If you’ve been injured at an amusement park, you need to know what to do when injured at a theme park. Read this blog, then give us a call.
1) Choosing the Best Attorney
What’s very important is that you get an attorney that is knowledgeable with working on cases against the theme parks. There are many in central Florida and the Orlando area, and each one has their own particular way of handling their cases. There are some theme parks that are reasonable and like to work with injured parties, and those cases can be resolved in a more reasonable and timely manner; and there are some theme parks throughout Orlando, Florida, that tend to be more difficult, and they tend to fight everything and drag everything on.
You need to make sure you have an attorney that knows that and make sure the attorney has handled cases against a variety of these theme parks and know what their tactics are, know how to deal with them, so they can advise you that this theme park is difficult to work with so you should expect a long and protracted fight, or this theme park is reasonable and we should be able to resolve this case without too much of your time, without too much of expense. That’s very important because it’s a very detailed area in terms of who the insurance companies represent, who those clients are. Making sure that you have an attorney that is knowledgeable with all those different ins and outs and the differences between the theme parks is going to be key in keeping you updated, keeping you informed, and insuring that you get the best possible outcome of your theme park injury case here in Orlando, Florida.
2) Injured At a Theme Park
As a result of someone else’s negligence, a party is entitled to various types of damages. Some of these damages range from getting paid back your medical bills, getting the future medical bills paid if, for example, you need future therapies or future procedures, surgeries, treatments, or anything like that. Those are all compensable, so we can ask for those in terms of damages.
Maybe you’ve been out of work. If you’re out of work, we can get you compensated for past lost wages. If you’re unable to work in the future, we can go after loss of future earning capacity, which is essentially loss of future earnings. Those are one of the damages. Those are all monetary, in terms of us being able to determine those based on actual hard evidence. We know what the medical bills are; we’re given those by your provider. We can estimate what the medical bills are in terms of your future needs by getting information from medical providers as well. If it’s lost wages we’re dealing with, we can just check your records to be able to determine what wages you missed out on and what wages you may miss out in the future.
The other damages are more emotional damages, and they are what’s called pain and suffering. Pain and suffering involves, essentially, what suffering and pain you’ve had to endure as a result of the injuries you sustained. There’s also loss of enjoyment of life. Maybe your injuries caused you not to be able to enjoy life as you once did. You can’t go jogging anymore, you can’t go do weightlifting or hiking anymore, or you’re limited. These are all damages that we can put together for you.
Hiring an attorney experienced in theme park injuries is going to be critical. They’re going to be able to make sure that they can put all of these damages together in to one package to ensure the best outcome for you.
3) Available Damages
Under most circumstances, no, do not speak to the representatives of the theme park or the insurance company if they are asking you to give them a statement or some kind of recording or any kind of detailed explanation of what may or may not have happened. We say in certain circumstances because if you have hired an attorney and discussed the facts of your case with the attorney, and your attorney decides that it’s in your best interest to speak to the insurance company, in terms of helping you cooperate with the investigation of the case, you may do that, but that’s in very limited circumstances. For the most part, we would say, no, do not speak to the insurance company. We would say do not speak to the insurance company alone, ever, in any of these situations.
Sometimes we have clients who, when they’re at the theme park, a theme park representative will try to reach out to them while they’re lying there on the ground or while they’re being helped by EMT’s. Be careful of giving any great detail into what happened. Let them know what body part you’ve injured, let them know what may or may not have happened. Aside from that, just give them the basics of the situation so they can fill out an incident report. If they do that, make sure that you get a copy of that, and make sure that you read the incident report before you fill it out, sign it, and give it back to them.
Be very careful with speaking to the theme parks. Don’t ever speak to the theme park’s insurance representative without an attorney. In some cases it’s okay, if you’re with your attorney or under the guidance of your attorney, to speak with them; that way you can help in the investigation, and they can’t deny you benefits for not cooperating with their claim.
4) Insurance Investigation
Whether it’s a small injury, whether it’s a large injury, whether it’s insignificant to you or significant to you, whatever it may be, we suggest that you do advise the theme parks. Let them know what happened. There needs to be a record of the incident. There needs to be some type of documentation. You need to be able to get the employees’ eyes on and let them see what happened. Let them know that a claim was made.
We’ve had experience in this area. Oftentimes, we’ll see a client come in and, unfortunately, they have not let the theme park know. That is one of the tactics that they’ll use to fight and deny your case. They’ll say, “We don’t have any record of this happening. How do we even know what happened at the theme park?” We would say that it is very critical to let the theme park know that you’ve been injured, that way they can prepare a report and, if they do prepare a report, make sure that you get a copy of the report.
Make sure that, if you do fill out the report, you read the report. Oftentimes, in those documents, there’s information in there that can be used against you. Sometimes, depending on that, we would advise against not signing the report. At least make some kind of report verbally, and make sure that someone comes on site to inspect the situation. A lot of these theme parks have their own medical staff. They can get you the medical treatment that you need right away. This is very important.
Several of the theme park cases that we’ve handled involve the originating report of the incident from the theme park’s medical staff. They essentially have EMT-trained individuals that work at these theme parks, and they will come out there, assess the situation and, if they’re able to help you, they’ll help you there. If they’re not able to help you, if the injury’s too significant, they will call for outside help. All of this is critical to making sure that your claim is handled properly and to make sure that you get the best outcome possible.
One thing that is very important is, when you do make the claim and you’re either filling out the form or speaking to some kind of personnel from the theme park or their medical staff, to let them know exactly what you’re feeling. Let them know exactly what happened. Let them know where you’re injured and how the injury is affecting you. Once you have this documentation, they’ll be able to help you in processing your claim as it goes forward.
Aside from that, do not give any more detailed information to any of the theme park employees or to anyone representing the theme park employees until you have spoken with an attorney experienced in this field.
5) Amusement Park Injury Liability
Oftentimes we see the theme parks try to use that as a defense. It really depends on the particular facts and circumstances of the theme parks. What we need to be careful of is some of the theme parks, on their tickets, actually, they have some disclaimers and some waivers of liability. Basically that means if you buy the ticket and you come onto our property, anything that happens to you on this property, you’ve assumed that risk and we’re not responsible for it.
It really depends on the particular facts and circumstances of each case, each purported waiver. Were you told of that waiver? How did you assume the risk? There are many details that go into figuring out whether this is going to actually apply in your case. First and foremost, you need to find an attorney who’s experienced with dealing with these particular issues because they can be very specific. Each theme park has their own different way of handling this, so you really need to be able to look into each theme park, each way that they say they’ve provided you this notice or each way that they’re saying you’ve assumed the risk and whether or not that will hold up.
Again, an attorney experienced in theme park prosecutions in Orlando, Florida, is going to be your best bet at being able to navigate through that and determine whether or not that’s even a real thing, in terms of being able to deny you coverage or deny you damages in an injury at a theme park.
Have you suffered a serious injury at a theme park in Florida on someone else’s property that you believe was caused by negligence and carelessness and have questions about what to do when injured at a theme park? Contact our experienced Orlando theme park accident lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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