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Posted 01/23/2024 in Personal Injury by Erik Abrahamson

Types of Premise Liability Settlements

Types of Premise Liability Settlements

When embarking on an adventure at renowned theme parks in Orlando, such as Universal Studios or Disney World, visitors are accustomed to the customary process of signing waiver forms that disclose potential injuries. This routine practice is often done without much thought, as guests enter the parks with the expectation of a fun and safe experience. However, recent reports reveal a different reality. 

In the last quarter of 2022, Universal Studios Florida disclosed three incidents to the state, while Disney reported seven. This included a 56-year-old man who suffered a cardiac event after riding the Frozen Ever After boat ride at EPCOT in October. 2022. Though the numbers may appear relatively low, it's crucial to note that these statistics only encompass three months of the year, and they occurred during what is considered a slower period for park attendance. This raises questions about the overall safety standards and the need for visitors to be more vigilant, even in seemingly controlled environments. One of the most common questions victims ask our Universal Studios personal injury attorney pertains to what to do after an accident at a theme park in Orlando. These types of accidents involve premises liability, and major theme parks have teams of lawyers dedicated to fighting any lawsuits that manifest from injuries in the park. Knowing what to do after being injured at a theme park in Orlando is essential for safeguarding your rights to compensation. 

What Is Premises Liability In Florida?

In Florida, premises liability is a legal concept that defines the legal responsibility of property owners for injuries resulting from unsafe conditions due to their negligence. Essentially, both public and private property owners are legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for anyone that has legal access to their property. Negligence occurs when they fail to fulfill this duty, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In cases of injuries on their property caused by such negligence, property owners can be held accountable for the associated costs of those injuries.

Premises liability encompasses various forms in personal injury cases, extending beyond the stereotypical slip and fall incidents. While slip and falls are commonly associated, other incidents can also be grounds for premises liability claims, such as: 

  • Dog bites

  • Swimming pool accidents

  • Elevator and escalator accidents

  • Amusement park incidents

  • Assaults

  • Much more 

It's important to understand that not all injuries resulting from accidents on someone else's property indicate negligence on the part of the property owner. Determining liability involves assessing whether the property owner failed in their legal duty to maintain a safe environment, leading to the injuries sustained by the individual.

Common Premises Liability Injuries 

Common premises liability injuries can occur in various public spaces, ranging from malls and stores to, notably, theme parks like Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando. Visitors may unwittingly expose themselves to risks, despite signing waiver forms. These risks encompass a spectrum of injuries, including: 

  • Paralysis

  • Soft tissue injuries

  • Fractures

  • Internal organ damage

  • Nerve damage

  • Heart attack

  • Amputation

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI's)

  • Neck injuries

  • Muscle strains 

While the allure of theme parks lies in the promise of entertainment, thrill, and adventure, reports of accidents in public areas highlight the need for visitors to be aware of potential hazards and for these establishments to prioritize safety measures. It underscores the importance of recognizing that accidents and injuries can happen even in seemingly controlled and joyful environments, necessitating a heightened awareness of premises liability issues.

Can I File A Premises Liability Claim For Anywhere?

Premises liability claims are not limited to specific locations, as these kinds of accidents can happen virtually anywhere. Whether on a sidewalk, within someone's private residence, or even at school, accidents can happen when property owners or managers neglect to maintain a safe environment. 

Several common places where premises liability accidents may occur include: 

  • Parking lots

  • Malls

  • Amusement parks

  • Restaurants

  • Other public areas 

These settings, known for attracting large crowds seeking entertainment and leisure, can become sites of accidents and injuries if safety measures are not prioritized. Recognizing the diverse range of locations where such incidents can unfold emphasizes the importance of vigilance and accountability on the part of property owners and managers to ensure the well-being of visitors and guests.

How Is Liability Determined In Amusement Park Accidents?

Determining liability in amusement park accidents and other premises liability cases involves meeting a specific standard of proof. The burden on the injured party is to establish that the park owner or employees were aware of the hazardous conditions leading to the accident and failed to take corrective action. The failure to act may indicate knowledge of the issue or sufficient awareness of circumstances that could result in an accident. If a Universal Studios personal injury attorney can demonstrate that a park owner was aware of widespread faults in safety restraints but neglected to replace them, the judge may likely find the park owner liable for damages.

In addition to proving the owner's negligence, comparative fault comes into play when assessing liability. In scenarios where a guest's inappropriate behavior contributes to a serious injury, such as intentionally removing restraints on a theme park ride or throwing items off a ride, a Florida jury would most likely apply comparative fault. This involves evaluating the actions of both parties and assigning a degree of responsibility for the injuries. The jury might find that a guest is liable for 80%, considering their reckless actions, while attributing 20% fault to the park owner who was aware of an unsafe aspect of their property. This approach allows for a fair assessment of liability in complex situations involving both owner negligence and guest misconduct.

What To Do After An Accident At A Theme Park In Orlando

After an accident at a theme park in Orlando, it's crucial to prioritize your safety and well-being. Take the following steps to ensure a proper response:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Care - Make sure to seek medical care for any injuries promptly, even for seemingly minor issues. 

  2. Report the Accident - Notify park staff and management about the accident to create an official record of the incident.

  3. Document the Scene - Take photos of the accident site, any hazards, and your injuries. Collect names and contact information of witnesses.

  4. Preserve Evidence - Keep any relevant items, such as clothing or personal belongings, and note the date and time of the incident.

  5. Obtain Incident Report - Request a copy of the theme park's accident report and ensure all details are accurately recorded.

  6. Refrain from Making Statements - Avoid discussing fault or making statements that may be used against you later.

  7. Contact Law Enforcement - Call local law enforcement to ensure that the accident is investigated, and it is officially documented.

  8. Keep Records - Maintain records of medical treatments, expenses, and any communication with the park or insurance companies.

Remember, if you believe the accident resulted from negligence, consider seeking legal advice. Contacting a Universal Studios personal injury attorney can be beneficial, as they can help assess the circumstances, guide you through the legal process, and advocate for your rights to fair compensation.

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