People go to amusement parks, adventure parks, theme parks, etc., to have fun, try something new and exciting, spend quality time with their loved ones, make memories, and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Therefore, the last thing anyone would expect while having fun in such places is to suffer an injury. Nevertheless, injuries are more common in theme parks than most visitors believe. So, if you are planning a trip to Disney World with your family or friends this year, you need to be careful. With millions of Disney World visitors each year, accidents are bound to happen. So, get ready to know what to expect if you get hurt at Disney World.
What Incidents Are More Likely to Occur at Disney World?
As you can easily imagine, most incidents reported at Disney World involve slips, falls, broken ankles, and “getting sick” or having headaches after finishing some rides. According to the Florida laws, amusement parks (Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort) have to report all incidents that led to people getting sick or hurt and needing hospitalization for over 24 hours.
Sometimes, these official reports are unclear or tend to downplay the severity of the guests’ injuries. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered an injury or got sick while visiting Disney World, it is best to contact a Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. Many people don’t think they have a chance of winning a claim against Disney in general, but an experienced injury law firm will do its best to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Happens After an Injury at Disney World?
First aid stations are available when a fall or other accident causes a minor injury that does not require professional medical attention. Paramedics are on call to transport park visitors to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
If you or a loved one got injured, you should take photos and videos of everything involved with your injury if you feel Disney World bears some responsibility for the accident.
For example, if the accident happens because you tripped on a raised surface, take a photo of the uneven surface. This type of evidence may become necessary to prove your insurance claim or case if you decide to sue the park.
Common Accident Causes
Accidents involving guests are on the rise at Disney World and other theme parks. Main causes include malfunctioning rides, steep inclines, wet and uneven surfaces, the roller coaster, and several other factors common to theme parks.
Staff mistakes and conditions specific to a particular guest may also cause accidents. One of the following elements can be critical during an accident investigation at Disney World:
- Guest negligence. This type of negligence can include ignoring safety regulations or intentionally violating the rules of the park.
- Preexisting health conditions for the guest.
- Park negligence. This negligence can include maintenance and repair issues or errors by ride operators.
- Acts of God or other accidents for which the assessment of blame is not possible.
Filing an Injury Claim
Park guests who can show that Disney World’s negligence caused their injury could hold the theme park accountable. However, it is important to note that injured guests will bear the burden of proof when determining fault.
Disney World is unlikely to admit any negligence or wrongdoing. However, the park will also go as far as to hire an expert to dispute claims they feel are frivolous.
Accident victims who can meet the proof of negligence burden may become eligible to receive compensation for a variety of accident-related expenses:
- Lost income
- Future wage losses
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Money to replace lost property
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death benefits
- Punitive damages.
Settlement Offers and Legal Help
Disney World is a large financial entity with armies of investigators and lawyers at its disposal. This is why most lawsuits filed against the company are settled long before they reach a courtroom. The amount of a settlement offer will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
The accident victim’s needs may also affect their opinion regarding a settlement offer. But there are a few things all accident victims should keep in mind when negotiating injury settlements with Disney World.
The insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys who will be calculating your settlement offer are Disney World employees. These people may be pleasant to deal with but have no loyalty to you. These professionals may offer you a fair settlement for your claim. But their first concern is satisfying the needs of their employer.
Secondly, the attorneys on Disney World’s payroll are professionals. Therefore, it is not a good idea to negotiate a settlement without equal knowledge and experience on your side.
Before you begin a legal battle in an injury case against Disney World or other amusement parks, think well about the costs of such a case (which go beyond your attorney’s fees). An experienced lawyer will explain everything to you, so you know what to expect. Having a financial plan is crucial at this point, as settlements against such powerful adversaries could take years, depleting your budget and savings.
So, if Disney World owes you thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, hire a team of expert injury lawyers who know Florida laws by heart and who can stand toe to toe with giants. Do this even before talking to an insurance adjuster. Most personal injury attorneys work on a no-win-no-fee basis and will pay dividends once you receive what is due.