Can you sue a water park for injury sustained on an attraction?
You can always file a lawsuit over an injury at a water park. The more important question is whether such a lawsuit will be successful. Remember, just because you were injured on the premises of a commercial business like a water park or amusement park, that doesn't necessarily mean that the business is going to be deemed legally at fault (liable) for your injuries. There are a number of key considerations that you should keep in mind.
The Water Park's Legal Duty to Patrons. Under a legal theory known as premises liability, the water park has a duty to you and other patrons, to act with reasonable care in maintaining and inspecting the park, and to keep the premises reasonably safe from hazards -- that means dangers the park and its employees know about, and those it could reasonably be expected to know about.
But this duty is not absolute. The park could do everything it is obligated to do in the eyes of the law, and you still might get injured. Learn more about premises liability.
Comparative Negligence and Assumption of the Risk. If you were injured at a water park, be prepared for the park to defend itself against any legal claim by pointing a finger back at you and questioning your conduct in the moments leading up to your injury.
Just as the water park has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of patrons, so do patrons have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and caution in how they use the park. If your own carelessness played a role in the accident, any liability on the part of the water park could be reduced or eliminated entirely, under a concept known as comparative negligence.
Similarly, the water park could argue that, yes you were injured, but those injuries were a normal result of the anticipated risk that water park patrons assume when they buy a ticket for admission to the park. Learn more about the legal defense of assumption of the risk.
by: David Goguen, J.D.