Whether it's the water slides, the undulating "lazy river", the aquatic playgrounds, or even the wave pool, most water parks boast attractions for every member of the family. As a result, millions of Americans cheerfully visit them each year.
However, behind the widely-marketed veneer of harmless fun and excitement lie significant risks that can materialize into serious personal injury or even death. Our drowning accident lawyers discuss these risks and how the victims who are affected can seek justice.
Water parks have existed in the United States since the mid-1900s. They've enjoyed significant commercial success into modern-day, shown by the more than 1000 parks that greet visitors each year.
After decades of being in business, one could assume that water parks probably have figured out how to ensure the health and safety of their patrons. And yet, water park visitors continue to suffer traumatic and even deadly accidents each year.
Many of these accidents are a result of the neverending hunt for the "biggest, tallest, fastest" ride that water parks engage in as a tactic for drawing in more visitors. In fact, one of the most harrowing accounts of a water park accident occurred at Schlitterbahn Kansas City, where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated while on Verrückt, a ride considered the world's tallest and fastest water slide while it was in operation.
But even with ever more intricate and precarious rides being built, the biggest hazard to life in water parks remain the same - drowning.
It should come as no surprise that the biggest risk one takes on when visiting a water park is that of drowning.
Indeed, the possibility of drowning should be top-of-mind when toiling in any kind of aquatic environment. However, when one considers the additional risks posed by a water park, it's easy to see why water park drownings are such a concern.
In the peak of the season, water park pools can easily reach maximum capacity. This not only increases the risk of drowning but also decreases the chances that a lifeguard will be able to notice when a swimmer is in distress. Additionally, a congested pool or other attraction can prevent rescue personnel from reaching a victim in time. Terribly, time is often the most important factor between a victim who survives a water park drowning and one who does not.
Outside of the risk posed by high numbers of visitors, the variety of aquatic attractions present in water parks also poses a threat. Different types of rides will pose different health risks. Likewise, different emergency procedures should be implemented in case an accident occurs.
One could expect professional personnel to be able to deal with a dynamic situation such as a water park drowning with skill and proficiency. Veritably, this is exactly what should be afforded when it comes to saving a park patron's life. Yet, it isn't often that the most highly-skilled individuals are hired to perform these supervisory duties. Water parks are businesses, after all, and cost-saving measures can often take precedence over life-saving measures.
But just because water parks are able to scrape by with mediocre risk aversion in most situations does not mean that victims of such reprehensible practices cannot be made whole when they suffer damages.
Water parks can and should be held liable when their negligence leads to injury or death, and victims have a chance to do this with the help of a water park accident attorney.
No matter the nature of the accident, whether it's a drowning, near-drowning, or other types of personal injury, victims and their loved ones have the power and the right to seek compensation via the justice system. If successful, they can be awarded compensation that covers damages directly related to the incident, whether they be past expenses or expected future costs (such as healthcare or loss of income.)
Even when they're clearly responsible for injuries or drownings, water park operators can be expected to fight back with legal teams. Expecting this, victims should seek a law firm experienced in these cases to take their side.
The Haggard Law Firm knows what it takes to win monumental cases such as those resulting from a water park drowning, we've done it in the past, and if you or a loved one encounter yourselves in these traumatic circumstances, we can fight for justice on your behalf, too.