Hotel pool water slide injury...

by Alice
(Clinton, TN)

I went down the 95' water slide at a hotel. The force of the water twisted me onto my stomach, so I ended up going quickly down the slide feet first on my stomach. My toe (apparently or I think) hit or got stuck in one of the slide joints and I had immense pain.

I bent my leg to get my toe off the slide, and when I came off the slide I was going so fast my knee hit the bottom of the 2.5/3' deep pool. I ended up with a chipped toe bone, and ripped 99% off my toe nail.

Because of the open wound with the toe, I received a tetanus and antibiotic shot, and ended up with 14 stitches in my knee from where it hit the pool bottom so hard.

I was taken to the emergency room and put back together, then sent home (and ended our vacation) with 10 days of antibiotics, follow-up visit with my MD, 16 hydrocodones for the first two-three days, and unable to drive (because I am in a boot for my toe and a knee brace to keep the knee from bending until the stitches are removed in 14 days).

I also couldn't work for a few days (I am a consultant) because of the driving issue and the pain pills. I was lucky there were two nurses at the pool, one kept me from going into shock until the EMTs arrived, and the other one held my crying scared daughter until my husband could get back from getting the hotel management and calling the EMTs.

I am 5'4", 145 pounds and 57 years old. I went down the slide at the request of my daughter, who later spent 5 hours hysterical because her momma got hurt.

Anyway, I'm looking primarily for medical reimbursements for the injuries and treatment I described, but may also have my lower back looked at. I was trying so hard to turn myself back over while going down the slide, I may have twisted my back.

Do I have a valid case for my injuries? How would I pursue compensation for this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hotel pool water slide injury...":

Alice (Clinton, TN):

It is unlikely you were required to sign a release of liability form before going down the slide. Even if the water park states on a sign somewhere they aren't responsible for injuries, they still may be.

The problem you may run into is assessing negligence to the water park. It is likely thousands of guests go down the slide every year without injury. Your unfortunate episode may have been an aberration.

The water park owner has a legal duty of care to do everything reasonably possible to assure guests will not suffer undue harm or injury. To have the basis for reimbursement for your medical bills, you will need to prove the park owner or management was negligent. That may be difficult.

You may be better off going to the park owner or management and just asking them to reimburse you for your medical bills. They likely have a liability policy covering injuries to guests. Without a showing of negligence, you will have to hope they voluntarily agree to have their insurance cover your injuries.

There is one other way to approach your claim...

Your injuries are serious enough to require representation by an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can file suit and subpoena the park's records to see if prior episodes of injuries have been filed. If so, and the park took no action to correct the reason for the injuries, then your attorney may have a strong case.

Fortunately, most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Gather copies of your medical records, and make appointments with several personal injury attorneys. Doing so will give you a much better idea of the viability of your case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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