Innocent Parties Could Suffer InjuriesThere is no doubt that the parties affected by water slide accidents could suffer a number of injuries. Unfortunately, water slide accidents are relatively common. In the past, there have been many incidents that gained media attention. In one of these incidents, a 16-year-old girl going down a water slide in an inflatable raft with her family/friends suddenly falls out of the raft. Even though the raft was not going fast in the water slide, the twists and turns caused her to fall (users had to hold on to small handles to stay on the inflatable rafts). The teenage suffered a spinal cord injury.
A well-known water slide incident that cost a young boy his life occurred in Schlitterbahn Kansas City – a water park famous for the Verrückt which held the record for the tallest water slide in the world. The victim, who was only ten-years-old, was going down the slide in a raft. The raft became airborne at some point and collided with the metal pole and netting designed to keep riders from being falling off the slide. Ironically, it was this “safety feature” that killed the young boy – he was decapitated.Besides the two incidents mentioned above, there have been reports of people falling off rafts in waterslides and drowning after becoming trapped by the same rafts in which they were riding. Drowning injuries are somewhat expected, some might say. However, it is also possible for victims to suffer broken bones, lacerations, and a number of other injuries. Although it is possible for victims to suffer only minor to moderate injuries, it is also possible for injuries to be fatal.
The Reasons behind Water Slide AccidentsWhy do water slide accidents happen? In terms of water slide accidents, there are really only two reasons that water slide accidents happen: (1) a water slide owner or operator is negligent, or (2) the water slide is defective. The owners and operators of water slides have to ensure that water slides are always safe to be used – they must routinely check on water slides and ensure that they are properly maintained. Likewise, the companies that design and manufacture water slides have to ensure that their products are free of any defects. Even something like defective labeling (warnings, installation requirements, etc.) could prove to be dangerous. Overall, some of the most common reasons behind water slide accidents include improper maintenance, unaddressed hazards (broken support beams, exposed nails/screws, improper restraints, etc.), water slide location, dangerous design, and improper installation, for instance. Whether the accident involved an inflatable water slide or normal water slides, there are a number of things that could lead to accidents.
Who is Liable?Who is liable for the harm caused by the water slide accident? Who contributed to the harm that you (or a member of your family) suffered? How do you establish liability for the harm that you suffered? In general, liability is based on negligence – which consists of four important elements. The four elements of negligence consist of the following: (1) duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (3) cause, and (4) harm. In other words, a party/entity has a duty of care towards others; the party/entity breaches the duty of care and causes and accident, which also results in harm. Who is likely to be liable for the harm that you suffered? Can I sue a homeowner/ Can I sue a product manufacturer? The answer to these questions depends on the details of your claim. If your water slide accident occurred on the property of a family or a friend that failed to address a hazard, the homeowner might be liable. Likewise, if your water slide accident was caused by a defective product, the manufacturer might be liable.
How can a homeowner or a manufacturer be liable for the harm caused by a water slide accident?For home owners, liability is based on something called premise liability. Homeowners have the responsibility to ensure that their property and everything on their property is completely safe. They must always be aware of the state of their property; if they identify hazards that could pose a threat to visitors, they must immediately do something to address the hazard. When they fail to identify, fail to address, or simply ignore hazards, homeowners could be liable for the harm that their visitors suffer. For product manufacturers, liability is based on something called product liability. The companies that design and manufacture products, such as water slides, have the duty to provide their consumers with safe products. These companies must thoroughly inspect their products and test their products under many different circumstances to ensure that the product will be safe for consumers to use. Inspections and tests allow companies to identify any hazards that could pose a risk to consumers and address the hazards before making the products available for purchase. When companies fail to identify and address hazards in their products, they are negligently making defective products available to the public and are putting their consumers at risk of suffering injuries – this could make them liable for any harm suffered. Without a doubt, liability is directly based on the details of the accident. In some cases, liability could be difficult to establish. Therefore, it is always recommended to seek legal assistance with an accident attorney experienced in handling cases similar to yours. If you would like to discuss your claim with the water slide accident attorneys at our Los Angeles firm, do not hesitate to contact us today.
Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.
Could You Sue and Recover Compensation?If the harm that you suffered was caused by the negligent actions of either a water slide manufacturer or a homeowner with a water slide somewhere on their property, you will likely have grounds to pursue a claim – after all, you would not have been harmed if the parties would have rightfully exercised their duty of care. If you have the right to sue, you will also have the right to request monetary compensation. How much is your water slide accident claim worth? How much compensation could you receive? Because the value of your claim depends on the details of your accident, it is important that you discuss your claim with an attorney. Only an experienced lawyer should provide you with information regarding the specific value of your claim. However, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the different categories of compensation that are often available for recovery, which include the following:
- Medical expenses, for the costs associated with the treatment for the physical injuries suffered
- Lost income, for the wages and earnings that were lost because of the harm suffered
- Pain and suffering, for the mental and emotional distress associated with the accident and the harm suffered
- Loss of consortium, for the lost ability to have a normal, family relationship with the victim (awarded to surviving family members)
- Funeral and burial expenses, for the costs associated with specific services required after the death of the victim
- Punitive damages, for punishment towards the defendant
What Should You Do?If you or a member of your family suffered any type of harm in a water slide accident in Los Angeles, it is essential that you take the necessary steps immediately after the accident. Although it might not be possible to act immediately, it is important that their families act as soon as possible. Consider the following recommendations:
- Get medical care
- Take photos of physical injuries
- Take photos of the hazards that caused the water slide accident (if possible)
- Take photos of the water slide
- Gather witness information
- Collect insurance information if applicable
- Seek legal assistance
- Contact the water slide company to report the defective product, the incident, and the harm sustained
- Stop using the defective water slide
- Take photos that make the defect clear
- Do not tamper with the defective product in any way
- Do not agree to a partial or full refund for the defective water slide
- Do not return the defective water slide to the manufacturer
- Do not agree to a free repair
- Gather all records relevant to the purchase of the defective water slide
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