
Water parks can be fun, but they can also be dangerous. Parks can be equipped with a variety of entertaining features, ranging from splashing pools to lazy river to water slides. When these exciting attractions are misused or lack important safety features, accidents and injuries can happen.
Commonly-reported causes of water park accidents include:
- Unsupervised swimmers
- Inadequate security
- No protective fencing
- Lack of warning signs
- Absence of safety devices
- Failure to properly inspect and repair attractions
- Slips and falls
- Improper maintenance
- Running, and
- Alcohol use.
Water Park Accident Injuries
Water park accidents have the potential to cause injuries that can change a person’s life forever. At the Law Offices of John Rapillo, our attorneys are prepared to help you and your family recover damages for any water park injury that you may suffer, including:
- Broken bones
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Chest injury
- Neurological impairment
- Lung and breathing disorders caused by drowning
- Catastrophic injury, and
Children At Greatest Risk of Fatal Water Park Accidents
Children, who can frequently be found enjoying water parks in Orange County, are at an increased risk of suffering fatal injuries. Young children often lack the ability to swim and can potentially drown in even the shallowest pool of water. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. In fact, 70 percent of all drowning deaths involve children under the age of 5.
If your child has died in a fatal water park accident, you want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The water park where your child was injured had a responsibility to make sure that the premises were safe for children. This responsibility required the park to take extra precautions to ensure that the attractions, when used properly, would not put any guests (including children) in harm’s way. If the water park breached this duty in some way (e.g., no lifeguards on duty, no protective fencing surrounding pools), they can be held financially responsible for your child’s death.
Call the Law Offices of John Rapillo to find out how we can help you hold a negligent water park responsible for the death of your child.
Liability for Water Park Accidents
Who can be held financially responsible for your water park accident-related injuries? In California, anyone who contributes to the cause of an accident or injury can be liable. If more than one person is at fault, each can be held responsible for a portion of a victim’s damages.
In California, water parks are classified as amusement parks. As a result, they are also considered to be common carriers. Common carriers, under California state law, have a heightened duty of care to passengers and guests. Water parks must “do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm” to guests and passengers. While a park cannot guarantee a visitor’s safety, it must do everything in its power to minimize the chances of an accident or injury.
When a water park breaches its duty of care to a guest, it can be held financially responsible for injuries. A water park may breach its duty of care if it fails to:
- Inspect water slides, pools, and other attractions for defects
- Hire and/or train its employees properly
- Warn guests of hazards or dangers
- Clean up spills and slippery surfaces, or
- Address reported safety issues.
When you visit a water park, you are probably not alone. In fact, you are probably surrounded by hundreds of other people. When visiting a park, all guests have an obligation to follow posted rules and act in a way that does not put others in harm’s way. When another guest engages in dangerous behavior, and you are injured as a result, that person may be responsible for damages.
Children must be properly supervised at all times at a water park. When children are unsupervised, the chances of suffering a serious or fatal injury increase significantly. If a child is injured at a water park, a parent may be responsible if they were negligent in the supervision of that child.
What happens if both a parent and a water park are mutually responsible for a child’s injuries? In California, the parents would not be barred from recovering compensation. Instead, their ability to get damages from the water park would be reduced by their own degree of fault. If the parent is deemed to be 50 percent at-fault, they would only be able to recover 50 percent of their damages from the park.
Water Slide Manufacturers
Sometimes a water park may not know that its water slides and other water attractions contain dangerous defects. When a water slide is defective, the company that is responsible for designing, manufacturing, and/or selling that product can be held strictly liable for resulting injuries. If the water park was aware of the defect, but failed to take steps to fix the situation, they may also be on the hook for damages.
Compensation for Orange County Water Park Injuries
In California, water park accident victims may be entitled to both compensatory and non-economic damages.
Compensatory Damages: Awarded to compensate victims for verifiable present and future financial costs related to their accident. Examples can include
- Medical bills
- Disability, and
- Lost earnings.
Non-Economic Damages: Awarded to compensate victims for hard-to-value injuries that are caused by a traumatic accident. Examples can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Statute of Limitations for Water Park Injury Cases
If you or someone in your family has suffered a water park injury you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages. The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims is two years from the date of an accident. Failing to file your claim in this time frame will prevent you from recovering the money you need.
You may be able to extend the period in which you can file a claim if there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your accident-related injury. In these cases, you will have one year from the date you discover the injury to file a claim.
Orange County Water Park Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured at an Orange County water park? Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo to learn about how we can help you get the money you need after an accident. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully handling complex personal injury matters. We understand how devastating a water park accident can be and will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more.