Nicoletti Walker Law Group
Theme Park Ride and Related Injuries in Florida
Many tourists flock to Florida each summer and throughout the year to visit one of our many state attractions – SeaWorld Orlando, Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens, etc. But many do not realize that there are quite a few personal injury lawsuits associated with many of these locations, and they range from serious ride injuries to even bites and other issues related to facilities encouraging visitors to interact with the animals on display. News of these injuries often does not make it into media coverage because companies will sometimes settle out of court with no admission of fault.
Unfortunately, Florida law exempts theme parks from state inspections and the mandatory reporting that other facilities—such as amusement parks—are required to comply with. This is because the bigger parks have more than 1,000 employees and thus their own full-time inspectors on staff. However, it doesn’t take a law degree to realize that there is a conflict of interest when a company is tasked with inspecting itself. Instead, these parks are to provide information on a voluntary basis, and only need to disclose injuries that involve death or a hospital stay exceeding 24 hours– a requirement that avoids other very serious injuries from being reported.
Access to Accident Records
Gaining any kind of access to accident records associated with these theme parks can be very difficult because attorneys for the parks often maintain that records are protected under attorney-client privilege. Yet many who have reported their injuries to the reports have suffered from head, brain, spine, neck, and serious back injuries, some of which are suffered again and again in association with the same rides or attractions.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
While many personal injury lawsuits allege negligence on the part of an individual, company, or a company’s agent, some claims related to these facilities are based on the rides themselves causing serious harm because they are inherently unsafe.
Defenses from the companies who own the park include accusing park attendants of behaving recklessly on the rides or suffering from an injury due to an unforeseeable pre-existing medical condition that the park operators could not have accounted for in coming up with safety features and protocols for the rides and attractions. This leaves attendants and their attorneys wondering if perhaps many of these rides should just automatically include warnings that the ride can cause serious injury and/or death, regardless of a rider’s health.
A serious injury can cause immense pain and suffering as well as hundreds of thousands–if not millions—of dollars in medical and continued care costs. Experienced attorney Mike Walker has effectively handled a number of serious personal injury cases and are able to help you or your loved one obtain the compensation they need. He will prepare your case by interviewing witnesses and experts to present the most compelling case possible to a judge or jury. Contact the office if you or your loved one has been seriously injured.