May 27, 2019
Water parks are a hot spot for Hoosiers this time of year. With students finishing up their school years and temperatures rising, water parks will be filling to the brim with visitors. They’re places to keep cool in a fun way, and the last thing you want to worry about is you or someone you know getting injured.
But if those worries come true, and you do suffer a water park injury, who’s responsible? Like all potential premises liability scenarios, the answers to that question are entirely situational.
Premises Liability vs. Personal Liability in a Water Park Injury Case
First, we need to distinguish between the different types of liability and when a premises owner isn’t responsible because another party is.
Premises liability, at its core, deals with injuries that occurred because of unsafe conditions on a property that the owner both a) was aware of and b) did nothing or too little to address. Knowing about a hazard and not fixing it in a reasonable amount of time is known as negligence. Even if the property owner didn’t know about the hazard, it may still be negligence if they should have known. For example, if you were injured because of a water slide with exposed, sharp edges, you’re likely operating within the confines of premises liability.
On the other hand, personal liability deals with injuries you received because of the direct actions of someone else on the property. If someone trips you while you’re walking up the stairs for a ride and you bust your knee, you’re likely facing a personal liability situation, since the premises owners had nothing to do with the other person’s actions.
A Water Park Owner’s Duty
“Provide safety for reasonable use.”
That’s a key phrase you need to keep in mind when you’re going forward with examining whether or not your water park injury stemmed from negligence on behalf of the water park owner.
If you were injured because of your own recklessness—like horseplay in a deep section of a wave pool or sliding in an unsafe manner—you’ve breached the “reasonable use” portion of the tacit agreement you took on when you entered the park. Typically, trespassing is also considered outside of “reasonable use.”
With any of these scenarios, you’ll find staking liability on the park owners almost impossible.
However, if a ride that was overdue for an inspection was allowed to continue normal use, and it malfunctioned and caused your water park injury, then the owner has breached their portion of the agreement. If they fail to “provide safety” for their invitees’ reasonable use, then the owners are potentially liable for any harm that comes to a guest.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
Your first priority during summer vacation should be relaxation. If you or someone you know has been injured while trying to enjoy a water park, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers are here to help.