Visitor Question

Broke my hand on waterslide…

Submitted By: Michele (NJ)

While at a water park, I went down a multiple-lane slide on a mat to the bottom of the hill. When I hit the bottom trough of water, while on the mat, I hit the side of the lane and the mat flew out of my hands. I proceeded to the end of the lane without a mat and injured my hand.

I went to the park’s medical office and filled out a report. They gave me an icepack, as my hand was swelling rapidly and I could not get my wedding rings off. They would not give me a copy of the incident report, but provided directions to the nearest hospital/emergency room.

I went to the hospital immediately and had my rings cut off my hand and a cast made – my hand was broken in 2 places. I did not need surgery. I was in a cast and went through 12 weeks of therapy. The hand basically healed. I have dull pain many days and it’s weaker than the other hand, but basically it’s okay.

The amusement park’s insurance company is only offering $2500 – that does not even cover all the copay costs, days off from work, and cost to fix the rings. Do I need to file lawsuit to get what I fairly deserve? Do I need a lawyer? Thank you for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Michele,

Your question presents an interesting legal issue. That is whether or not the owner of a water park is liable for injuries which occur to patrons.

Water park owners are required to make their premises safe for all people who are legally upon the premises. In your case, this legal duty extends to making the water slide as safe as is reasonably possible.

Here is probably how the court would look at your case…

The court would want to know what safety precautions the water park owner took to prevent patrons from slide injuries. The court would then want to know approximately how many patrons use the slide each year, and of that number of patrons, how many were seriously injured. Your injury is a serious one.

While we weren’t there, we might presume there was some sort of a sign admonishing patrons that the park is not liable for injuries sustained while using the slide. This infers those who think the slide may injure them have a chance to turn around and not use the side.

From the facts you present, the injury you sustained was not due to the negligence of the water park owner. Instead, according to you, the mat flew from your hands. In other words, you let the mat go, even if you did so when hitting the side of the slide. Unless you can prove a substantial number of patrons were injured in the same manner as your injury, it is likely your case would be dismissed.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most injury attorneys do not charge for an initial office consultation. Gather copies of your medical records and make several appointments with various attorneys. They may have a different opinion.

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

Best of luck,

Published: February 19, 2015

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