Water parks have been popular destination points for children and adults alike since they were first introduced in the mid-twentieth century. With dozens of outdoor and indoor water park attractions in and around Wisconsin Dells, it’s no wonder Wisconsin is known as the “Water Park Capital of the World.”
For a majority of the tens of thousands of people who visit the Dells every year, water parks provide a fun and refreshing way to enjoy the summer sunshine (or a way to escape cold, snowy weather by visiting an indoor water park). Unfortunately, water park visits can result in serious injuries or even death.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a water park accident, do you have any legal recourse? The short answer is “maybe.” When a water slide or other park feature injures someone or when a drowning occurs, victims and their loved ones may be able to recover compensation. Determining who is responsible for the accident isn’t always simple; there could be several possible responsible parties.
The Park Owner/Operator’s Responsibility
In many cases, the owner of the water park is responsible when an accident occurs, under the legal theory of “premises liability.” The owner of the property has a legal responsibility to patrons to provide safe premises for water park guests. This means they must ensure pools, equipment, rides, locker rooms or changing areas, food courts, and other areas are maintained in a manner that makes them safe, keeping them free of hazards that could injure park visitors.
Ride Operators or Other Employees May Be Responsible
Sometimes a water park employee may also be partially or fully responsible for injuries, such as when he or she acted with intentional disregard for safety or was otherwise negligent in carrying out their responsibilities.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, both the water park’s owner and one or more employees may share liability for the accident.
When an accident happens, it’s natural to want to hold the park owner or an employee legally responsible. In some cases, however, injured waterpark guests cannot hold anyone liable for accidents.
There’s an assumption that when you use a water park, you understand the inherent danger or risk of becoming injured. If you’re injured because you didn’t follow the water park’s rules, you may have what’s referred to legally as “contributory negligence.” Essentially, this means you may not have a legal case.
You may have also signed a liability waiver when you entered the park. However, don’t assume that just because you signed something you don’t have a legal case – you may still have legal rights. A personal injury attorney can help advise you on the likelihood that a court will uphold a liability release form.
An Experienced Water Park Accident Attorney Can Evaluate Your Case
At GCW, our skilled personal injury attorneys help clients who have been injured themselves or whose loved ones were injured or killed in Wisconsin water park accidents. Whether an injury involved lacerations, neck or back pain, broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, near-drowning, other injuries, or the victim drowned, you may be entitled to compensation under Wisconsin law. Contact us today in Eau Claire, Madison, or Milwaukee to schedule a free case evaluation.