In March, The South Bend Tribune reported that South Bend received grant money to bring a zip line to the city starting in 2020. Along with the zip line, the grant money would fund six other tourism-related improvements around St. Joseph County.
South Bend has seen zip lines before. In 2015, the city installed two temporary zip lines across the St. Joseph River to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday.
The new zip line would be a permanent installation over the St. Joseph River, operated by Edge Adventures. It’s sure to draw crowds from all over northern Indiana.
Zip lines can be incredibly fun, but they can also be dangerous without the right safety measures in place. So what happens if you’re injured on a zip line? Can you hold someone responsible for your injuries?
Who’s Responsible: Yourself
When trying to determine who is liable for your personal injury, the first candidate you should look at is yourself.
It may take weeks or months to properly investigate other parties that may be responsible. However, being honest with yourself only takes a few minutes. If you’re not responsible, then you can proceed with your personal injury claim with confidence.
Even if you’re partially responsible, you may still be able to proceed with a personal injury claim.
Let’s say you weren’t wearing proper shoes for a zip line, and one of your sandals fell off into the river. You jerked in surprise, and your harness snapped from the unexpected movement
It’d be hard to argue that your sandals caused your harness to snap. Rather, your fault in wearing sandals exposed the fault in the equipment.
It’s not your responsibility to make sure the equipment is secure enough to withstand unexpected movements. Therefore, you may still be able to recover financially, even if you bear some of the blame for your accident.
Who’s Responsible: The Zip Line Operator
The most likely candidate for liability is the zip line operator. Even if another party is responsible, the zip line operator may share some of the blame.
Zip line operators must ensure the safety of their customers. That means they must:
- Properly maintain their equipment
- Ensure thorough training for employees
- Supervise all zip line rides
- Prepare riders with basic safety instructions
- Refuse service to anyone unfit to ride a zip line safely (e.g., someone obviously drunk)
- Routinely inspect equipment for any defects
- Check the zip line course regularly for any objects that may endanger on rider safety (e.g., growing branches that begin to intersect with the course)
- Shut down service in dangerous weather conditions
If the zip line operator fails in any of these duties, they may be held responsible for your injuries.
What If I Signed a Waiver?
Nearly every zip line will require customers to sign a waiver before going for a ride on the line. The waiver typically releases the operator from any and all liability if an accident occurs that results in an injury.
Even if you’ve signed this waiver, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim.
These waivers typically aren’t enforced, especially if you bear no fault for your injuries. If you were injured due to the negligence of the zip line operator, then you may still be able to file a claim, regardless of whether or not you signed a waiver.
Speak with an Indiana personal injury attorney if you’re wondering how a waiver may affect your claim.
Who’s Responsible: The Manufacturer
In addition the zip line operator, another party that may be responsible for your injuries is the equipment manufacturer.
A zip line operator can do everything right to ensure customer safety. However, if the manufacturer cuts corners on the quality of the equipment it produces, a zip line operator may not know it until it’s too late.
If you were injured because the zip line equipment was defective, you may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible along with the zip line operator.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
Zip lines should be fun, not dangerous. If you’ve been injured on a zip line, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your case.