What to do if someone is injured at a theme park

Going to a theme park is a great option for a family vacation. There are numerous options, ranging from Legoland in California to Walt Disney World and the other big theme parks in Florida. The only thing you expect from your trip is to have a good time and to take home wonderful memories. Safety is not at the top of your mind – other than perhaps ensuring that you aren’t separated from your children in the park or that no one comes down with a stomach bug.

theme park

Unfortunately, accidents can still happen, even in these family friendly places that millions of people visit each year without incident. Teenagers working for minimum wage operate these rides, corporations cut corners to increase profits, and even the best-meaning people make mistakes when they are servicing the rides. If you or someone you love is injured while you are at a theme park, it is important that you know what to do. Mike Pines, a personal injury attorney from San Diego, which is in the vicinity of numerous theme parks, offers these tips:

Seek medical treatment immediately

Even if you think the injury is minor, it is important that you seek medical treatment immediately. Serious internal injuries may have occurred without any external signs. For example, if you have an accident on a ride, you could have internal bleeding or damaged organs. By going to a doctor or a hospital right away, you can be sure of the extent of the injuries, and you can have them documented immediately following the accident.

If someone offers to call an ambulance, accept the offer. Agree to be treated by emergency responders at the scene.

Report the incident immediately

Don’t just leave the park and go to the hospital. Make sure that you notify the ride operator immediately that there has been an accident. It is key that you get it on the record that there was an accident at the park. Otherwise, the park’s attorneys could later make the case that you were not injured at the park but were injured somewhere else. You need to leave a paper trail.

Immediately make the report and note the names of all the people you talked to and when. If you are too seriously injured to do this, someone who is with you should do it on your behalf.

Jot down all information

Details will help support your case. What time did the incident occur? It is better to say “3:07 p.m.” than “sometime around 3.” Where did the incident occur? You need to know not just the name of the ride, but also what car you were on, what part of the ride you were on, and so on. For example, you might say that you were on basket 3 of the E.T. ride, and that you were injured just as you were soaring past the moon. What was the name of the operator? If you don’t know, write down a description of the person.

Write down as much information as you can as quickly as you can. If you’re able to, write down a narrative while you are at the hospital when the details are freshest in your mind.

Take photos

If you or someone who is with you is able to do so, take photos with your cell phone of the ride and anything that contributed to the incident. For example, if you were injured because your seat belt malfunctioned, take a photo of the damaged seat belt. If there was a small fire on the ride, take a picture of the blackened damage.

The more evidence you have, the better you will be able to prove your case later.

Hire a personal injury attorney

Theme parks have high-profiled lawyers working for them who will try to intimidate you. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you protect your legal rights and get what you deserve for your injuries. Talk with a personal injury lawyer right away so that you have an advocate on your side.

Don’t let your family vacation turn into a nightmare. If you or someone you love are injured at a theme park, take these steps to protect yourself and your rights.

 

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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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