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Community Leisure

The Best Place for Recreational Activities

Community Leisure

The Best Place for Recreational Activities

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About

Community Leisure is the best place where you can do your recreational activities like swimming, mountain climbing, playing and a lot more. Here, we accommodate you with pleasure, and we assure that you will enjoy and have fun along with ensuring everybody’s safety and welfare.

We provide modern facilities and a wide range of high-quality equipment. Our employees are trained and skilled to guide and support you in your activities. We guaranteed you that we are the best place for recreational activities. We want to prove to everybody that you can do recreational activities in a fun way.

We offer different recreational activities

Do you love swimming and staying active? If yes, you found the best place for you to do your recreational activities. We, Community Leisure, welcome you with pleasure for choosing us. We offer to everybody our modern facilities and a wide range of high-quality equipment for your activities.

We can also assure you that we will ensure your safety without compromising the fun you wish to have. We believe that everybody should have time for fun and happiness in spite of their busy schedule. With this, we can be the one to provide you this enjoyment.

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Recent Articles

 

I Was Hurt on a Community Shared Bike, Can I Sue the City?

A community shared bike is a novel and excellent idea in an urban setting. You can use a bicycle for a specific purpose and then return the bike. For example, if you do not want to move your car during the day, you can ride that community bike on an errand or to go to lunch. You do not have to worry about finding a parking space either coming or going. Community shared bikes can be run by city governments or private enterprises. They can be free or charge a modest fee. The bikes can be located in stations, or they can be just be left wherever the user chooses. The question of liability of a city for an injury depends on the circumstances and cause of the injury, whether the bike share is run by the city or private company, and the laws of negligence of the state where the injury occurred. This article will take a look at all the possibilities to answer the question.

CITY OPERATED

If you live in a city that operates the community shared bike, you will have a better case for liability for an injury. You will have to deal with several issues such as waiver of liability, contributory or comparative negligence, and the manner in which the city operates and maintains the bicycles. The first item to examine is how the city runs the bike share. It probably does not matter if the city charges a fee or not. Its liability will not depend upon that fact. The city is responsible for its actions in either case. The city will probably set up stations around the city. A bike is picked up at one station and then delivered to another one. There will probably be an app or some other way for an individual to know the locations of the stations. The city has a legal obligation to make sure each bike is in safe condition and does not have any defects that would cause an injury. This would include periodic inspections to ensure that each bike has not been damaged by a user.

For example, if someone reported a problem with a bike such as low air in a tire and the city did nothing and allowed the bike to be used, then there could be liability if the injury was caused by the low air in the tire. The same logic would apply to any reported problem. The city would have to pull any reported bike and fix the problem.

While the city has an obligation to provide a safe bike, when you rent the bike you are certifying that you know how to safely ride a bike. If the injury is the result of your failure to yield to traffic or follow any other traffic rule, then contributory negligence would bar your claim. If your state has comparative negligence, then your negligence would be considered along with the negligence of the city.

If your city requires you to sign a waiver of liability prior to using the bike, then your claim for injury could be denied. It would depend upon the language of the waiver and exactly what you are waiving. Read the waiver carefully. You would not want to waive the city’s obligation to provide a safe bike or safe streets. The waiver should probably just address your obligation to operate the bike safely.

PRIVATE OPERATIONS

Many of the same issues that were listed above apply to private companies. One point to consider is the involvement of the city. If the city requires private companies to comply with certain regulations, then liability could be proven if the private company did not follow the regulations. The issue of the city being liable involves their monitoring of the private company. The city has a duty to follow up and make sure the private company is operating the bike share in a safe manner that complies with all regulations.

You may find that some cities have no regulations concerning privately run bike shares. An argument can be made that those cities have a duty to regulate and cannot just sit back and do nothing. The failure to regulate can be a basis for liability. If you are injured on a privately owned community share bike, you should consider the liability of the city in addition to an action against the private company.

LOCATIONS OF BIKES

If the city or private company does not have permanent locations for bikes but allows the bikes to be dropped off anywhere, this could lead to a liability argument. Bikes just placed on a street, sidewalk, or lawn could be damaged. There is no way to know if the act of placing the bike on the ground damaged some part, which could lead to an accident. The liability of the city is in allowing a private company to operate a community share without permanent stations. Of course, you have the problem of proof that the bike was damaged. But it seems it would be much harder to keep up with the condition of the bikes that are just abandoned.

NEGLIGENCE

In considering the type of injury you might suffer while riding one of these community bikes, there are two thoughts. One is an injury caused by the condition of the bike. You can think of several scenarios such as the low tire pressure previously mentioned, a loose part of the bike that comes loose, or a faulty steering mechanism. The other is the failure of the city to provide a safe environment. If it is dangerous to ride a bike in a city environment, then a city should not be offering bikes – either city or privately run. There has to be an assumption that the community bike can be safely ridden on city streets. A city needs to consider where the bikes are going to be used before allowing a community share. If there are streets where operating a bike is unsafe, then those locations need to be plainly stated to all users.

SUMMARY

A community share bike is a new idea and thus the issue of liability is far from settled. It is clear, though, that any user is free to assume that the bike is safe to ride and that the city streets are friendly enough to navigate. The city must meet those standards at a minimum to avoid liability. The user must be comfortable riding a bike through those streets and have sufficient knowledge of the rules of the road to avoid being denied when making a claim for an injury.

I Was at a Concert and Was Hurt by Something That the Singer Threw into the Crowd. Can I Sue the Band?

Concerts can get a little crazy. The music is loud, the crowd is excited, and singers can get a little out of control. While you expect a band to get a bit wild, you should certainly never go to a concert and get injured. If a singer throws something into the crowd while a concert is going on, it’s only reasonable to assume that someone could get hurt. That singer’s actions can have a big impact on your life, especially if you are the person who is injured. What happens next, though, requires that you know a little about the law and what goes into bringing a successful suit.

A Quick Note on Waivers

When you bought your ticket for the concert, there was probably a bit of fine print on the back of the ticket that you didn’t read. In this case, that fine print could probably be summarized as an agreement that the facility wouldn’t be held responsible for anything that happened to you during the concert. This is, for the most part, nothing more than a scare tactic. You are well within your rights to bring a suit against the concert venue in certain cases – so don’t be scared off by the legal boilerplate!

You may, however, need to talk to a lawyer to get any traction. It’s very likely that the facility will point towards that language as a reason not to work with you towards some kind of amicable resolution. Remember, it’s very difficult to actually sign away your rights to damages incurred, especially if you aren’t receiving any kind of reasonable compensation for doing so. If you were actually injured by something that happened during a concert, it’s only reasonable that you should be able to avail yourself of the solutions offered by the law. Don’t just take the venue’s word for what will happen next. It is in their best interest to keep you from moving forward.

It’s also a good idea to note that a band can’t require you to sign a waiver that indemnifies you from harm. The band has a similar duty to care as the venue, so you’ll also have the option to bring your suit against the band. In most cases, a good attorney will look at the facts of the potential case and help you to decide against which parties you should bring your lawsuit.

Was it Reasonable or Purposeful?

Now that you know you can bring a lawsuit, it’s time to take a look at the actions that led to your injury. The singer threw something off of the stage. On its face, that seems like a dangerous action that almost certainly would lead to a lawsuit. In some situations, though, this might not be the case. You need to know first if the singer was throwing the item on purpose, and second if what was done was reasonable.

The first is probably the easiest to determine. If the singer took aim with an item and threw it, it’s probably easy to prove that he or she was trying to throw that object. If the singer was twirling a microphone and the cord broke, though, it’s hard to show any intent to injure you. That might not stop a lawsuit, but that might move the injury into a category that is less likely to get you any type of compensation.

It’s also important to know what the singer threw. It’s entirely possible for a singer to throw something at the crowd and for that act to be reasonable. If the singer threw a soft foam toy, for example, it’s hard to see how he or she could be aware of the fact that it could cause an injury. If the singer threw a glass bottle, though, it’s much easier to see how the act could cause harm.

Did You Expect It?

Having foreknowledge of a potentially dangerous situation isn’t always enough to deter a successful suit, but it is something that can make it harder for the jury or for the court to see why you need compensation. If you went to a concert where the singer was known for throwing things at the crowd and you were warned that injuries might happen, it will be harder for your suit to succeed.

The one thing that will really cause you trouble is if you threw yourself in harm’s way. If the singer threw a water bottle off the side of the stage and you leaped to catch it, there’s not a good chance that the singer or venue would be found liable for your injuries. If you were the main cause of the problem, you shouldn’t expect much help.

What Was the Injury and How Was It Handled?

Finally, you’ll need to look at the injury. If the injury was a small scratch that immediately faded, you won’t have any luck in court. If the injury was a major issue that required you to get surgery or miss work, though, there’s a very good chance that you are due some kind of compensation from either the singer, the venue, or from both parties. The type of injury, its severity, and its overall impact will play a huge role in what happens next.

You should also take a look at how the venue handled the incident. If they have already offered you reasonable compensation and have paid for your medical bills, there’s a good chance that you shouldn’t expect anything else. If your injury was ignored or the venue took steps to make things worse, that’s probably when you should start looking at bringing a suit. While it’s possible that the venue will be responsible for taking care of your injuries later, those venues that make moves to take care of injured patrons are usually less likely to have harsh punishments imposed upon them.

If you were at a concert and were injured by something throw by the singer, you may have a case against either the singer, the band, the venue, or all three. Figuring out what is supposed to happen next is difficult, though, especially if you don’t work with the right attorney. You are looking at a lot of different variables here as well as the possibility of dealing with defendants who have significant legal representation. If you want to bring a suit, be prepared to work with a good attorney to either get a reasonable settlement or to fight for what compensation you are due.

I Participated in an Escape Room and Had a Panic Attack. I Am Now on Medication for Mental Stress. Do I Have a Lawsuit?

Escape rooms are supposed to be stressful. After all, that’s part of the fun – solving problems against a ticking clock. It’s possible, though, for an escape room to be too stressful. It could even provoke an incident that could have a lasting impact on your life. If you’ve been in such a situation, you may be dealing with significant medical bills and you might be unable to go back to your life as it was before. Wanting to get proper compensation is common after such an event, but it can be difficult to figure out if you can bring a successful lawsuit. Figuring out whether or not you’re likely to be successful means breaking down a few factors that might be related to your escape room trauma.

Understanding the Risks

When you take part in an escape room, you generally sign a waiver. While these waivers usually have fairly scary legal language in place to make participants believe that they are unable to bring a suit against the escape room company for any reason, the truth is that this waiver does not bar you from seeking damages. After all, if that was the case then every company would require you to sign a waiver for everything you did and lawsuits would suddenly cease to exist.

What the waiver will show, though, is that you were at least partially aware of what was likely to happen in the escape room. You were not an unwilling participant and you should have been aware that there were at least some risks. Showing that you voluntarily took part in the room’s experience does shift at least some of the burden for your own well-being onto you, though it’s certainly not the end of the case.

The fact that escape rooms are a voluntary experience does make it much harder to bring a suit, though. The escape room’s attorneys would almost always argue that you should have been aware that you could have been psychologically triggered by something that would take place in this kind of environment. Unfortunately, this kind of argument does carry with it a fair bit of weight.

Unusual Circumstances

While you might have been expected to know that an escape room could be psychologically stressful, you may have luck pursuing a suit if you can prove that what happened in the escape room was unreasonable. Many legal standards involve a fictitious “reasonable person,” and showing that whatever happened to you in the escape room would be outside of the expectations of a reasonable person might be helpful.

A good way to show that an action was unreasonable would be if the escape room company failed to follow its own policies. If, for example, the operators of the room are supposed to allow participants to exit if they show signs of distress but no operator was present during your game, you may be able to show that the circumstances of your own incident were far outside the norm. If something unusually psychologically damaging or outside of the room’s operation norms happened, it may be possible for you to pursue a lawsuit against the escape room company.

Actual Damages

If you can show that what happened was outside of the norm and could be expected to cause harm, you’ll need to next show that actual damages occurred. Remember, what the law looks for here is for a way to make you whole: a method of helping you to return to the state you were in before the damages – or as close as reasonably possible. In most cases, that means a monetary award that will help you to pay your medical bills.

If you haven’t had any monetary costs because of the stress, it’s unlikely that you will be able to bring any kind of suit successfully. Likewise, a single doctor’s visit and one prescription probably aren’t enough to move forward. You will need to show that you somehow lost money and will continue to lose money because of the actions of the escape room owners and/or operators if you want to show that actual damages have occurred.

Proximate Causes

Once you’ve gotten those factors out the way, any suit would have to show that what you experienced in the escape room was the proximate cause of your need for medication. A proximate cause is the legal term for the event that was directly responsible for your damage – in this case, having to take medication. If you cannot show that your mental stress issues were actually caused by the escape room, it will be difficult to show that there is any kind of actionable connection between the escape room and your post-event medical care.

For a suit to move forward, you would likely need to establish that a) you did not have panic attacks before the escape room and that b) no other intervening incidents between your initial panic attack and your subsequent treatment could have caused you to need medical care. This will be very difficult to choose, especially as most people don’t tend to keep a paper trail of specifically what might be the root cause of any sort of mental illness. It is, however, possible for there to be a causal link between the two.

Timing

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve moved quickly enough to bring the suit. Every state has its own statute of limitations on bringing lawsuits, and it’s usually within a few years. The statutory time begins ticking away at the moment that you discovered the harm, so it might take less time for the clock to run out than you would imagine. If this incident happened more than a year or two ago, it may be time for you to check with a lawyer about how to proceed.

Will you be able to bring a lawsuit if you had a panic attack at an escape room and then had to get treatment for mental stress? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t easy. You may very well be able to bring a suit, but it will be very hard to win. You’ll need to show that the incident was caused by being in the escape room, that it was outside of the norm for what you agreed to, and that it happened within a specific window of time while causing you monetarily-definable damages. To figure out whether your suit actually has merit, your best bet will always be to contact an attorney.

I Did That “Eat in the Dark” Experience and Burned My Leg with Food That Dropped, Can I Sue Them?

In the age of young people emphasizing experiences over material possessions, many fun experiences emerge on a nearly daily basis. One of the most recent and exciting is the “eat in the dark” experience. This experience can be memorable for many people who are looking to augment their normal dining experience. However, there is always the off chance that something might go wrong and someone could be injured. In the case of injury, victims need to be aware of their rights and adjacent laws before considering their next steps.

The “Eat in the Dark” Experience

The “eat in the dark” experience is a relatively new phenomenon based off of an older premise of live dinner theater. Dinner theater involves a number of different activities that are performed to entertain people while they are eating. They most famously include shows where pirates swing from the rafters or dancers perform on an old-fashioned stage. There are also scenarios where a fake murder happens and the assembled individuals have to figure out who was responsible.

In the case of an “eat in the dark” experience, the purpose is more artistic than entertainment. Individuals literally eat in the dark in an attempt to absorb the experience of a meal using their other senses. They have to find ways to use their utensils and hone their senses of smell, taste, touch, and hearing. This effort can be somewhat exhilarating for many individuals. But the experience of fumbling around in the dark with forks and knives can inevitably increase the risk of serious injury. Individuals are also susceptible to hot food that may be dropped onto their leg. Dropping hot food can cause considerable burns and is no laughing matter. Burns are some of the most painful injuries that an individual can suffer through. Resulting hospital visits could cost an individual thousands of dollars.

Possible Recourse

For people who are injured during these events, there are sometimes waivers that constrain their legal options. Some particularly adventurous “eat in the dark” events may have some experience with individuals who are injured during the event. This experience may lead them to craft legal waivers that individuals are forced to sign before participating in the event. Legal waivers are crafted in precise language that lays out specifically what will happen at an event and what the possible risks are.

Recourse and Waivers

A person who signs the waiver acknowledges that they understand the risks involved. They admit that they understand those risks and that they waive many of their legal rights. Such a waiver may make it more difficult for an individual to sue. However, they are far from airtight. Some legal waivers that “eat in the dark” experience providers require may be problematic. They may include language that violates the rights of individuals or is much too broad.

There is the possibility that “eat in the dark” contracts could involve obligations that the organizers of the event did not meet. Organizers may not have been trained in first-aid for injuries. Their lack of training may have led to the problems being exacerbated. There is the possibility that waivers could have been poorly explained to an individual. It is the job of a trained, skilled lawyer to parse these documents closely in order to ensure that an individual may be able to work their way out of a legal waiver and have a right to sue for damages.

In instances where there are not waivers, an individual may still be constrained in their possible legal recourse. Courts that look at such events take a close look at an individual’s actions when determining whether or not they will receive damages for an injury. They try to figure out if an individual’s actions were reasonable. A person taking unreasonable actions would not be able to win a case in most instances. Their lawyer would advise them to either settle or seek compensation elsewhere.

For instance, if an individual was acting recklessly and against the advice of the hosts at a “eat in the dark” dinner, a court may decide that they are at fault for their actions and are not eligible for monetary compensation. This behavior may involve running around in the dark dining room or flailing one’s arms during dinner. In other cases, it is possible for an individual to argue that an event occurred outside of the guidance of organizers that requires those organizers to provide monetary damages. These moments are quite possible at an event where a person is cutting and eating hot food in the dark.

What to Do

If an individual is injured during an “eat in the dark” experience, they should first seek medical attention. They need to make sure that they are well and that any burns have healed sufficiently. Once those burns have healed, the injured individual should seek the help of a lawyer. The lawyer will instruct them to gather any documents that they may have signed associated with the event. Then, the lawyer involved will most likely contact the other party and attempt to procure a settlement. Most “eat in the dark” organizers are relatively small companies that operate on close margins.

They are not well-equipped for a long, arduous lawsuit that might bring unwelcome media spotlight. In many cases, they also want to avoid the process of discovery. A comprehensive discovery request may involve a company providing tens of thousands of documents that scrutinize their every decision and transaction. Settlements mean that these companies can pay a certain amount and avoid all of the problems associated with a trial. If these efforts do not work, there may need to be a trial anyway. The trial will often result in a judgment either for or against the plaintiff on the merits of their claim against the “eat in the dark” organizer.

Conclusion

The “eat in the dark” experience will be an exciting one for the vast majority of people involved. But for those who are somehow injured, they need to be aware of their rights and their legal situation. They need to remain vigilant and contact outside counsel. A lawyer will ensure that they receive the best representation possible no matter the outcome of their case.

The Bungee Cord Broke While I Jumped, What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?

Bungee jumping is one of the most popular and exhilarating activities available to most people. It is a cheaper, somewhat safer alternative for flying through the air than skydiving. Operators have set up everywhere from malls to the sides of cliffs. They are often a safe activity run by professionals with years of experience. However, there is always the chance that something could go wrong and a cord could break. While the possibility is incredibly small, individuals who do suffer an injury from a bungee jumping accident need to know their rights and the possibility of legal action against a jump operator.

A Bungee Accident

A bungee cord breaking is an unfortunate incident that happens occasionally in bungee jumping. The activity is an inherently dangerous one. An individual is held high in the air and then sent crashing toward earth. A stretched bungee cord is the only thing that stops them from hitting the ground and perhaps dying. The bungee cord extends and slows the fall before snapping back and bringing an individual back into the air and sometimes as high as the platform they were launched from. Indoor bungee operations at malls are performed on a smaller scale but still involve tightly-pulled cords and large jumps.

The technology behind this dangerous activity is often rudimentary as well. Antecedents of this activity go back centuries to a time where only simple roots or vines were used to slow a fall. Modern bungee cords are relatively simple and are often stretched dozens of feet. They are held by a number of plastic and metal parts that are used hundreds or thousands of times.

Bungee jump operators inspect their parts frequently for safety and strength. They require those who want to go bungee jumping to wear helmets and practice safe falls. Some operators even have large pads placed under their rides to protect individuals from hurting themselves. While such pads often work, they are impractical for the largest jumps. In those situations, there is little that an operator can do to protect an individual from potential serious injury.

Liability for Operators

When accidents do occur, there are a number of ways in which bungee jump operators legally protect themselves. The most popular is a waiver contract. Practically all bungee jump operators force those who want to go bungee jumping to sign a waiver. The waiver is a way for individuals to acknowledge that they are engaging in an inherently risky activity that may lead to serious injury. Further, it involves the individual often signing away part of their legal rights. Their acknowledgment of dangerous risk means that the individual often cannot sue if a shocking incident occurs and their bungee cord breaks. These agreements are often written in legalese that covers a vast majority of possible incidents that may occur.

Grounds to Sue

There are still a handful of ways that an individual can sue if a bungee cord breaks and they are injured. They can have their lawyer closely pick apart the waiver contract that the individual signed. These contracts are far from perfect or airtight for the operator. The contract will often have a list of obligations that the bungee jump operator must meet. If the operator does not meet these conditions, it is possible for the contract to be abrogated and the individual to be free to sue for damages. They may have stretched bungee cords too tight or used cords that were not up to legal standards. There may have been individuals who worked for a bungee jump operator who were inebriated or not licensed or trained.

There is also the possibility that a contract is written improperly and attempts to cover too much. Contracts may be written or communicated in an intimidating way. Some contracts try to cover every possible instance and violate an individual’s civil rights in the process. In addition, some operators let individuals go bungee jumping using their equipment without first receiving a waiver signature. This omission may occur due to common practice or simple carelessness. In those instances, an individual may not have known the risk and may have a clear path to a serious lawsuit.

What to Do

If an individual is injured in a bungee jumping accident, they should first make sure that they are safe and healthy. Once their injuries have been treated, they should immediately contact a lawyer. A lawyer will ascertain all of the facts about the particular incident in question. They will analyze the incident in a moment-by-moment fashion. The lawyer and their team may interview witnesses and gather evidence from the scene. Then, they will scrutinize the contract that the individual signed. Every word will be analyzed for its relation to existing law.

If a lawyer believes that an individual has a case, he or she will start the process of litigation. They will begin by filing the lawsuit and entering into the discovery phase. One or more bungee jump operators might be deposed. The operators may have to give up thousands of documents and hand over their financial records. At the same time, the lawyer will be closely arguing for a settlement. He or she will be in constant contact with the lawyers for the bungee jump operators. Most bungee jump operators are small businesses without the time or effort to handle a large-scale lawsuit. As a result, they may be quick to settle for a reasonable amount. In cases where a settlement does not work out, the lawyer may push the lawsuit to a full-fledged trial.

Conclusion

Bungee jumping is a fun activity that should be pursued safely and with experienced operators. The risk of injury is present but not particularly high. That low risk of injury does not mean that individuals should not know their legal rights and pursue any claims after injury to the fullest extent of the law. Knowing about legal parameters could mean the difference between receiving damages to help pay for missed work and medical costs or receiving nothing.

I Was Bitten at A Petting Zoo, Can I Sue Them?

There isn’t a zoological park, country fair, community event, or farmers market that doesn’t have a Petting Zoo. These fenced-in areas usually contain a mix of young farm animals, domestic rodents, miniature-sized versions of much larger animals, and assorted poultry. Into this controlled mix of tame goats, guinea pigs, pot-bellied pigs, and chickens, paying customers are allowed to “play” with the animals.

Generally, in addition to paying a nominal entrance fee, patrons may purchase animal feed or treats to feed directly to the animals. This not only serves as income for the proprietors of the Petting Zoo, but provides an extra measure of fun – particularly for kids. Best of all, for children and adults increasingly removed from rural life, this may be the only time they have to experience “farm life.” More often than not, however, things do not go as planned.

What if you are bitten at a Petting Zoo?

This is not uncommon. While these are domesticated animals that are raised to be hand fed and are in routine contact with humans, they are animals who can kick, scratch, or otherwise “bite the hand that feeds them.” As with other types of animal encounters, there is always the chance that one could be hurt or disfigured in a worse case scenario.

To prevent these instances from occurring, there should always been signage at the Petting Zoo listing necessary precautions. These would include not chasing the animals, not picking up larger animals, feeding only treats purchased on-site, and being responsible for one’s own children. Before entering the area, on-site personnel should remind all those who enter how to interact with certain creatures like goats or rabbits. To add to these warnings, Petting Zoo attendants should constantly remain on watch for both aggressive animals and human beings that are not following the given regulations.

Can I sue if I am bitten by one of the animals at a Petting Zoo?

Before you decide to take anyone to court over an animal bite obtained at a Petting Zoo, there are several questions you’ll need to ask yourself. First, how badly were you injured? A scratch, nip or minor injury that requires nothing more than a cleaning of the wound and a bandaid is probably not worth the effort. If you required the services of a physician, urgent care center, ambulance, or emergency room trauma team, you’ve probably got a case to take before a judge.

But what if you are seriously injured?

1. Immediately alert on-site personnel that you have been injured. Not only show them that you have been bitten, but have someone take a photo of your hand, and if possible, the animal that bit you. Ask for the highest ranking person on site, which will be the owner or manager. Take down all available names, numbers, and addresses. If there were witnesses to the attack, be sure to ask for their contact information as well.

2. Obtain medical services in a timely manner. Even if you believe that the swelling, redness, or bleeding will subside on its own, see a doctor. You will need a medical report detailing your injuries, plus any tests, exams, hospitalizations, or drug prescriptions for antibiotics or painkillers. If you’ve gone to an emergency room or urgent care center, follow their advice to follow-up with your own physician if necessary.

3. If contacted by the owners of the Petting Zoo, their insurance company or legal representatives, reserve the right not to speak with them. At no time should you sign away your rights. Be clear that you will not accept a monetary settlement until you are clear about the full extent of your injuries are and what the ultimate cost of your medical expenses will be.

What type of lawyer do I need and what will I need to provide?

You should contact an attorney or law firm which specialized in Personal Injury cases. This means that they use their legal expertise to obtain monetary restitution for individuals who have been hurt due to no fault of their own. As in most cases, you contact them either by phone or via their website with your complaint. A member of their legal team will quickly respond to get your side of the story and discuss whether you have a legal case worth fighting.

The Personal Injury Attorney you choose will need to speak with you, not just on the phone, but in person. At this time, you’ll be asked to bring proof of your medical bills and any other evidence you have that can be used in pursuing your legal case. If it has been necessary to take time off from work to properly heal or rest from your injury, your attorney will probably wish to see documentation detailing a loss of income too.

What can I expect to receive for my injury?

From this point on, your attorney and their legal team will do the talking for you. This means being the official spokesperson for you when dealing with the owner of the Petting Zoo, their insurance company, or other individuals wishing to get in touch with you regarding this unfortunate occurrence. It also entails allowing your attorney to speak with representatives of your own medical company who may be sending you bills.

Unless someone is very gravely injured by an animal, their case is likely to be given what is known as an “Out of Court Settlement.” With this, both parties agree to take the matter out of the court system and settle on a financial amount. Your attorney will make sure this amount covers all of your medical bills and loss of wages. The settlement will contain funds should you require future physical therapy or require additional money for “Pain and Suffering.”

Within the money you are to receive as part of this settlement, your attorney will discuss with you whether their fees are to be removed from the settlement or are to be provided in addition to the amount you are to receive. If you are working with an attorney or legal team on a “consignment” basis, they will be paid only when you are paid.

How is this all resolved?

Once your legal team has settled the case on your behalf, you will be asked to sign paperwork ending your right to sue. At this time, you will be paid and your medical bills will be paid – either directly as part of the case or as part of your responsibility as a patient. You may also be required to sign paperwork that you will never visit or enter this particular Petting Zoo ever again.

The Impact of Tribal Law on Indian Casino Liability Cases

When you are injured at an Indian casino or anywhere on an Indian reservation or tribal lands, it is important to understand the complexities. A simple liability lawsuit may or may not be within your reach. If you are injured at an Indian casino or on an Indian reservation, you should consult with an attorney knowledgeable about the interactions between tribal and U.S. law. There are a few general facts to keep in mind about your case.

Tribal Law Applies

The most important fact to keep in mind is that an Indian reservation is not technically part of the United States. When you enter an Indian reservation, it’s like stepping across the border into another country. That reservation is a sovereign state. While it is in some ways controlled by the United States, it is also free to make its own laws, including its own justice system, which is independent of U.S. law. Just as you would be required to uphold the laws in Canada when you visit Canada, you are required to uphold the tribal laws of a reservation when you are on that reservation.

This means that liability, the rules for recovering damages, and the way lawsuits are handled, may be (and likely are) different than if you were in the United States. If you are in a situation where you must pursue a lawsuit, then you should consult with a tribal attorney or attorney familiar with the laws of that tribe.

Importantly, tribes are also immune from various legal protections given to people in the United States. For example, most discrimination laws and disability laws do not apply on tribal lands unless the tribe or the particular establishment has waived its immunity.

The only exception to these rules involves major crimes and felonies such as murder, rape, or kidnapping. These crimes fall under the Major Crimes Act, which places them under U.S. jurisdiction, regardless of whether or not they happen on tribal lands. However, most lawsuits are unlikely to involve these kinds of crimes.

Waived Immunity and Insurance

This adherence to tribal law means that Indian casinos are immune to prosecution or lawsuits in U.S. courts. It is simply not possible to pursue a lawsuit against the casino in a regular U.S. court. The exception would be if the tribe willingly consents to be sued. This is unlikely unless the tribe wishes to save face or extend a better PR image for business purposes – but it has happened in the past.

The good news is that many tribal casinos realize they need to entice customers from outside the reservation. To that end, many casinos are willing waive their immunity to be more attractive to outside customers. Many major gambling or hotel establishments could only be built after the tribe waived its immunity, so they often fall under this category.

To remain covered, the casino will purchase liability insurance similar to any regular U.S. establishment. If this is the case at the casino where your injury occurs, then you may be able to file a suit against the casino and collect an insurance payout in a fashion very similar to any other personal injury case.

Important Differences in the Details

Even if everything seems to be working out and you were injured at an establishment with waived immunity, the laws of that tribe may still impact the finer details of your lawsuit or claim. This is because waived immunity is sometimes a very specific affair. Often, immunity will not be waived for an entire establishment but only for specific areas of that establishment. For example, a casino may have a gaming floor, a bar, a restaurant, and a hotel, all in the same building. However, they may have only waived immunity for the gaming floor or the bar. If your injury occurred there, great, you are covered under immunity. But if your injury occurred elsewhere, then you may not be covered.

Another important detail is timing. Immunity waivers don’t usually impact the legal differences in how that tribe dictates the ability to file a claim. For example, all personal injury lawsuits and claims have a timetable or statute of limitations on when the injured person can file. In the United States, these statutes are generally quite generous, often extending out several years from the date of the accident. These timelines are often much less generous on tribal lands. It is common for the statute of limitations to be as little as six months from the date of the accident. If you are even one day late in filing, then you no longer have the right to file at all.

Insurance Negotiations

If you do file within the deadline and you are able to collect from an insurance company, the next stage of the lawsuit will be a settlement negotiation. This works very much like any other insurance negotiation in a personal injury claim. Advice from an attorney about an acceptable claim and help dealing with the insurance company is a good idea.

A personal injury claim against the casino’s insurance is not quite to the same level as a personal injury lawsuit against the tribe. It is often easier to get some kind of compensation from the insurance and avoid a true lawsuit against the tribe. If you are not happy with the outcome of the insurance negotiation or if you and your attorney feel you can maximize your damages with a lawsuit, then you may have several years to file the actual lawsuit against the tribe.

Entering into a full lawsuit should be a carefully considered decision based on the specifics of a case and the particular tribal laws you may go up against. It is important to understand these laws inside and out. As already discussed, these laws, not U.S. laws, will apply to your case. Most people find that pursuing a lawsuit against the tribe is not worth the extra legal expense and hassle. An immunity waiver may have opened the tribe up to a lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean that suit will result in an easy or fast payout. It is generally better to accept the highest possible insurance claim and be done – but that is an important conversation to have with your attorney.

There are many complexities and exceptions to collecting damages from an Indian casino. It is possible, in many cases, to collect money from a personal injury claim, but the process and the rules may be different than a claim filed according to U.S. law. The most important thing to do is understand the tribal laws that will apply and find an attorney with knowledge and experience in navigating those laws.

I Went Swimming at a Public Beach. I Was Stung by a Jellyfish. There Were No Warning Signs. Can I Sue the City?

People who encounter unfortunate incidents often wonder if they have grounds to file suit against whomever they perceive as responsible for their situation. This is understandable, given the prominence of litigation in our culture and the many legends of overnight riches that have found their way into our public discourse.

Actual litigation, on the other hand, is a far more complex process than simply announcing someone is liable and arriving to collect. There are numerous elements that must be in place before a plaintiff can make a successful case for damages against a defendant. Those elements are based on rules of evidence, contract law, the concept of negligence, and the concept of damages. All of those things must align properly before a plaintiff even has a case, much less a chance of prevailing in court.

In the case of the attacking jellyfish, first, we must examine who has a duty of care.

The Owners of the Beach

Before legal action can commence, a plaintiff must identify a defendant. In the case of a public beach, it must be ascertained who, if anyone, actually owns or controls the beach and the coastline. There are numerous potential answers to this question, one of which is “nobody.” In an unincorporated area, for example, or a formerly owned private plot along a coastline, it is possible nobody owns or controls a particular stretch of coastal property. In that event, the only potential defendant is the jellyfish.

If a municipality or county government owns or controls the beach, the prospects for a successful lawsuit brighten somewhat, but are far from guaranteed.

If the state owns the beach or it is somehow federal property, meaning it belongs to the government of the United States, things become fairly complex. By and large, governments are sovereign authorities and are not subject to legal action brought by an individual citizen unless they consent to liability by operation of law. For example, if a police officer causes damage to your property in the normal course of their duties, the police officer himself or herself cannot be sued or held legally responsible. Neither can the city, county, or state, because the government doesn’t allow itself to be sued in those circumstances. You’ll find the same is true for judges and other government officials. They can’t be sued for doing their job, even if their actions damage an individual.

This is doubly true at the federal level. The government of the United States has criteria under which it consents to liability in civil matters. In all other cases, the federal courts will dismiss any suit brought against the federal government on the grounds a sovereign government is not subordinate to an authority it granted in the first place. One can argue the federal government isn’t strictly a sovereign entity, but that’s beyond the scope of the jellyfish case.

Negligence

If a defendant can somehow be identified and it can be established the defendant had a duty of care with respect to the location where the injury occurred, then the plaintiff has overcome the first major hurdle. The next step is to determine if the defendant was negligent.

A duty of care is a complex thing. It means that if a person or entity is in control of the beach, they must see to the safety and welfare of anyone on that beach. For most intents and purposes, this means posting appropriate warnings, hiring lifeguards and police, making sure there are no hazards left accessible to the public, testing the water, keeping the beach clean, and so on.

In the case of the jellyfish, the plaintiff would have to establish the defendant had a duty of care, had some reasonable method of preventing jellyfish attacks, was aware of the risk of someone being stung, and either mistakenly or deliberately failed to take action necessary to protect the plaintiff. The defense, naturally, will seize on the weakest part of that chain, which is the “reasonable method of preventing jellyfish attacks.” They would likely invite the plaintiff to provide some evidence there is such a method and then refute that evidence by claiming it isn’t reasonable to expect the defendant to provide it.

Damages

In order to collect anything as a result of prevailing in a lawsuit, the plaintiff must demonstrate they were harmed in some way. This harm is referred to in litigation as “damages” and must be quantified in a manner that allows a court of law to enter a judgment against the defendant that can be satisfied in some manner.

While damages are not always expressed in money terms, in almost every case, a judgment will be for some dollar amount. Damages can be compensatory, meaning they are awarded to satisfy some cost incurred by the plaintiff. They can also be punitive, meaning they are awarded to discourage further torts on the part of the plaintiff.

In the case of a jellyfish sting, absent some overwhelming mitigating circumstance, the damages would be minimal, requiring immediate medical attention only. In a vanishingly small number of cases, jellyfish stings can be dangerous or even life-threatening, but would still be treatable either at the scene or after one or two visits to a hospital.

Absent a fatality, the prospect of a jellyfish sting case becoming some kind of lottery-magnitude windfall for a plaintiff is so remote as to be virtually non-existent. Naturally, wrongful death cases are grounds for much larger rewards than wrongful visits to the emergency room, but such cases would be easier to prosecute in the first place.

As with any legal matter, the best option is to consult with a qualified attorney to explore the legal options. From a practical standpoint, the best alternative to an expensive and potentially long, drawn-out, and expensive lawsuit is to make a claim against your homeowner’s policy or health insurance, have the sting treated, and enjoy the rest of your day.

The question “can I sue?” can almost always be answered “yes.” The question of “will I win?” on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Spending several thousand dollars in legal fees to win the cost of twenty minutes treatment by an ambulance crew is probably not the most effective approach.

My Child Was Hurt at Summer Camp during a Horseback riding Tour. Can I Do Anything?

Every child wants to have the best time possible at summer camp. Parents want their children to try new experiences and stay out of the house for a few days or weeks. Not all summer camp experiences are this idyllic, however. Some camps have dangerous activities like horseback riding where there is always a chance of severe injury. Parents need to be aware of their rights and possible recourse in the possible situations where their children suffer injuries at camp.

Camps and Waivers

Summer camps have existed for centuries in one form or another. In many instances, they have become large businesses that take in thousands or millions of dollars per year in revenue. With all of this revenue, it is natural that many of these camps want to protect their revenue and their assets from legal liability. Perhaps the easiest way for camps to do this is through waivers signed by parents when their children attend camps. These waivers show that the parent acknowledges and is aware of the risks of sending their child to the camp. It may involve signing away the rights that a parent might have and may list every possible negative interaction that a child can have at a summer camp.

Therefore, if a child is hurt during a horseback riding tour at a summer camp, there is a chance that the incident will be covered by the required waiver signed by the parents. This waiver may stipulate certain insurance payments or arbitration proceedings that an individual may be able to go through. Every summer camp has insurance that parents can possibly use in the case of their children being injured at the camp. However, in most instances, the release is there to stymie any potential lawsuit.

Legal Responses

The presence of a waiver does not guarantee that an individual cannot sue if their child is injured at a camp. It simply makes the case more difficult for the plaintiff. A plaintiff and their attorney must be more thorough than they would have otherwise. They have to look at every moment of the horseback ride and every detail associated with that ride. How were the children placed on the horses? Is there any photographic evidence to suggest that they were improperly placed on the horses? Was everybody at the site properly trained and licensed to give horseback rides? What about the children themselves? Were they all given required information about how to act when on top of a horse?

All of this information can be procured by an attorney. They can subpoena the records associated with every person that works at a summer camp. Attorneys can procure testimony from a wide range of individuals about the events that transpired on the day of the injury. He or she can take pictures of the bruises or broken bones suffered and have medical experts testify about what may have happened to cause those injuries. A competent attorney can create a moment-by-moment understanding of the injury and the child’s time at camp. They can also closely peruse whatever release forms the parents signed. A competent attorney can invalidate an agreement by focusing on the smallest mistake or overreach committed by the offending party.

The process of discovery is one of the most important reasons why anybody should hire an attorney in a serious case such as this. Attorneys are able to go through discovery and other pretrial motions in a way that puts a considerable amount of pressure on the other party. The other party receives numerous stressful letters that compel them to court on certain dates and reveal a considerable amount of information. Some summer camp operations are small and operate along the margins.

Attorneys utilize discovery, not only to bring in evidence, but also to push the other side for a settlement. The vast majority of legal cases do not end in trials. Rather, each side comes together before a trial and enters into a mutually beneficial agreement. In the case of a summer camp where a child has been injured, the company may be operating on tight margins. Those margins do not allow the company to afford paying an attorney for months or even years of litigation.

As a result, the summer camp may push for a settlement. It is up to a skilled attorney to try and negotiate the best deal possible for his or her client. That is where years of experience come into play. An attorney with years of experience would be able to hold out for the best settlement possible, depending on the facts of the case and the size of settlements in related cases.

Legal Steps after an Injury

If a child does receive an injury at a summer camp, make sure that the child is taken care of before taking any legal steps. Money and liability are nowhere near as important as the health and safety of a child. Once the child is safe at home or in the hospital, their parents should go back over all of the release forms that they signed surrounding the camp. They should then have an attorney review those same forms.

Also, an attorney should be brought in to talk to the summer camp and try to reach a settlement. The summer camp may acknowledge wrongdoing or offer a goodwill gesture to help pay for the treatment surrounding the injury. Such a move is common for summer camps. Along with general altruism, these camps want happy, repeat customers and a clean record that is not sullied by a poor review from an unhappy camper. If these efforts fail to make the victim’s parents whole, the next step would be to begin the process of discovery and eventually filing a lawsuit.

Conclusion

Summer camps should be a fun, stress-free experience for all. When they instead end in injuries, it is up to the parents of the injured child to take action and receive any damages that they may be entitled to. An attorney might be the final step to ensure that they actually receive these earnings and are burdened as little as possible by their child’s injury.

How to Handle a Slip and Fall at a Hotel

When people stay at a hotel, they are entitled to have an expectation of being in a safe environment. A hotel should be a place where the guests don’t have to worry about things causing them harm. Incidents can happen that nobody anticipates. This includes being injured in a slip and fall accident while staying at a hotel. These businesses are responsible for any injuries their guests experience while on hotel property. This includes any harm caused to them by the negligence of hotel employees and more.

Duty to Guests
A hotel is like all businesses, it is obligated by law to take reasonable care of its property. A hotel has a duty to protect its guests from potential harm. This is covered in premises liability law. A guest at a hotel is legally an invitee and entitled to be protected from any and all harm. It is the responsibility of the hotel to regularly inspect its property for potential problems and quickly resolve them. A hotel must maintain all its property in a safe condition. Guests must be protected from anything that could cause them injury whether it is known or recently discovered. There is a duty to immediately clean up things that have spilled on floors and post signs when there is a leak on the hotel’s premises and more.

Hotel Responsibilities
A hotel is responsible for maintaining proper lighting in all areas of their facilities. They must make certain their steps are always dry and well as free from obstructions. Should the hotel become aware of any defects, they are responsible for repairing it as quickly as possible. It is also a hotel’s responsibility to control any type of insect infestation, maintain the locks on all hotel doors, maintain adequate security to eliminate chances of assaults on guests as well as thefts. Any and all stairwells and elevators in a hotel must be properly maintained. All necessary care must be taken when it comes to background checks when hiring hotel staff. A hotel with a pool must have staff trained to prevent injuries, perform rescues if needed, and more.

Proper Construction
A hotel also has a responsibility to construct its premises so it meets all applicable construction safety standards. Should there be any location in the hotel with unusual staircase locations, the guests should be given a proper warning. If a guest is unable to safely leave the hotel and is injured because of not being properly warned, the hotel could be held liable.

Trespassers and Non-Guests
When it comes to being liable for injuries to non-guests and trespassers, a hotel has a minimal amount of legal duty. Non-guests will be able to be on the hotel’s premises legally if they enter with the permission of a paying guest. Should a trespasser be on a hotel’s property, they can be evicted. This is especially true if a trespasser is participating in activities prohibited by the hotel as well as the law.

Employee’s Conduct
There is a legal theory referred to as vicarious liability. Based on this legal theory, a hotel can be liable for any harmful actions performed by its employees. The amount of liability is often based on an employee’s actions performed as part of their employment. It’s also possible for a hotel to be found responsible for an employee’s actions if they caused harm doing something not permitted by the hotel. They can also be held responsible if the hotel was supervising the employee when an incident happened. Should the hotel not know about an incident involving one of their employees, it can be held responsible.

Common Hotel Slip and Fall Causes
One of the most common types of slip and fall accidents involving guest at hotels is with equipment. This can happen when someone accidentally falls from a ski lift. Other people have slipped when walking on a pool’s deck where something slippery is on the pool’s deck. During the winter time, icy walkways or paths around a hotel’s complex can cause a slip and fall accident. Many times, a guest slips and falls in a hotel’s bathroom when the tiles are wet because of a leak that was not detected. It’s also possible for guests to have a slip and fall accident at a hotel when participating in an activity offered by the hotel. This could involve swimming, skiing, and more.

Exceptions
There are exceptions in slip and fall cases where a hotel is not held liable under the Premises Liability Act. This could include a hazard that a guest is aware exists. A hazardous condition that results from a guest’s misuse of hotel property. A hazardous condition that is obvious to all who see it. A hazard that is unknown to the hotel owner and could not have been reasonably anticipated. A hazard that is reasonable for a guest to discover and avoid.

Breach Of Duty
One essential element required for a hotel to be found negligent is to prove its duty to its guests was breached. This could involve showing the hotel did not properly inspect the premises, follow safety regulations, created a dangerous condition, and more.

Direct Cause
In order for a successful slip and fall case to be brought against a hotel, it must be shown the hotel’s action or insufficient action was a direct cause of harm to a guest. A hotel is not liable if a guest is in their rooms and spills something and that causes them to fall. Should something be left on the floor of a room by a previous guest – and the hotel cleaning staff does not properly clean it – and the spill causes a new guest to slip and fall, the hotel is liable.

After Accident Occurs
When a guest at a hotel experiences a slip and fall accident, it is essential they document what occurred. This could involve taking photographs of the place where the slip and fall occurred as well as what caused it to happen. If possible, a slip and fall victim should try to talk to anyone who witnessed the fall. Getting their contact information is also important. Recording the names of employees who helped after the incident is important. Documentation of any type of medical treatment received by hotel staff should also be recorded. Showing insufficient warning signs in the area where the incident occurred is important. Filling out a hotel’s official accident report should be done even if a victim believes their injuries are not significant. Adrenaline can hide pain caused by an injury, and it is often more serious than initially believed. Some people don’t realize the full extent of their injuries for several hours or days after an incident.

Staying at a hotel for vacation or any other reason should be a pleasant experience. This is what happens most of the time. There are also incidents that occur at a hotel that result in a paying guest being harmed. When this happens, a person should consider contacting an attorney. They will know the value of a case and how to protect an accident victims rights in this situation.

I Did Tandem Skydiving and My Instructor Smelled like Alcohol. We Landed Really Hard and I Have Back Pain. Do I Have a Case?

It’s a sport that’s terrifying for many and exhilarating for others. Skydiving is an extreme sport in which people board a plane with the sole purpose of jumping out of the plane once it’s so many feet in the air. The jump is complete with a parachute that’s deployed when you reach a certain altitude, and the landing is meant to be easy and enjoyable. Many people would never consider jumping out of a plane for sport, but those who do it love it and can’t wait to feel the high and the rush from diving.

Tandem skydiving is when you jump out of a plane attached to an instructor. This is what people do when they’ve never jumped before and cannot do it on their own. The instructor to whom you are attached is the one who deploys the parachute, helps you land safely, and keeps you alive while you are in the air. It’s an exhilarating experience, but it’s also a deadly experience. Statistically speaking, it’s quite safe. Approximately .0075 people out of every 1,000 die or suffer injury when skydiving. However, it does happen. If you are injured when you tandem skydive, you might want to know what rights you have in terms of filling a claim. If you believe your instructor was under the influence of alcohol at the time of your jump, you should know if he or she is responsible for your back injuries following a hard landing.

Who Is responsible for My Injuries?

You went skydiving with an instructor as a tandem skydive. You, at some point, realized your instructor was under the influence of alcohol, and you suffered a hard and difficult landing as a result. Now you have back pain you cannot get rid of. You probably have medical bills, you might need to see a chiropractor, and your pain might make it difficult for you to do your job if you work in certain industries. What do you do? Who is responsible for your injuries?

Before you can answer that question, you must ask yourself if the injury you sustained was caused by your landing. Then you must ask yourself if the instructor or the company you used for your experience is to blame. If so, then now is the time for you to call a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Accusing someone of being drunk at work is not as simple as it sounds. You can say all you want that your tandem instructor reeked of alcohol, but you probably cannot prove it.

Your attorney will work to find evidence. He or she can speak to people at the airport you used to find out if someone saw the instructor at the bar. Was his credit card used to buy drinks? Was he at the bar and witnesses know it? Did he post a social media selfie of himself drinking a cocktail with a timestamp just before your takeoff and rough landing? Video camera surveillance, photos other people posted in which he might be visibly drinking in the background, and other evidence could help your case.

Of course, there might not be any evidence to suggest that he was drinking at the time of the landing that caused your back injuries. This is when your attorney will look into the background of the tandem instructor to see if there were ever any other claims filed against him. Perhaps someone else filed a similar claim that was settled years before. Maybe the instructor has a few DUI arrests on his record. These things certainly don’t prove he was drinking at the time of your jump, but they can help encourage him or his insurance company to settle prior to taking your suit to court.

If the instructor was negligent because he was drinking, you could sue him for personal injury damages. If it turns out he has a long history of questionable work ethic and practices, you might be able to direct your lawsuit at the company that employed him. If they were negligent in hiring him or in keeping him on their staff knowing he has a drinking problem, they could be held responsible.

Do I Have a Case?

Yes and no. You need to speak to an attorney to find out if you have a case. There are many factors to consider, and your attorney needs to know the specifics. For example, if you participated in a tandem skydive and waited a year to go to the doctor for your back pain issues, it’s not likely you can win a lawsuit. If you were involved in a rough landing during your tandem jump and needed immediate medical attention when you reached the ground, your case is much stronger.

It all depends on the specifics of your case. This is why an attorney is the best person to call following a hard landing. The sooner you call, the better your case might turn out. Your attorney can help you determine what damages you might be able to recover.

– Medical bills: You could be entitled to damages that include payment of your medical bills. If you were injured and your back has required you to visit the doctor multiple times, undergo surgery, or even visit the chiropractor regularly, you can ask for payment to cover those costs.
– Lost Wages: If you were unable to return to work due to your back injury for several weeks and you were not paid for that time off, it’s possible you can seek payment for lost wages.
– Diminished Earning Capacity: If you were injured and unable to go back to work because your job requires you have a good back, you could sue based on the fact you no longer have the ability to work a job that pays you as much as you were earning before the landing.

Sometimes you have a case, and sometimes you don’t have a case. The best thing you can do is seek medical attention right away, document everything, and call a personal injury attorney right away. The faster you call an attorney to handle your case, the faster he or she can track down evidence that backs up your claim of a drunk instructor. It’s not going to be an easy case to prove, but you do have a chance to seek the damages to which you are entitled if your instructor was negligent during your jump. You aren’t required to suffer thanks to their poor choices. Call an attorney to discuss your possible case.

My Child Was Too Short to Get on a Ride at Our Local Fair and They Let Him on Anyway. Now He Suffers Headaches, Can I Sue?

It is hard to watch your child in pain. When you can identify a source of their pain, it is your instinct as a parent to do something about it. Their pain is particularly difficult to watch when you know that it was caused by someone else’s negligence and failure to properly care for your child. In addition to that, the costs can add up. Costs for medical treatment, doctor’s visits, painkiller, and missed work when they stay home from school can quickly compound to make a seemingly simple mistake suddenly a very costly error. When your child has experienced such negligence, then it is natural to wonder if you can file a lawsuit to recuperate those lost funds and build up a savings for future medical expenses.

In the specific scenario of a child being allowed onto an amusement park ride when they are too short to meet the ride’s requirements and then suffering from headaches, the ability to sue is based on numerous things. Each state has different laws surrounding negligence and other claims you may be able to file, so you should consult with an attorney in your state and county to learn your options. Generally speaking, however, you should ask the following questions when determining whether you can file a lawsuit against the amusement park.

1. How did your child get on the ride?

The first question to ask is how, exactly, a child who did not meet the height requirements got onto the ride in the first place. In order to sue, the fact that your child got past the height requirement must be the fault of someone associated with the amusement park. If a child wears tall shoes or sneakily stands up on his or her toes when being measured, for example, then the park cannot be blamed for the fact that the child got onto the ride. If the staff member in charge of measuring children did not measure them at all, then that is a different story. So, the first question to ask is whether the park was at fault for your child getting on the ride. If not, then you may not have enough for a successful lawsuit.

2. How far off the mark were they?

No system of measurement is perfect. When dealing with a bunch of excited and rowdy children at an amusement park, it can be near impossible to get an exact measurement of a child’s height and keep the line moving at the same time. So, this begs the question of exactly how much shorter than the ride requirement was your child? If they were off my a miniscule amount, then that may be within the margin of error permitted to allow children on a ride. If it was by several inches, then you have a much stronger case.

3. Why did YOU allow your child to get on the ride if they were too short?

This is a very important question to ask yourself and be prepared to answer for others. If you noticed that your child was too short for a ride, then why did you let them get on the ride in the first place? While it is the job of the amusement park staff to enforce the rules, it is your job to look out for your child’s safety and well-being. Critics of your situation, particularly the park’s lawyers and the jury at a trial, will want to know why you allowed such a thing to happen. You should probably consult with a lawyer who works with child abuse and neglect cases to make sure that your answer to this question does not open you up to potential liability and responsibility for the incident.

4. Did the ride actually cause your child’s headaches?

If the headaches arose soon after getting off the ride, then it is easy to assume that the ride caused the headaches. The real question, however, is whether the ride is actually responsible for the headaches. The court asks the question like this: but for having gotten on the ride, would the child still have a headache? This is where things can get tricky, especially for children. It is going to be very, very hard to prove that what seems like a “normal” headache was caused by this particular ride. You may need to employ experts to analyze the ride and work with medical professionals to determine that yes, the ride caused the headaches and that had your son met the height requirement, the headaches would not have started. In addition to analyzing the ride and the situation at the park, this means that your son will also have to go through a series of medical exams and tests to determine if there is anything else that could be causing the headaches. This is something you want to consider carefully depending on the age of your child and how much you want to put him or her through.

5. What’s in the fine print?

When you buy tickets to an amusement park, you end up signing releases and waivers of all kinds. Depending on the exact nature of the ride, there are also implied waivers that you assume when you knowingly send your child onto a ride. What exactly is in the contract you had with the park during your visit? Does it exempt them from liability for injuries, and if so, is that provision legally enforceable? Do you assume all responsibility for ride-related accidents? Is there is a code of conduct that you agreed to follow and then unknowingly acted against? The easiest way to get answers to all these questions is to hire a lawyer who can subpoena all the documents from the park. That way, you will know exactly where you stand and can decide on the best way to proceed.

6. Is it worth it?

This is probably the hardest question you will ask yourself throughout this whole process. Let’s say you do all of the above and you find that yes, you have grounds for a lawsuit against the amusement park. What if it costs you $5,000 for a lawyer and all the initial preparation, and the maximum amount you can win in court is $3,000? That means that even if you win, you will be spending money to make a point. Is that worth it to you? You should talk with a lawyer about this honestly and frankly at the outset.

When your child is hurt at an amusement park, it can be a very difficult thing to work through, both practically and emotionally. The best thing you can do is consult a lawyer who can help you get all the information together and make an informed decision about whether a lawsuit is in your best interests.

I Think I Was Sexually Harassed While Getting a Massage at a Hotel. Can I Sue the Hotel?

Sexual harassment is a major problem across the world. Yet many of the men and women who are victims of sexual harassment either don’t realize they’re being harassed or don’t want to come forward with their stories. It’s embarrassing, it’s terrifying, and many people are traumatized following sexual harassment of any sort. They aren’t sure they’ll be believed, they aren’t sure they can handle the attention that might come their way if they speak up, and they are often afraid of their abuser. It’s a vicious and terrifying experience for many, but you do have rights.

If you are in a hotel and you opt to get a massage, you put yourself at the mercy of the massage therapist. When you pay for that service, you do so with the reasonable expectation that you are going to receive a professional massage in a comfortable environment. You do not expect to leave a session wondering if you’ve been sexually harassed or feeling uncomfortable by the way you were touched or treated. You have rights, and you should know what to do if you feel you were sexually harassed in a hotel massage session.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

There are numerous misconceptions about the true meaning of sexual harassment. It’s the harassment of a person in any situation in which someone makes unwanted sexual advances or remarks to someone else. The definition is rather broad, and it can cause some confusion for some people regarding what it means and how it works. For example, if a man tells a woman she’s beautiful or sexy while out, he might think he’s making a nice comment. She might not be interested, but it’s not sexual harassment to tell someone they look nice. If, on the other hand, he tells her that she’s sexy and he bets she looks even better wearing no clothes, it’s sexual harassment. If her husband tells her the same thing, it’s not an unwanted advance, so it’s not harassment.

It’s difficult to define what sexual harassment means to some, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to feel it’s happening in any setting. If you’re in a hotel and you’re getting a massage, you don’t want the massage therapist to say anything sexual or make sexual contact with your body outside the parameters of your massage. If you feel you were sexually harassed while having a massage, it’s important you know what steps to take.

The Proper Steps to Take

If you feel you are being sexually harassed during a massage at a hotel, the best thing to do is to speak to the manager right away. A formal complaint must be filed immediately. Do not wait to file a complaint. The best course of action is to get up and walk out of the massage the moment you begin to feel uncomfortable with the way you’re being touched or the way the massage therapist is speaking to you. You are not obligated to stay for the rest of the massage because you are a paying customer.

Speak to the manager right away. What the manager tells you is a mystery depending on the situation. You should, however, be prepared for the massage therapist to tell the manager that the massage was completely innocent and that the touching they were doing was within the boundaries of what a massage entails. If you strongly believe this person is lying and that how you were touched or how you were spoken to was inappropriate, continue to point that out.

Once you speak to a manager, you can call an attorney. An attorney will listen to your story, go through the details of it with you, and speak to you about the questions they have. If you maintain you were harassed in a sexual manner by the person who gave you a massage, the attorney might decide that they are going to help you with your case. You’ll go through the story, make a formal statement, and then the attorney and their team will gather evidence to help support your case.

Suing the Hotel

If you’re suing, you might find it’s possible to sue the hotel. However, you might find that they are protected from the lawsuit depending on the situation. If the massage therapist is employed by the hotel and an employee of the hotel, it’s possible you can file a lawsuit against the hotel. However, you might find that the hotel is not liable for the actions of the massage therapist if he or she is employed by a third party.

For example, if you are in a high-end hotel with an individual spa on the premise, your lawsuit depends on the contract between the spa and the hotel. If the hotel doesn’t own the spa and only rents space to the spa, it’s more difficult. You might find it’s possible to sue the spa but not the hotel. This is why it’s imperative you speak to an attorney regarding your situation as soon as possible.

What You Can Do

There are a few things you can do to help your case, including taking notes about what happened. The more details you can remember and document, the better it is for your case. It’s easier to handle a situation like this one when you have the details. You know what happened, and you are sure that you were harassed.

Most companies will try and settle your case without sending you to court. This means the spa or the hotel might decide to offer you a monetary settlement in return for dropping the charges and not pursuing a case against them. It’s often better for both the spa and the hotel to do this and avoid the bad publicity a sexual harassment suit might bring them in the press. You are not required to settle the case with them if you feel that you want the world to know what happened to you. If you’d rather settle and take the monetary payout for pain and suffering in addition to damages, you can do that too.

There is no way to know whether or not you can sue a hotel without knowing the details of your situation. If you are sexually harassed while enjoying a massage at a hotel, call an attorney right away. The attorney you hire can tell you who you can sue, who is not liable for this problem, and what you can do to help your situation. Don’t wait. This is a suit you need to file right away before this happens to another person.

I Am Paralyzed from the Neck Down from a Roller Coaster. Can I Do Anything to Get My Medical Costs Covered?

One of the most devastating things that can happen in a person’s life is to suffer an accident that results in permanent disability. If you have found yourself in such a position, you undoubtedly have a great many concerns and questions.

If you’ve been severely injured in a roller coaster accident that resulted in your being paralyzed from the neck down, you may wonder whether you can get your medical costs covered. In fact, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may be able to obtain compensation for different types of injuries, damages, and losses.

Establishing Liability or Responsibility for a Roller Coaster Accident

In the United States, there are four primary elements that must be demonstrated or proven in order to establish responsibility in a personal injury case, including a roller coaster accident. An injured person is only able to obtain financial compensation against another party by demonstrating the existence of all of these elements.

First, a duty of care must be established. Duty of care means a party has a responsibility to exercise reasonable care in regard to another individual. For example, in the case of a roller coaster accident, the operator of the ride has a duty of care to operate it in a safe manner.

Second, in order to establish responsibility in a personal injury case, you must be able to demonstrate that the duty of care was violated. Using the case of a roller coaster operator, that breach could be a failure to operate the ride in a safe manner.

Third, the breach of the duty of care must be the proximate cause of the accident and injuries. This means that the actual cause of the accident and your injuries must be the direct result of the breach of the duty of care.

Finally, in order to obtain compensation in a personal injury case, you must have sustained actual damages, injuries, and losses. Losses cannot be merely something speculative or something that might occur at some vague time in the future.

Retain Legal Representation

One of the most important steps you can take to best ensure that you obtain compensation for medical costs, as well as other losses, is to retain the services of a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer. The first step in retaining legal representation is to schedule what is known as an initial consultation.

During an initial consultation, legal counsel will provide you an evaluation of your case. In addition, you will have the opportunity to raise any questions that you might have about your situation. As a matter of practice, a personal injury attorney typically charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.

You should be proactive when it comes to retaining legal counsel. You should consider obtaining legal representation at the commencement of the insurance claims settlement process.

You must always bear in mind that an insurance company is in business for one primary purpose only. The primary objective of an insurance company is to make money for its shareholders. One way in which the bottom line of an insurance company is enhanced is by limiting the amount of money paid out on insurance claims.

Types of Compensation in a Roller Coaster Accident Case

As alluded to previously, the financial recovery possible in a roller coaster accident case depends on the facts and circumstances of the accident itself coupled with the nature and extent of injuries, damages, and losses sustained. Understanding these parameters, there are certain types of losses for which a personal injury attorney typically seeks compensation for a client. These include:

– Medical bills and expenses
– Pain and suffering
– Permanent disability
– Mental anguish and emotional distress
– Lost wages
– Permanent disfigurement

Medical bills and expenses represent one of the most fundamental types of losses for which a lawyer seeks compensation. Provided you are able to establish the elements of responsibility in a personal injury case, recovering your medical costs will follow. Any legitimate medical expense associated with your roller coaster accident and injuries will be compensable.

Not only would your existing losses be compensable, but you will be entitled to seek financial recovery for losses that will continue to accumulate into the future. For example, if you are paralyzed as the result of a roller coaster accident, you will need medical treatment into the future. You will continue to lose income. You may have ongoing mental anguish and emotional distress because of your situation. All of these represent losses that are subject to financial compensation.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be entitled to what are known as punitive damages if your case proceeds to a lawsuit. Punitive or exemplary damages represent additional money awarded in a personal injury case when the conduct of the party or parties causing an accident is deemed to be particularly reckless or egregious.

Determining Which Party or Parties Are Responsible

When it comes to pursuing compensation in a roller coaster accident case, multiple parties may actually be legally responsible for the accident and your injuries. We’ve already discussed the operator of the rollercoaster. This may be an amusement park or a county fair or some other entity that is operating the roller coaster.

In addition, the manufacturer of a roller coaster may bear responsibility for causing the accident. There may have been some sort of defect in the design or actual manufacturing or construction of the ride. If there is a third party maintenance provider that services the rollercoaster, and if that party did not properly undertake its tasks, that entity may also be responsible for the accident and your losses.

Attorney Fees and a Rollercoaster Accident Case

If you are like some people, you may initially balk at the idea of hiring a lawyer to assist you in obtaining financial recovery in a roller coaster case because of cost considerations. The reality is that an injured person with a lawyer is far more likely to obtain more in the way of financial recovery than an unrepresented person. You are likely to end up with more in the way of compensation with legal representation, even when attorney fees are taken into account.

I Got Food Poisoning on a Cruise. What Can I Do?

If you got sick while on a cruise, particularly if you came down with food poisoning, you may be wondering if you can sue the cruise line. While you’ll want to speak with an attorney about the specifics of your case, we’ll help you learn a few basics about cruise line negligence and what it might mean for your case.

Getting Food Poisoning on a Cruise

If you became sick while on a cruise, you’re probably wondering what the cruise line is responsible for. Can you sue them for your medical expenses and related losses? Is the food poisoning their fault to the point where they should be held liable?

Just like in a majority of personal injury cases, the liability of the cruise line is based on a few things, and an experienced attorney can help you answer these legal questions:

• Was the cruise line negligent?
• Was one of the employees on the cruise negligent?
• Did the negligence of the cruise line or the employees cause your food poisoning?

If you feel that you came down with food poisoning as a result of the cruise line’s food, the answers to these questions may seem obvious to you. However, they’re more complex than you may realize.

Understanding Negligence

Negligence is when someone or some organization (in this case, the cruise line or one of the employees) does not exercise reasonable care. Just because you got food poisoning while on the cruise line, that does not necessarily mean that the cruise line or its employees were negligent.

In order to get damages from the cruise line, you and your lawyer will need to prove that the cruise line was negligent and that a result of that negligence was your food poisoning. You will need to show that the cruise line or the employees did not exercise reasonable care.

Food Poisoning and Other Types of Cruise Line Illnesses

Food poisoning is one of the three illnesses that are commonly contracted on a cruise line, along with norovirus and the very serious Legionnaires Disease. If you were to catch a cold or the flu on a cruise, the cruise line would not be held liable because these minor diseases are not usually life-threatening and they can occur practically anytime and anywhere.

Food poisoning is typically a result of negligence by the cruise line. One common scenario is that a sick food preparer does not wash their hands properly before handling food, which passes the illness along to the guests via the food, resulting in food poisoning.

Food Poisoning vs. Norovirus

You should also know a bit about norovirus since it can be confused with food poisoning. Norovirus, also called the stomach flu, can result in diarrhea, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes, you may also experience fever and headache. Unlike food poisoning, norovirus is highly contagious, and it can spread the same way a cold does. You can contract norovirus by having physical contact directly with a person who’s sick or with something they recently touched. It’s also possible that norovirus spreads through water or food, which is why it’s sometimes confused with food poisoning.

Norovirus is common on cruise ships because the close quarters and shared spaces make it possible for the virus to spread quickly from passenger to passenger. Most people have heard about a norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship. It can be difficult to prove whether norovirus was due to the cruise line’s negligence since it’s a very common virus, just like a cold or the flu.

If you became sick on a cruise, it’s important to determine whether you had food poisoning or the stomach flu. Figuring out exactly what you were sick with can determine where the illness came from and help to showcase negligence.

Proving Negligence If You Became Sick during a Cruise

If you were the only one who contracted food poisoning from a cruise, it’s going to be difficult to prove that the cruise line was negligent, even if you’re sure you didn’t have norovirus. People can get sick anywhere, on a cruise and off one, for a number of reasons. And if you were the only person who got sick, chances are slim that it was the cruise line’s fault.

For the best case possible, there are a number of things you want to do while you’re sick:

• Find out how many other people got sick around the same time you did, and compare your symptoms to theirs. You may be able to find out how many people are in the ship’s hospital or medical care center.

• Pay attention to how well the crew is cleaning the food areas and bathrooms. Do they seem to be protecting you from illness?

• Listen closely for any warnings or health announcements that the crew makes, and gather any evidence possible – like photos or posted signs or recordings of public announcements.

• Even if you’re feeling sick and can’t enjoy the cruise at all, make sure you know the current itinerary. If it deviates from the intended itinerary, it could be due to a large-scale food poisoning or virus issue.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the deadline you have for filing a certain type of lawsuit. This will vary based on where the accident occurred, and it can get even more tricky when you’re talking about a cruise line that’s traveling during the time period you became sick.

For a majority of cruise lines, the statute of limitations is one year; sometimes it’s even less. You may also have to alert the cruise line that you’re going to be suing them via a formal notice in writing that includes your claim. This notice may have to be presented way before the statute of limitations is up. Therefore, it’s best to handle a lawsuit as quickly as possible upon returning from the cruise. If you end up waiting even a few weeks, you could miss the window of opportunity and never receive payment for damages.

Know Your Rights and Contact an Attorney

If you got food poisoning on a cruise, it’s important that you understand your legal rights. It’s possible that the cruise line will be required to pay for damages. Speak with an attorney about how to handle your lawsuit and what you’ll need in order to prove negligence.

My Kids and I Got Hurt Driving Those Mini Race Cars at a Local Amusement Park. What Can I Do?

Amusement parks provide a great deal of enjoyment for families, but they can be quite dangerous. Rides can malfunction, safety belts are ill-fitted to many kids of certain sizes, and you could walk away with injuries following a bumpy ride in an amusement park. When you make the decision to spend the day at the park with your family, you do so with a reasonable expectation of care. You expect the rides are safe enough for your family, tested for problems, and you don’t think you’ll go home in pain. It’s not uncommon for those mini race cars to cause injuries to those who spend time in them, but what can do you do if you leave an amusement park with injuries from a ride?

What Do I Do if I, or My Kids, Are Injured at an Amusement Park?

The first thing you must do if you suffer injuries at an amusement park is seek medical attention. If you plan on filing a personal injury lawsuit, you must have a proper paper trail, injuries, and proof you were injured at an amusement park. The moment you exit the ride, ask the person in charge for medical attention. Amusement parks typically have medical staff on hand or quick access to an emergency vehicle in times of need.

Do not wait to call the doctor. You must seek medical attention as soon as your injuries occur. Waiting even an hour to seek medical attention can be too late. The amusement park and their attorneys can argue you waited to seek medical attention for your injuries because you were not truly injured. They can also argue that your injuries were not sustained on the ride, and that can affect your ability to seek an insurance payout to help you with the cost of your medical bills.

See the doctor, speak to the amusement park about your injuries, and keep it all in line. If you’re injured on a mini race car, get off and ask to see a doctor. Explain what happened, be detailed, and get it all in writing. You want to file a formal statement and complaint in addition to finding medical help when an injury occurs.

Who Pays for the Injuries We Sustained?

This is where things become more complicated. You can see the doctor and file all the formal injury complaints you wish, but you don’t know who will pay your medical bills following an amusement park injury. Unfortunately, it all depends on where you’re located, what kind of amusement park you’re visiting when you’re injured, and the premise liability laws in place at the amusement park.

The premise liability law associated with the amusement park is the law that clearly states who is responsible for the monetary payment of any injuries incurred at this location. Depending on what the law says where you’re injured, the owner of the property could be responsible, the amusement park renting or making payments on the property could be liable, or you could be entirely liable for your own injuries if the park states you’re riding and entering the premise at your own risk. There is no clear set of laws associated with this. It’s individual to each case.

Additional Details

There are some additional details associated with this that might play into your case. If you are injured, you are either an invitee to the park or a trespasser. If you’re trespassing on the grounds of the park because you snuck in without a paid ticket, you are liable for your own injuries in almost every case. If you are an invited patron of the park with a ticket for admission, you do have more ground on which to stand.

If you were injured, you must call an attorney. Your attorney will ask you several questions, and you will open an investigation into the case. The most common thing the attorney on your case will look for is fault. Did the amusement park know ahead of time there were some problems or concerns with the particular ride on which you were injured?

For example, was there a complaint already filed by someone else stating this ride caused them injuries prior to yours? Was there an in-office memo detailing some concerns about the ride that no one bothered to check on or fix? If there was, this is now a case of gross negligence. The people in charge of the ride knew there was an issue, and they chose not to handle the problem in an appropriate manner. Now you have a case.

You must prove the amusement park was responsible for your injuries if you hope to win a personal injury lawsuit. If your injuries are from an old injury or accident, you won’t win your case. If the park failed to adhere to their duty of care to warn you of the dangers associated with any ride, therefore causing risk to your good health by not warning you of what could happen, you have a case.

Personal Injury Lawsuits and Amusement Parks

Based on the premise liability laws in place in amusement parks, you might be responsible for the payment of your own medical bills following an injury sustained on a mini race car ride. However, if you can prove the amusement park by breached their duty of care, you have a negligence case on your hands. This is not typically a lawsuit that affects the premise liability laws, but negligence does allow you to seek damages for your injuries.

Call An Attorney

There is no simple way to answer the question about what you must do following an injury at an amusement park. However, following the chain of care and command is always the best policy if you want to keep it simple and open. Call for emergency medical care, inform the park about your injuries, and sign nothing until you’ve met with a personal injury attorney. Your attorney’s job is to listen to the facts of your case and then determine whether there are grounds for a lawsuit. If there is, your attorney will file the proper motions and begin the investigation into what happened.

You have a right to seek damages for any injuries you incur if they were caused by the negligence of someone else. You are not responsible for your own medical bills, lost wages, or other financial burdens caused when someone else fails to provide the proper duty of care. Call an attorney to discuss your rights.

My Child Was Injured at a Municipal Skating Park. Can I Sue the City?

The answer to the question of whether or not a parent can sue for a child’s injury at a city-owned skate park is determined on an individual basis. If the injury is caused by a defect in the park’s structures (such as improperly maintained skate rails or uneven pavement), or if the injury was caused by the negligent act of another person (for instance, a second skateboarder slamming into the child), then it may be possible to hold the city responsible. However, if the injury was caused simply by the child falling off the skateboard due to his or her own actions and without an external cause, then you’ll be less likely to assign blame to the city.

The City’s Rights and Responsibilities

In most cities, access to recreation is significant for citizens, as it ensures they have a high quality of life. Parks, sporting venues, skateparks, and ice skating rinks are some common recreational areas found in many towns and cities. In making these places accessible to the public, the city has an obligation to make sure that they are reasonably safe to use (aside from users assuming an inherent risk when using the city’s property). This means that the city must maintain grounds, make sure the areas are well-lit, and eliminate any potential safety hazards such as rusty or uneven rails in skateparks. If the city fails to fulfill its duty of making the place safe to use, it may be held responsible for injuries caused to people on the property. For example, if a child falls off the skateboard because the board got caught on the edge of a broken rail, you may be able to say that the city failed to make the skatepark safe. In this case, the fall and resulting accident would not have happened if the town maintained the rails.

When considering whether or not to sue a city for a fall at a skatepark, it’s important to understand that the city has legal protection for cases like these. Nationwide, cities and towns are afforded legal protection at the federal level from the Federal Tort Claims Act (which is found in 28 U.S.C. § 2674). This law was passed in 1946, and it grants cities freedom from responsibility for certain actions. Along with federal laws, many states also have secondary laws that further define the limits of responsibility that cities and city officials have. Similarly, many states also have something called state claims acts, which set boundaries for immunity at the state level and create a procedure for bringing claims against the state. In many states, these claims acts also set a financial cap that limits the amount of monetary damages people can recover if they do choose to sue the city or state.

Another legal cushion for cities comes in the form of Recreational Use Statutes (RUS). These statutes differ from one state to the next, but they essentially excuse the state and municipality from legal responsibility in the event that a recreational user is injured on the property. In a nutshell, recreational use statutes are designed to give municipalities an extra layer of legal protection against lawsuits arising from incidents in recreational places. In some states, recreational use statutes also extend legal protection to private landowners if the recreational area also covers private land. The wording among recreational use statutes varies from state to state, but they basically state that if the property (such as a skatepark) is open for the public to use for recreational purposes, and if a person is injured while using the property for recreational purposes, then the landowner (whether it’s the town or a private landowner) cannot be held responsible for the user’s safety. These state statutes define a recreational user as a person who has received permission to use the property for recreational purposes. For instance, skateboarding in a place that is clearly labeled as open to the public for such purposes is an express invitation. Landowners also have the right to kick skateboarders out if they are skateboarding in places that they are not allowed to go. In many places, municipalities will further clarify their limited liability by posting signs around the property stating that people are using the property at their own risk.

Rights and Responsibilities of the Skateboarder

Just as the municipality has an obligation to make its recreational areas safe, skateboarders must also acknowledge that they are participating in an activity that has inherent dangers. Falling down is part of the sport, and there are often learning curves when trying to master new stunts and tricks. Inexperience accounts for a large number of skateboarding accidents. About a third of skateboarding accidents that result in emergency room visits happen within the first week of learning to skateboard, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Inexperience, along with failure to wear proper safety equipment, and not knowing how to fall safely are the main contributing factors to skateboarding injuries. The type of skateboard that people use can also affect the likelihood of suffering an injury. People who choose to skate on boards made for speed are at a higher risk of falling and getting injured. However, there are boards made for novice skaters, such as longboards, that are easier to use than traditional trick skateboards. Despite being easier to control, these boards are not inherently safer, and using them can instill a false sense of safety and security in beginners.

Because of the dangerous nature of the sport, many municipalities also post requirements for skaters using public skateparks. In many places, riders must wear properly fitted helmets. They are also often required to wear protective gear like knee pads and wrist pads. Skaters have a duty to abide by those rules and accept the consequences if they don’t. If an injury happens because a skater fails to abide by those rules, then fault cannot be assigned to the municipality. Some towns further limit their own liability with additional use restrictions, such as not permitting people under a certain age to use the skatepark. Towns might also control the hours during which skating is permitted. For younger riders in particular, cities may also require an adult to be present when the child is using the skatepark.

In setting up a public skatepark, both the municipality and the skaters have some rights and responsibilities to reduce the risk of injury. The failure of one party to uphold that responsibility can result in legal actions. Skaters must recognize that they are participating in a sport that has inherent risks, but municipalities can do their part to reduce the risk of injury by having safe places for the public to ride.

I Was Hurt Bungee Jumping: Do I Have a Case?

Bungee jumping and other extreme sports have grown in popularity and even become mainstream. As a result, a growing number of people view these as moderately safe activities with an added adrenaline rush. However, there are inherent risks to bungee jumping and similar activities. Many people are hurt every year. Do these people have a case for a lawsuit? Although there are many factors, the answer is often “yes.”

What Is Bungee Jumping?

Bungee jumping is the act of jumping from a high place while attached to an extremely stretchy cord. People free fall, which is an incredible rush, and then are pulled back up when they reach the end of the cord. Most people will enjoy several falls and upswings due to the elasticity of the bungee. They then hang upside down from the cord while they are pulled back up to the platform or otherwise released.

The first known instance of this activity occurred in 1973. The participants were immediately arrested but continued to perform this activity in a variety of places. Since then, bungee jumping has been made legal and regulated in many places. People often assume that this means bungee jumping is safe, even if a thrill. However, this is simply not true.

Is Bungee Jumping Safe?

Bungee jumping places a great deal of stress on your body even in the best conditions. When the fall is broken, this is extremely jarring and can impose a dangerous amount of force on the body and brain, similar to whiplash. The delicate tissues of organs and even the eyes can be easily damaged by this force. Some people have even had broken or otherwise permanently damaged spines.

In addition, the cord can easily become wrapped around a limb or the participant’s body during the fall. When the cord suddenly tightens at the end of the fall, bones can be broken or amputated. In fact, bungee jumpers have died when the cord wrapped around their neck at the end of a free fall.

Although some bungee jumping injuries are due to the dangerous nature of the activity, many are due to negligence. Using the wrong size and strength of cord can lead to increased force, hitting the ground or surrounding features, or even the cord breaking. Many companies fail to make this activity as safe as it can be.

Safety Standards for Bungee Jumping Companies

There are several things that every bungee jumping company should do to make this activity as safe as possible. These include:

  • Using professional grade equipment that is examined by an engineer regularly
  • Checking equipment before every jump
  • Keeping adequate insurance to cover any accidental injuries
  • Using platforms that are large and strong enough for the number of people on them with non-slip flooring to prevent falls
  • Having strong enough anchor points to withstand the force of the jump
  • Keeping adequate railings on platforms along with gates covering the area where people make their jump
  • Calculation of each participant’s weight so adjustments can be made to equipment, keeping the jump as safe as possible

When these minimal safety precautions are not taken, people are much more likely to be harmed. Companies are usually liable for any injuries that occur if they do not follow professional safety standards.

Common Causes of Bungee Jumping Injuries

Many bungee jumping injuries are due to the force of breaking the fall. These include:

  • Damage to the eyes, including broken blood vessels, retinal detachment, and even blindness
  • Compression fractures and herniated discs in the spine
  • Injuries to the spinal cord, which can cause pain and/or paralysis
  • Neck muscle strain and spasms
  • Concussions and other brain injury

In addition, the cord itself can wrap around parts of the participant’s body, causing:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruising and swelling
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation of the limb
  • Organ damage
  • Death

People also can be harmed in negligent incidents, such as falls from platforms while not secured, falls resulting from broken cords, improper harnesses, or insecure attachments to the platform. Last, people can die from impact if the length and size of the bungee cord is not appropriate for their weight and the area in which they are jumping.

What If I Signed a Waiver?

All bungee jumping companies make participants sign a waiver. This waiver says that the company is not liable for injuries resulting from the activity. However, these waivers do not absolve a company of their responsibility to keep participants as safe as possible. If they were negligent or failed to be as vigilant as possible, they likely are at fault.

In addition, if equipment failure contributed to an injury, the manufacturer of the equipment can be held responsible. Damages can include pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and even punitive damages for negligence.

Even if you signed a waiver, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer if you have been harmed while bungee jumping or participating in any “extreme” activity. It is important to do this as soon as possible to avoid going past the statute of limitations, which can be very short in many states. People do these activities for the thrill, not to be permanently harmed.

A company that is acting negligently often will not improve their safety practices until they are forced to do so. Bringing a lawsuit against these companies may save future people from being harmed or even killed.

Your Next Steps

If you or a loved one were harmed in any way while bungee jumping, it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Many attorneys will give a free consultation and even defer payment until you have received a settlement. There is no cost to find out whether you have a case. Companies that make decisions that harm people should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.

Are Water Parks Safe?

Water parks are a fun and exciting way to have fun in the sun. Water parks can be enjoyable for people of all ages. Whether you want to swim, relax in a lazy river, or ride down water slides, you can do it all at a water park. One of the biggest questions among consumers and parents is regarding the safety of water parks. How safe are they? Are you risking injury if you go to a water park? Throughout this article, we will answer those questions.

How Many People Get Injured at Water Parks?

A good way of understanding how safe water parks really are is to look at the statistics. Knowing how many people actually have accidents while at water parks can help you to understand what your chances are.

First of all, let’s talk about some of the most common injuries at water parks. Typically, slides are the most common point of injury due to the fact that you sometimes travel at high speeds on them. The most common injuries that occur are scratches, broken limbs, concussions, and spinal injuries. Another obvious thing that could happen at a water park is drowning. Water parks typically have large bodies of water in which a non-experienced swimmer could drown.

According to The San Diego Tribune, some 4,200 people are taken to the emergency room for water park injuries every year. Mind you, this is a very small percentage of the total people that go to water parks every year. We are talking about tens of millions of visitors each day. However, your risk of injury might be a little bit higher if you take into account the fact that accidents treated by lifeguards are not included in this statistic. Overall, your risk of injury is relatively low based on these numbers.

What Are the Most Dangerous Attractions at Water Parks?

Depending on your size, age, and swimming abilities, certain attractions may be more dangerous than others. If you are not good at swimming, you should stay away from wave pools. Wave pools are bodies of water in which waves are generated by a machine. These waves can make the water level rise and fall like they would in the ocean. Typically, wave pools are packed with people because it is a fun attraction that doesn’t have a wait time. Although lifeguards will likely be on patrol, it may be hard for them to pick out a struggling swimmer in a large crowd. If you are either really light or really heavy, you should stay away from certain water slides.

Water slides are designed to fit the average person. Sometimes, it is possible for people that are too light to fall off of the slide or fly off the side. People that are too heavy sometimes get stuck in slides if they are enclosed. Either way, this would not be fun to deal with and could result in personal injury. With all that being said, these are extreme cases. Most of the time, slides will have weight requirements or limits that ensure your safety. However, we are all human and sometimes we mess up. If you are just on the verge of being able to ride, maybe skip it this time.

Should I Send My Kids to a Water Park Alone?

As a parent, is it smart to send your kids to a water park all by themselves? Probably not. Kids are more likely to engage in dangerous activities if they are alone. Your kid may end up wandering into an area of water that they are not comfortable in. Or, they may break rules that are designed for their safety. As a parent, it is up to you whether or not you allow this. It is understandable that you don’t want to spend your entire day at a water park if you are not into it, or if you are not planning to get wet. However, your kid’s safety may depend on your presence. As a parent, you will be able to keep watch over your kid and make sure that they aren’t getting into any trouble or danger. Another part of being there for your kid is that they will be less likely to be targeted by strangers. Water parks are public places and they can put your child at risk of being stolen. All in all, wait until your child is mature enough to handle this situation on their own before you throw them into it.

Safety Tips for Water Parks?

As you know, staying safe during your time at a water park is going to be the most enjoyable option. Due to that, we should probably cover some important safety tips to consider next time you are at a water park. Here are a few.

Wear Sunscreen

Although this applies to anywhere where it gets sunny, it is especially important during your time at a water park. At a water park, chances are that most of your body and skin will be exposed to the sun. Also, you will probably be spending numerous hours in a row out in the sun. These factors are the reason why you should always apply sunscreen while at a water park in order to prevent burns.

Read and Follow Safety Instructions

Most attractions at water parks will have safety instructions clearly written. The best way to stay safe while on attractions is to read and follow these rules. The rules aren’t trying to prevent you from having fun. They are there to protect you and the people around you.

Listen to Lifeguards

Lifeguards are your friends at water parks. They are there to look out for you and ensure that you and the people around you are safe. If a lifeguard tells you to stop doing something, it is inappropriate to get upset with them. They are only enforcing the rules. Usually, those rules are put in place to keep you safe.

Do Not Swallow Pool Water

Another tip for water park safety is to not swallow pool water. Pool water contains chemicals which are unsafe for consumption. Not only are there chemicals in the water, there are other germs that come from people in the water.

Drink Lots of Fluids

Drinking lots of fluids is another great tip for water park safety. Being in the sun all day will cause you to sweat and lose body fluids. When this happens, it can cause dehydration which is dangerous to your health.

Final Thoughts: To Go to Water Parks or Not?

Waterparks are safe for the most part. Your chances of getting injured at a water park are slim. With that being said, you need to be careful. Follow some of the tips covered in this article to ensure your safety.

How Often Do Injuries Occur At Amusement Parks?

As the weather grows warmer, carnivals, state fairs, and amusement parks will attract millions to the thrill of a park ride. Every year, about 335 million people go to amusement parks just in the United States alone. Not to mention all the amusement parks around the world. But just how safe are these rides?

Injuries are inevitable at some point, regardless of safety regulations and inspections by park personnel. Mobile amusement parks are regulated by The Consumer Product Safety Commission. They have estimated that nearly 31,000 injuries requiring treatment at an emergency room occurred in 2016. Percentage-wise, the odds of being injured on an amusement park ride is one in 16 million.

Between 1990 – 2004 there were 52 fatalities attributed to amusement rides. Since 2010, there are 22 known fatalities caused by park rides. These numbers do not include statistics from other amusement parks such as water parks.

The most recent safety survey by The Amusement Park Association was published in 2016. The report estimated about 1,500 injuries caused by park rides in 2015, and about 1,150 in 2014. That’s a 32% increase in amusement ride injuries from 2014 to 2015.

Please keep in mind that these statistics are only from fixed-site amusement parks. Fixed-site amusement parks lack consistency with regulations. State or local officials decide what government office is responsible for seeing to safety issues. Many states do not have regulations to address the safety of amusement park attractions.

Some of the agencies that regulate amusement park rides are:

  • The Department of Agriculture
  • State Department of Labor
  • State Fire Marshal
  • Office of the Insurance and Safety Commissioner

Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming do not have regulations to oversee the safety of park rides. This is noted by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

In 2013, Tracy Mehan from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio conducted a study on children who were injured at amusement parks. The hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy discovered nearly 4,500 injuries happened while riding the attractions at amusement parks.

It was also concluded that there was a need for a more standardized method of reporting these injuries to allow for better regulations of the rides. Better regulations and more careful inspection of the rides would at least cut down the number of potential injuries.

Amusement parks generally do their best to keep their rides safe or everyone. But even with the best of intentions, accidents can still occur. Liability falls with the inspectors, the employees operating the rides, park owners, subcontractors, and anyone else involved with ensuring the rides are safe and well maintained. If there are multiple injuries at a time, these individuals could face criminal prosecution for negligence at the very least.

While accidents are rare, many can be avoided by having consistent safety inspection guidelines required for all amusement park rides. Federal agencies are not responsible for amusement park safety, and 17 states lack any agency to regulate park ride safety.

Rather than a governmental agency, these states use their insurance department to set the safety standards for the amusement parks. The American Society for Testing and Materials recommends what standards the parks must adhere to. Each year, the park’s insurance company then has an inspector certify and sign off that the ASTM’s standards have been met.

Most amusement parks do their best to maintain a safe and fun environment, especially with the rides offered. From May to September, carnivals and fairs are in abundance. Because mobile amusement rides tend to be seasonal, more injuries occur during the summer months when kids are out of school. This is when amusement parks are packed with residents, tourists, and vacationers alike. The more people, the more risk of an eventual injury. This would make local fairs and carnivals seem to be less safe than fixed amusement park rides.

The average number of park ride injuries each year that require a trip to the emergency room is 1,000. Between 1990 and 2010, at least 12 children per day were treated for amusement ride injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is another agency that maintains records of amusement park accidents. In 2004, the agency reported at least 2,500 injuries that required emergency room treatment. These were injuries sustained at carnivals or state fairs.

Various factors are involved when it comes to accidents on park rides. Electrical problems or equipment failure can be missed during an inspection. The person operating the ride could make a mistake, or the rider may ignore safety rules. These are factors that may increase the number of annual injuries involving park rides. While not all injuries occur with children, their inexperience and size make them likelier victims.

It is especially important for parents and caretakers to monitor children. Tips to reduce the risk of injury:

  • Pay attention to postings at each ride regarding height
  • Pay attention to health warnings
  • Keep long hair tied back or in a cap
  • Keep hands and feet in the ride always
  • Use any seat belts or restraints
  • Remain in your seat until instructed to exit
  • Do not insist a child go on a ride if they are afraid

Also, be aware of potentially unsafe conditions such as loose wires or bolts, or parts that seem to be missing, and notify the operator before the ride starts. These tips are simply guidelines. Trust your instincts, trust your child, trust your eyes, then decide whether to ride.

Be cautious when it comes time to allow your children to take off on rides by themselves. More accidents occur among children who take risks or are improperly secured into the ride. The younger the child, the more likelihood of severe injury in case of an accident.

While amusement park rides are statistically rare considering the millions of riders each year, this is small comfort if you or someone you love is hurt. So, use common sense while enjoying this year’s amusement park attractions.

What Are the Most Dangerous Adventure Activities?

While the presence of danger may repel most people, those with an adventurous bent seem inexorably drawn toward dangerous activities. Whether it’s the enjoyment of the sport itself or purely the thrill of doing something that the majority of the population views as off-limits, something seems to bring certain people back to freezing mountainsides, deep waters, and sheer cliff faces again and again.

To the average person, an adventure consists of going somewhere new or enjoying an activity that we’ve never done before. But for others, an adventure isn’t an adventure unless there’s an element of danger involved. The following eight adventure activities are inherently dangerous, but the likelihood of experiencing an accident while performing one of these activities can sometimes be further enhanced by the carelessness of another person or corporation.

If you wish to avoid sustaining an injury, it’s probably best to stay away from these activities altogether. But if you’ve already been hurt by an adventure gone wrong, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that help is available to make things right.

Heli-Skiing

Effortlessly gliding down the crisp powder of a high mountain slope is one of the most enjoyable and exhilarating experiences known to man. But even if you’re willing to trudge up a steep slope or sit in a freezing chairlift as it carries you up a mountain, some of the best areas for skiing simply aren’t accessible by a chairlift or on foot.

Thus the demand for heli-skiing. Fans of this incredibly dangerous sport pay helicopter pilots to carry them to the tops of mountains or other areas that are inaccessible by any other means. After strapping on their skis, heli skiers jump out from the helicopter and hit the slopes.

A number of dangers can meet a heli-skier even if their helicopter survives the turbulence inherent in high altitudes, and they’re able to jump out without a hitch. Any area that isn’t specifically meant for skiing may be filled with unknown dangers like chasms and cliffs – and colliding with trees is more likely. But the most formidable danger of heli-skiing is the possibility of triggering an avalanche. High mountain snows can settle undisturbed over the course of decades, only to be triggered into an avalanche by one unfortunate vibration. With dozens of deaths and injuries every year, heli-skiing is undeniably one of the most dangerous adventure sports.

Scuba Diving

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to reckon that scuba diving is dangerous. Drowning is a constant danger anytime you’re submerged in water, and hungry sharks are always on the prowl for an easy morsel. While exploring shipwrecks and coral reefs is undeniably loads of fun, equipment failures on scuba diving excursions are unnervingly common and you certainly don’t want to be a hundred feet below the surface when your oxygen tank suddenly cuts out or water starts flowing into your mask.

Mountain Climbing

While trail hiking is a relatively tame pastime that isn’t particularly fraught with danger, going off the trail can lead to serious injury or even death. Yet thousands of people every year engage in the sport of mountain climbing, which involves crawling across dangers, bridging bottomless chasms, and summiting breathless mountain peaks. Many mountain climbers sleep out in the open in flimsy tents for multiple nights in order to reach their destinations. Others push for distant mountain summits in a single day, arriving exhausted and triumphant.

But no matter how seasoned a mountain climber you are, dangers like rock falls and tumbling off cliffs are constantly present. The higher you climb, the more specialized equipment you need. And if that equipment fails, injury or even death are an inevitability.

Proximity Wingsuit Flying

There are some activities that are just so obviously dangerous that it’s incredible that anyone tries them at all. Proximity wingsuit flying is one of them. Also called flying squirrel suits, wingsuits are like webbed toes for your whole body that catch the air and allow you to glide over great distances. Originally reserved for skydivers jumping out of planes, using wingsuits to hug cliff faces and rocky outcroppings has become unnervingly popular in recent years. Proximity wingsuit flyers jump off of cliffs and glide for miles down to the bottom of mountains, trying to stay as close to the ground as possible the entire time. Unsurprisingly, injuries are common in this sport and can sometimes be quite serious.

Free Solo Climbing

If the rock wall at your local gym looks intimidating, then free solo climbing certainly isn’t for you. But those that love climbing are often tempted to push the limits further and further until they end up scaling enormous cliff faces without ropes.

Relying on only the strength of your own fingers and toes to save you from certain death can be an incredibly thrilling experience. But it’s also one of the most dangerous sports in the world and one wrong move can cause you to plummet to your doom. In most cases, free climbers are on their own when it comes to responsibility for accidents, but in other cases, equipment manufacturers or other climbers may be the cause of an injury.

Base Jumping

Short for buildings, antennas, spans, and earth – base jumping is the act of jumping off of tall manmade or natural structures and engaging a parachute at the last moment. Base jumpers bet everything on one parachute since there isn’t time to activate a backup in case the first parachute fails. Adding to the thrill of base jumping is the fact that this adventure activity is illegal in most places and almost always entails avoiding the local authorities.

Parachute failure is disturbingly common in base jumping and sometimes the manufacturer is to blame. If this is the case, an injured base jumper can sometimes sue for personal injury.

Hang Gliding

It’s estimated that 1 out of every 100,000 hang gliding flights ends in an accident. Hang gliders may appear serene as they float through the skies, but there are definite downsides to strapping yourself to a flimsy polyester sheet strapped to a lightweight aluminum or composite frame. Because the wing of a hang glider stretches over the occupant, a parachute would be useless so there’s no backup mechanism to protect the operator of a hang glider in case of an equipment failure.

If the materials of a hang glider fail in flight, the manufacturer can sometimes be found to be at fault in the course of a lawsuit. Hang glider injuries can be incredibly debilitating and receiving justice for your pain can help reduce the sting.

How Can I Find out How Many Injuries an Amusement Park Has Had?

While going to an amusement park is usually a great way to spend some time with friends and family to enjoy rides and games, some amusement park visits can end in disaster. It’s estimated that thousands of children and adults are injured or even killed at amusement parks every year, leading many concerned families to wonder how likely it is to be hurt while enjoying an amusement park ride.

The Statistics

According to the International Association for Amusement Parks, your chances of being hurt at an amusement park are only 1 in 16 million. This statistic can seem reassuring, but the truth is that dozens of reports hit the mainstream news every summer detailing horrific accidents that are the result of defective equipment or failure to observe normal safety protocols.

For those that have been hurt at an amusement park, statistics don’t mean very much, and for those that want to stay safe, a small chance of being hurt is still a chance. Rather than trust in the statistical likelihood of being harmed at an amusement park, many concerned parents and ride-goers want to know exactly how many injuries have occurred at a particular amusement park.

Lack of Information

Unfortunately, there’s a severe lack of information when it comes to injuries at amusement parks. While the International Association for Amusement Parks conducts an annual survey in which amusement park operators are required to report the number of injuries that have occurred at their park, this survey only applies to fixed-site amusement parks which are parks that have a permanent location.

However, what about the many amusement parks that travel around the country and set up in various mall parking lots and public fairgrounds? These types of amusement parks are not required to report the number of injuries that occur on their premises – and the materials used in their rides are usually of lower quality to boot. Given that it’s completely unknown how many injuries occur at mobile amusement parks, concerned citizens would probably do better to simply stay away.

In any case, the International Association for Amusement Parks doesn’t make their data on amusement park injuries available to the public beyond the total amount of injuries that have occurred in a given year. They will not, for instance, give you information on the number of injuries that have occurred at a specific park, the types of injuries that have occurred, or whether anything has been done to make sure that these types of injuries don’t occur again.

This lack of transparency can make it hard for parents and concerned individuals to get the facts that they need to determine whether or not an amusement park has been doing everything that it should to stay up to spec and keep their rides safe for guests.

The Direct Route

Let’s face it: injuries are bad for business. It’s understandable that amusement park operators wouldn’t want to make information on injuries that have occurred at their park public for fear of going out of business. Yet if these operators are running a park that endangers the children and adults that enjoy their rides, they shouldn’t be allowed to operate in the first place.

Since amusement park operators are resistant to transparency when it comes to injuries, concerned individuals may be forced to confront the operators directly in order to gain access to the information that they need. There are a number of ways to go about this process that range from a pleasant phone call to a court-ordered demand for data – but first, it’s important to point out one key fact.

The amusement park may not even have the data.

If you’re trying to get injury data from a mobile amusement park that doesn’t have a fixed location, they may not even bother to keep track of the injuries that have occurred at their park because they are not required to, and no one will be asking at the end of the year. If the accident didn’t make the news, the operators may have just brushed it aside and moved on to the next paying customer.

Make a Phone Call

You can sometimes get the information you need simply by calling the operator of the park and demanding answers. In many cases this will require escalating the call through a few different layers of the employee hierarchy, so be patient and stick to your guns. If you’re inquiring about accident information from a reputable park, they’re likely to have the information somewhere – but you may need to do some convincing to get your hands on it. Don’t be afraid to use as much pressure as is necessary. In the end, you’re trying to get this information for the public good and there’s no good reason that it should be suppressed.

Court Order

If you’ve been injured at an amusement park and are filing a lawsuit, then in many cases your legal representation will be able to acquire a court order for the accident history information. Establishing a baseline for the frequency of injury at the amusement park where you were injured can constitute an important piece of evidence as a judge comes to a decision and in many cases, your request will be fulfilled. Once a court order has been issued, an amusement park owner has no choice but to fork over the injury data in their possession.

Search the News

In some cases, however, it’s simply impossible to get the information that you need through these methods. Even if you have a lawsuit in progress, you may not be able to obtain a court order for the injury information. Then there’s always the chance that an amusement park owner may simply refuse to hand over the information over the phone or hang up on you.

If you can’t get information on the number of injuries that have occurred at an amusement park by any other means, you may be forced to search through recent news articles to get a general idea of the frequency of injury at a particular amusement park. Most amusement park injuries at least make it to the local news, so find a news station in the area of the amusement park and search their online archives for data on injuries. It may even be worthwhile to call the news station and ask them to search for archived information.

In the end, amusement parks make it very hard to find information on injuries that have occurred in association with their rides, which is an unfortunate fact that will force you to do some digging. If you are capable of finding injury data at a particular amusement park, however, just remember that you’re doing a public service for which others will surely be grateful.

Is Airbnb Legal?

With the rise of the sharing economy, it has become easier than ever to turn a spare space into spare cash. Through a short-term rental company, you can list an entire home or just a room in your home and rent it out as you please. Although Airbnb is the most well-known short-term rental company, there’s also VRBO and HomeAway.

Many people have even turned this into how they make a living, as they’ve purchased properties for the sole purpose of renting them for short stays. But the growing popularity of short-term rentals has also brought more regulations.

If you’re thinking about renting a space out this way, here’s what you should do first.

  1. Check the Regulations

When Airbnb first started taking off, short-term rentals were essentially the Wild, Wild West. Since this was a new way to rent, the law wasn’t 100-percent clear on what was and wasn’t allowed.

Many cities have begun cracking down on the short-term rental market, though, because of the way they impact the local community. With how much money people can bring in on Airbnb and other such sites, some landlords have evicted their tenants to rent properties short term instead. And there are plenty of people who buy places just to rent them out for a few nights at a time.

This makes it much more difficult for the people who actually live in a city to find affordable housing there. While these rental services can make it easier for travelers to find a place, they don’t benefit locals.

Before you begin renting a space, look up the regulations in your area to see what will be required of you. For example, in Los Angeles, a potential ordinance would require that you live in your home at least six months each year if you plan to rent it out, and you could only rent it a maximum of 120 days each year. In San Francisco and New York, rentals that don’t last at least 30 days are punishable with fines.

Even if your area allows you to rent your space, make sure you also check with your homeowner’s association (HOA).

  1. Research the Competition

Before you start getting your listing ready, you should look at other listings in your area. After they know what area they want to stay at, renters generally look at the following factors when deciding which place to rent:

  • Price
  • Pictures
  • Amenities
  • Reviews

Checking out other places in your area will help you build the best possible listing and set a fair price for your place. You can also see from reviews what other renters have liked and disliked at the places they’ve stayed.

Figuring out a good price for your place is extremely important. You obviously want to make as much per night as possible, but you’ll get fewer renters if your price is too high. See what the comparable places in your area with a high number of reviews charge and stick to that same range.

  1. Set Up Your Space

It’s important to provide a good experience for your guests so that you get positive reviews. Clean up the space you’re renting and keep the personal items to a minimum. It’s fine to have the space feel like home and not a hotel. In fact, that’s why many travelers go the vacation rental route in the first place. But that doesn’t necessarily mean having family pictures in the guest room is a good idea.

Provide any essentials your guests may need in the space, such as water, snacks and toiletries. Another nice touch is to have some entertainment available, such as a TV with Netflix.

Of course, you should avoid leaving any valuables lying around. Most guests are great people who wouldn’t steal, but it’s always better to play it safe.

After you’ve gotten your space ready, you can snap some photos for your listing. Take your time with these to get shots that present your place in the best light. High-quality pictures make your listing a much more attractive option and can sometimes make the difference between a renter choosing your place – or someone else’s.

  1. Make Your House Rules and Your Listing

When you’ve gotten your photos and you know what your price will be, all that’s left is to list your place. The listing should touch on all the amenities and any attractions that are nearby. Remember that people may be in a hurry, which means you should hit the key points and keep it concise.

Make sure you’re accurate in your listing and that you present your place “warts and all.” One of the most common reasons for renters to leave bad reviews is because the listing oversold the place and they ended up disappointed. It’s better to be upfront with people and miss out on a few renters than to fib in your listing and get negative reviews. If it’s noisy at night or the room isn’t that big, explain that to your potential renters.

In your listing, don’t forget to write any house rules you have, such as your policy on guests and the quiet hours when you’ll need guests to keep any noise to a minimum. You don’t want to end up with guests throwing loud parties that upset your neighbors. While you can message your house rules to guests after they rent your place, it’s better to put the rules in your listing so that people can decide if your place will be right for them.

Finding Success with Your Short-Term Rental

If short-term rentals are legal in your area, they can be a fantastic way to earn some passive income from an extra room in your home or a place you own that you only use every once in a while. You get to choose when you rent your place out, and you also make the call on who you rent to, although certain sites take down your listing if you reject too many rental requests.

See what you can do with any extra space you have. Keep in mind that you don’t need a lavish setup to attract renters. Some people just want an inexpensive place to crash for a few nights. There’s a lot you can do with spaces of all sizes.

If I Am Hosting an Event on My Own Property, Should I have Liability Insurance?

Introduction

House parties are often complex, extravagant affairs. They may require months of planning and thousands of dollars in liquor, food, and entertainment. In the vast majority of cases, these parties go off without a hitch. However, there is always the chance that something will go wrong. An injury or other form of mishap can lead to massive payments and lawyer fees. Liability insurance for an event can greatly reduce stress and allow the host of an event to sleep easy.

What Does Liability Insurance Help With?

Liability insurance is helpful for the various things that can go wrong at an event. There is the possibility of the guests taking actions that will lead to them getting injured or harming their own property. Parties involve large numbers of people mingling together. They may be engaged in activities that involve a considerable amount of moving around and coordination.

Sometimes, those individuals are from different backgrounds and may not have met before the event. Block parties are often held at or around an individual’s home. Such a party may contain hundreds of people who only have their neighborhood in common. They may be confused about the setting or the activities they may be participating in. All of these factors result in a relatively high chance that an individual could be injured or have their property damaged.

The situations that would be covered by event liability insurance seem far-fetched. People could slip on pockets of water or run into beams. They may fall off of a set of steps in front of an individual’s house. Others may fall off a railing. Injuries could range from minor to life-threatening. A short fall can lead to cracked ribs or a massive head injury. The damage can multiply quickly if water or heights are involved. Human injuries can destroy cars or ruin other forms of property. Situations may seem like accidents at first, or be quickly forgiven by the person who committed them.

Many people have a sense of shame and self-responsibility that will cause them to accept their mistake and their injury at the time of the incident. However, these comments are not legally binding in practically any way. Injuries can be costly in a way that many are not aware of before the fact. A trip to the emergency room and even a minor surgery can cost thousands of dollars that a health insurance company may not completely cover. People may have to take days or weeks off of work. The entire incident may be traumatizing in a way that the person only figures out fully months later. As a result, an individual may start to look for ways to reduce their own losses and gain compensation for what occurred.

Liability Pitfalls

One of those solutions may be to hire a lawyer and sue the individual who held the event where they were injured. In numerous situations, the individual holding the event could be forced to pay damages. For instance, they may be forced to pay if an individual fell due to a broken rail or a poorly maintained porch, and the damages may be considerable. A competent lawyer will make sure that the injured person receives the highest award possible for both medical bills and anguish.

There are also some events that hold an inherent possibility of danger. Some children’s parties have trampolines which are often health hazards. These events can take place on porches that can sometimes be weak and flimsy. Other types of parties bring in animals or have demonstrations of firearms. While the chances of anything going wrong are minimal at these events, any one injury can lead to the host being sued for thousands of dollars. Even if the person leveling the charge does not win a lawsuit, the defendant may have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars in lawyer fees and court costs in order to defend themselves.

How Can Liability Insurance Help?

Buying a liability insurance plan changes the calculus entirely on the costs associated with injuries and damage during a party. Liability insurance covers a set list of possible things that can go wrong during a party. This list includes everything from a fire to a person slipping in a hallway. If an injury does occur, the injured can file a claim for any losses they incurred as a result. There is also the benefit of having an advocate (the insurance company and its adjusters and lawyers) in the event of a lawsuit.

The injured individual might have to negotiate with the insurance company. However, they may ultimately reject the negotiated offer from the insurance company and head to trial. A trial would make the insurance company liable if the plaintiff wins. All of these circumstances means that a host who buys liability insurance and is subject to a serious claim will have a legal advocate in the event of a lawsuit. The proceedings basically put a cap on the amount that the host of an event would have to pay after a tort.

Finally, there is the necessity of purchasing liquor liability insurance for any party that involves the sale of alcohol. The consumption of alcohol lowers inhibitions and impedes decision-making. People who are drinking are much more likely to get into fights and injure themselves at your house party.

In addition, thousands of people drive home drunk every year from house parties. If a person drinks at your party and gets into an accident on their way home, there is a chance that you could be held liable. That possible expense is the main reason why many companies that offer liability insurance for house events also have extra coverage for problems associated with the consumption of alcohol.

Conclusion

Liability insurance for events at a person’s house should not be viewed as an unnecessary or as an undue burden. Instead, it should be seen as liberating. Most policies for single events are relatively inexpensive. They can also prevent a rare but unfortunate episode that could cost thousands of dollars and months of effort to correct. When compared with the alternative, liability insurance for an event at home is a safe, prudent option.

What Is Travel Insurance?

Sometimes even the best-made plans fall apart. What happens if you get sick, a family member passes away, or you lose important travel documents? If these events prevent you from taking a trip, you will likely end up paying the full cost of your canceled plans without travel insurance.

Travel insurance is a policy that reimburses you if your trip is canceled or disrupted. It can also help pay for many things that may go wrong when you’re away from home, including a medical emergency, evacuation, or lost baggage.

There are two broad forms of travel insurance: packages that cover trip cancellation and packages that focus on travel medical insurance. Before taking a trip, it may be a good idea to consider one or both policies.

Basics of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance works like many insurance policies as a safety net when you travel. You will need to buy a policy before anything happens that disrupts your plans. Many policies require that you buy your policy before your trip even begins. If something happens that’s covered by your policy, you can make a claim by providing supporting documents like a flight schedule or medical bill. Most forms of travel insurance require that you pay expenses upfront and get reimbursed by the policy when your claim is approved.

Trip Cancellation Protection

The most popular coverage option protects you against trip cancellation by reimbursing you for the non-refundable payments and deposits related to your trip. This may include hotel stays, airfare, sightseeing tours, and more.

With trip cancellation coverage, it’s important to understand which reasons or circumstances are covered and which are not. Common covered reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • The insured, a traveling companion, or a family member experiences a serious injury or illness.
  • You or a traveling companion are laid off or terminated through no fault of your own at a job you had for at least 12 months.
  • The traveler, a companion, or family member passes away.
  • Bad weather, natural disaster, strike, or FAA-mandated shutdown stops services at your airline, cruise line, or carrier for 24 hours.
  • The destination has become uninhabitable due to natural disaster, flood, fire, vandalism, or burglary.
  • You or a traveling companion are in an accident on the way to departure, and the car is not safe to drive or medical care is needed.
  • You or a traveling companion divorce or legally separate.
  • There is a terrorist event at the destination within 30 days of your scheduled arrival.

Most policies list reasons you can use to make a travel cancellation claim. Some policies, called Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage allow you to cancel your plans and get reimbursed for any reason at all.

Trip Interruption Coverage

Sometimes plans change. If you need to return early or otherwise interrupt your trip but not cancel, trip interruption coverage can help. This coverage pays for additional expenses you incur to return home for covered events like damage to your home, illness, or the death of a family member.

Baggage Loss and Baggage Delay

Many policies help cover your expenses if your bags are late or they get lost. With baggage delay coverage, your policy will likely pay for essential items you need while waiting for the bags to arrive. This coverage will be secondary to benefits the common carrier provides. In most cases, there is a per-day limit and per-person coverage limit that’s usually about $500 per person for essentials.

If your bags are actually lost by your carrier, a comprehensive travel insurance policy will reimburse you for your luggage and items that were stolen or lost. This coverage is secondary to supplement benefits from the common carrier or your homeowner’s policy.

Rental Car Protection

If you rent a car on your trip, the type of coverage that’s included in most travel insurance policies allows you to decline the expensive coverage offered by the rental agency. Comprehensive travel protection plans often include rental car coverage automatically, but it’s also a popular benefit with credit cards.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Along with trip cancellation and interruption coverage and other forms of coverage related to travel, you may want a policy that covers medical expenses while away from home. Your health insurance policy is unlikely to cover medical expenses when you leave the country, but travel insurance can pay for emergency medical care you may require.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

What happens if you’re hurt or become seriously ill on your trip? This type of coverage reimburses you for the cost to transport you to the closest adequate medical facility. When you are stable, the policy pays for you to get home under the policy’s repatriation benefit.

Specialized Forms of Travel Insurance

Depending on your travel plans and needs, you can also find specialized forms of travel insurance to protect against specific risks. For example, missed connection coverage reimburses you if your cruise ship disembarks without you for a covered reason, and you need to pay for a flight to meet your cruise ship at the next port.

There are other forms of coverage specific to cruises. With return early coverage, you can abandon the cruise at port and return home with reimbursed travel costs. On the other hand, Shipboard Service Disruption coverage gives you a one-time payment if you experience a disruption on the ship like a widespread virus, mechanical breakdown, fire, or getting stranded.

What to Look for in a Policy

Every policy is unique and travel insurers vary a great deal in terms of coverage options, which events are covered, and more. The following tips can make it easier to compare policies.

  • Check whether you must pay expenses out of pocket and seek reimbursement through your policy or whether your insurance carrier pays your expenses upfront.
  • Make sure you get a policy that covers the replacement cost if you take prescription medication.
  • Check for coverage limits and whether you need to pay a deductible if you make a claim. This determines how much your policy will really be worth.
  • Look into the national medical plan at your destination. It may be cheaper than a medical travel insurance policy. Many countries even cover tourists under their health care system.
  • Add a rider to your policy if you will take costly items like jewelry, a high-end camera, or a laptop.
  • Check for restrictions on destinations.
  • Find out if coverage will be primary or secondary. With a secondary policy, you will need to go through your primary insurance first.

As a Paying Guest of a Hotel, Do I Have Rights?

Anytime that you are a guest in someone else’s establishment, whether it’s at a restaurant, sports stadium, or auto shop, there are certain assumed laws that come into play concerning safety liabilities. As long as you stay in the seating area of a restaurant, for instance, you are entitled to a reasonably safe accommodation. Step into the kitchen to confront the chefs, and you’re on your own.

The same applies to hotels. Since an overnight stay with your family and personal luggage puts you in a more vulnerable situation than some other locations, the hotel chain assumes a larger share of responsibility in making sure you are safe. Conversely, any time you step outside of what is considered “normal” visitor behavior, there could be a problem.

Despite what you may think, there are no national regulations concerning hotel conduct and disclosures, although most states have some kind of “innkeeper” regulations that do apply to every hotel chain in their state. Beyond that, the rules are more akin to a general understanding of how things should operate.

Hotels Don’t Have to Tell You Everything

For starters, a hotel chain is not obligated to tell you that someone has previously died in your room. Though realtors must disclose a death in any house they represent, depending on the state, the same is not true for hotel chains. In fact, according to one expert, deaths are more common than most people realize. Hotel staff usually just clean up the room and rent it out to the next guest as quickly as possible.

Surprisingly, the same applies for bedbugs. It’s no secret that if a hotel gets a reputation for a bug infestation, it can have a serious negative impact on their revenue. This fact is partly responsible for why they don’t have to disclose this information. Otherwise, it would be a revolving door of accusations and reports. If you see bugs in your room, the hotel has to move you to a different room, but they don’t have to say a word unless you speak up. If you’re concerned before you arrive, check sites like bedbugregistry.com to make sure.

Hotels Have a Responsibility to Provide Proper Accommodations

When you check in to a hotel, there are reasonable assumptions about the amenities that you will be provided. Not every hotel will have a lap pool and a full-service continental breakfast, but they are obligated to give you a reasonably clean room with reasonable accommodations and reasonable comfort levels (like A/C and heat, for example). To be sure, some people request the moon when they arrive, complaining about every little thing, but beyond reasonable accommodations, everything else is about customer service, not the law.

Your bed is the most important part of the room, and most hotels are required to provide fresh linens in between guests. If you arrive and the linens are not satisfactory, however, call down to the front desk and ask for them to be changed.

Hotels Have a Responsibility To Keep Your Belongings Safe

We’ve all heard horror stories of a person who has had their laptop stolen while they were having their room cleaned, and while that may or may not have been the fault of the hotel, the chain assumes protection for your belongings while you are on their premises. But as with cleanliness, the key word here is “reasonable safety.”

Many hotels, in an attempt to mitigate their own risk and to discourage fraudulent claims about stolen items, place signs stating that you are responsible for your belongings. They claim that anything that is not put inside the safe is technically not their responsibility, but that argument falls flat when discussing high-priced items like laptops and oversized DSLR cameras. The question then becomes whether or not the hotel was negligent. For instance, if a staff member left the door open and someone walked in and stole your item, that’s a situation where hotel staff negligence comes into play. But if you had your laptop stolen because you accidentally left it in the lobby overnight, that’s quite another story.

Hotels Have a Responsibility to Keep You Safe

No, breaking open your skull when you hit the desk jumping off the bed is not legally the hotel’s responsibility, despite how much you may argue that it is. Neither is an argument from the next room that you intervene in that results in an injury. In those cases, both the incident and the harm were brought about by you.

However, if an angry ex-girlfriend walks up to the front desk and asks for your room number in order to confront you, the hotel must not give that information out (except to police officers or other emergency personnel). They also are responsible for ice on the walkways, making sure their structure is up to code, and anything else that is technically their property.

Hotels Have a Right to Their Own Property

If you trip and accidentally knock over a lamp, the hotel may or may not choose to bill you for the item. This choice depends on a variety of factors, such as circumstances surrounding the incident, your own loyalty status, price of the lamp, etc. Situations like this are completely within the purview of the hotel itself.

On the other hand, if you throw a massive party with 50 people and one of your friends throws a buddy through a wall, you can bet you’ll be paying for every penny of that repair, no matter who you are. Hotels have a right to protect their own property from you, and that extends to the items you feel are within your right to take from the premises. No one will likely bat an eye if you take a roll of toilet paper, but if you try walking out with the microwave, expect to be stopped.

Where you have caused damage to the property, the process of billing you for your stay in a hotel can be lengthy. Not only do hotels have to tally the cost of the item or damage itself, but then they need to consider other factor. If the hotel lost business because of your actions, or from the duration of time needed to repair the damage, or any other loss that they can reasonably attribute to you – they can tack on those costs as well. So if you are in this situation, don’t be surprised if a single night tally stretches into the thousands.

One thing that most people are surprised to hear is that the hotel can actually place a lien on your luggage. If you can’t pay your bill when you check out, they can take your belongings from you, and if you still can’t pay after a reasonable period of time, they are authorized to sell those belongings to recoup their costs. It sounds draconian, but they have a right to be paid for their services.

If a Flight Is Overbooked, What Are My Rights?

Just about everyone saw the viral video of a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in 2017, which led to quite a bit of interest in what passengers’ rights are and how far airlines can go when they’ve overbooked a flight.

Incidents involving passengers getting taken off airplanes by force are extremely rare. Even when people aren’t happy about getting kicked off a flight, they usually comply. It’s important to know your rights in this situation, though, because it can affect the compensation you receive. Here’s everything you need to know about being a passenger on an overbooked flight.

What Can Happen When a Flight Is Overbooked

There are several reasons why a flight could be overbooked. The most common is that airlines often overbook flights themselves because they expect at least some passengers to no-show. If they do this and too many passengers show up, then obviously they’ll have a problem. Other less common scenarios are that the plane turns out to be too heavy or the airline needs space to transport more people, such as flight staff or an air marshal.

Although there have been times where airlines have announced their need for space after passengers have already boarded – such as the aforementioned United incident – in most cases the announcement is made at the gate. A gate attendant will let everyone know that the airline has an overbooked flight and request volunteers who don’t mind taking a later flight. To give people an incentive to volunteer, airlines usually offer travel vouchers.

At that point, there are three possible outcomes for you:

  • You volunteer, take the travel voucher and get to your destination on the next available flight.
  • You don’t volunteer, the airline doesn’t choose you to give up your seat and you fly to your destination.
  • You don’t volunteer, the airline chooses you to give up your seat and you must take the next available flight.

As you’re not affected if you don’t volunteer and aren’t chosen to give up your seat, let’s look at the two outcomes that have you leaving the flight.

Volunteering to Switch Your Flight

Due to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, airlines must announce the overbooking and request volunteers before removing people.

Airlines will typically provide a travel voucher for a specific amount, such as $200 or $300. If you’re thinking of volunteering, make sure you ask about the terms of the voucher before you accept it. In particular, ask how long you have to use it before it expires and whether it’s valid for international and holiday trips. You may be able to negotiate the terms and amount of the voucher with the airline, depending on the situation.

If you’d like to score some free travel in your future and you don’t mind arriving to your destination later, then volunteering and taking the voucher can be a good way to go. However, if you’re worried about being kicked off the flight and getting nothing, know that you’re entitled to certain compensation when you get booted. Also, once you’ve volunteered and accepted a travel voucher, that means the deal is done. You can’t contact the airline later and try to negotiate a refund or any other compensation.

Getting Kicked Off the Flight Involuntarily

The DOT also has rules in place protecting passengers when they’re involuntarily bumped from a flight. You can get a refund on your ticket if you’d like, but then the airline is no longer obligated to fly you to your destination.

If you don’t refund your ticket, then the airline must still fly you to your original destination. If it gets you there one hour or less from the scheduled arrival time of your original flight, then the DOT doesn’t require that the airline provide any compensation.

In that situation, the airline also doesn’t need to give you any incentives they offered to volunteers, such as travel vouchers. However, you may still be able to receive some compensation by contacting the airline to complain.

For flights that arrive later, the DOT has required compensation amounts that vary depending on whether the flight was domestic or international. Here’s how those work:

  • For domestic flights that arrive one to two hours later or international flights that arrive one to four hours later than the original landing time, the airline must give you 200 percent of your one-way ticket’s cost, up to a maximum of $675.
  • For domestic flights that arrive over two hours late or international flights that arrive over four hours late, the airline must give you 400 percent of your one-way ticket’s cost, up to a maximum of $1,350.

While the airline may offer this to you in the form of a travel voucher, they’re obligated to give you a check if you request one.

Now, if getting bumped ends up costing you more than you received from the airline, you should contact them to try to negotiate more money. Don’t deposit or cash the check they gave you, because once you’ve done that, it typically means the matter is closed.

How Airlines Decide Who to Remove

Every airline has its own policy regarding how it chooses the passengers to bump during an overbooking situation. Most will try to avoid bumping any unaccompanied minors or passengers who have disabilities.

Factors that airlines may consider include:

  • Ticket costs
  • Check-in order
  • What cabin the customer is seated in
  • Status with the airline’s loyalty program
  • Special circumstances, such as passenger hardships

Deciding What to Do

Although it’s good to know your options when a flight is overbooked, it’s not something you should worry about too much. The situation doesn’t happen too often, and the likelihood of getting involuntarily kicked off a flight due to an overbooking is less than 0.1 percent.

If you do find yourself in an overbooking situation, you’ll need to weigh the value of any incentives with how badly you need to arrive at your destination on time. Airlines have improved their incentives in recent years, and they may offer even more if you wait. The worst-case scenario would be not volunteering, getting bumped anyway, but still arriving within that hour of your original arrival time, which means the airline wouldn’t need to pay you anything. Even then, you could likely get something from them if you press the issue.

I Am Driving to Mexico on a Vacation, Should I Buy Mexican Car Insurance?

Taking a vacation in Mexico can be great fun and there is certainly plenty to do and see, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. This is especially true if you’re driving. Whether you take your own car or a rental, you want to make sure you’re covered for every contingency. This means ensuring your insurance coverage will extend to Mexico, because if you don’t check, you may bring an abrupt end to your vacation.

Driving from the United States to Mexico

Because Mexico shares a border with the United States, many Americans tend to forget that Mexico is a different country with different laws. This means that while your auto insurance policy may provide you protection throughout the U.S., it will likely serve no purpose in Mexico.

Since your coverage won’t extend south of the border, an accident might not be covered by your carrier, leaving you responsible for injuries and property damage. In addition to lacking liability coverage, your insurance carrier probably won’t be able to extend your comprehensive or collision coverage either. And while it may be hard to believe, you may also face criminal charges for failing to obtain proper Mexican auto insurance for the vehicle.

So, what does Mexican law say about auto insurance? It depends on the area, but in most parts of Mexico the law doesn’t specifically require drivers to carry liability insurance. Whether a Mexican citizen or a visiting tourist from another country, the only determination is that you carry “proof of financial responsibility.” This means you must be able to show that you have the resources to cover damages in the event of an accident.

In simpler terms, this means you must either be able to show you have enough money to pay the cost of damages or you carry auto insurance that is valid in Mexico. Even if you’re not at fault in the accident, you will likely still be required to show this proof of financial responsibility. According to Mexico law, the police will have the right to detain you until they can verify that you have the resources to cover damages. For this reason, you should look for a Mexican auto insurance policy that will also pay bail and legal fees as a part of coverage.

Buying and Using Your Mexican Auto Insurance

If you’re renting a car to drive to Mexico, the rental car company will give you the option of buying additional collision insurance. This may be wise, especially if there’s a long drive between your home and the Mexican border. However, once you reach Mexico, you will still need Mexican liability insurance at the very least. Mexican car insurance can either be purchased right at the border, or you may wish to buy it online, before you leave home. This will ensure you’re covered as soon as you get into the country.

In buying your Mexican auto insurance, make sure your policy is specific to vehicles with foreign plates. Also called tourist car insurance, these special policies cover cars that are registered in foreign countries. In this case, tourist car insurance would primarily cover vehicles registered in the United States or Canada.

Another option is to make your way to Mexico by other means and wait to rent a car, after you have crossed the border. By renting from a Mexican car rental company, you can be better assured that your auto insurance is valid in the country. You can buy basic liability coverage, or you can add on collision at an extra cost.

In selecting a Mexican insurance company, shop by looking at the ratings provided by either A.M. Best U.S., or Standard and Poor’s Insurance Rating. This will give you a snapshot or profile of each company, detailing their strengths and weaknesses. It is important to make sure the insurance provider you select is reputable. Even though your time in Mexico may be short, you don’t want to end up saddled with an auto insurance company that lacks good customer service or hassles clients about paying on claims.

It’s important that you understand the rules for using your Mexican car insurance, in case you are involved in an accident. For minor fender benders, it’s normal for those involved to settle the damages among themselves. Typically, this may not even involve a claim made to insurance providers.

However, for more serious accidents that result in injuries or extensive damage to the vehicles and/or other property, a claim must be filed. The insurer will send one of their adjusters to the scene, where both parties will have to wait. Once there, the insurance adjuster will investigate the scene just as a police officer would do. He will take photos, speak to witnesses, and gather statements. He will also confirm that both parties have proof of coverage for the police.

An Important Note on Getting Your Vehicle into Mexico

The Border Zone, or Free Zone, is a 20 to 30 kilometer stretch of land that extends from the border into Mexican territory. If you remain within this zone, you won’t need to do anything special. However, if you plan to travel deeper into Mexico, you’ll want to obtain a Vehicle Import Permit from the Mexico Federal Agency. If you fail to do this, customs officials will likely confiscate and impound your vehicle.

There are two exceptions to this requirement. Vehicles traveling within the Baja Peninsula aren’t required to obtain the special permit. Additionally, vehicles entering the country from the Nogales port of entry and remaining in the state of Sonora don’t require the permit.

The fee for the permit is $44 for any vehicle, plus Mexican taxes. The permit can be obtained online, through a consulate, or at the border. Additionally, a guarantee deposit is required for the return of vehicles to the United States. The guarantee will be refunded upon cancellation of the permit at the Banjercito offices, but it must be canceled before the permit is due to expire. The deposit varies, based on the year of the vehicle.

  • 2007 to newer models – $400
  • 2001 – 2006 – $300
  • 2000 – older models – $200

The deposit fees are in U.S. dollars and are refundable in the same form that they were submitted.

Taking a road trip to Mexico can be a great way to get away from the obligations of home and work. Careful planning and obtaining the needed insurance can help you plan a vacation that will go well and keep you protected. Just a few simple arrangements can ensure that your time in Mexico will be fun, rewarding, and free from hassle.

I Want to Go Parachuting but the Company Has This Huge Waiver. If I Sign It, Does That Mean I Lose My Rights?

So you want to go parachuting and have been handed a huge waiver by the company that offers these experiences. The company is protecting itself and attempting to ensure that they will not be held liable for any accident that may happen as you’re parachuting. When handed a large amount of paperwork, it’s understandable that you’re concerned about whether or not you’ll lose your rights if you end up signing these documents. This is why it’s important that you understand what these waivers entail and what options you may have if you do suffer from an injury when parachuting.

What Is a Liability Waiver?

If you’re wondering what a liability waiver is, it’s basically an agreement between you and the business providing you with the parachuting services. This agreement states that the company providing the service will not be held responsible in the event that you are injured while parachuting. It will likely state that they won’t be held responsible even if the injury was due to their own negligence. However, it’s important that you’re aware of the fact that these waivers only apply to what’s known as ordinary negligence.

There are two kinds of negligence that could result in injury: ordinary negligence and gross negligence.

Ordinary negligence can take place for any number of reasons, such as the malfunctioning of equipment or an environment that is somewhat unsafe. This type of negligence usually involves a small employee mistake which resulted in injury. This negligence can happen unintentionally, especially if the parachuting company was not aware of the risky conditions or potential hazards. Gross negligence is much more dangerous and is not covered by a liability waiver. It is defined as a total disregard by the company or its employees for your safety – which usually occurs when the company was aware of the dangers that caused the injury, but did nothing to fix the danger.

A liability waiver has a couple of clear purposes. It protects the company from liability when an injury occurs due to ordinary negligence. It is also documented proof that you’re aware of the risks associated with parachuting. The company will want to have this proof on hand in the event that you attempt to take them to court over an injury. A liability waiver is typically not something that you need to worry about, but being aware of all that the document entails will allow you to be more confident when you sign it.

What These Waivers Can Include

The thing about liability waivers that will likely make you hesitant to sign them is that you’re typically given one to sign right before you’re about to go parachuting. This means that you have only a small amount of time to read the entire document and make note of all of the small print if you want to go through with the activity. While you can definitely sit down and comb through the document when they hand it to you, it’s possible that you’ll risk missing out on getting the activity done in a timely manner.

You could also take the risk of signing it without reading it, especially if the company is known to be reputable, but this may not be a wise chance to take. This agreement is legally binding, so there are not many options open to you when attempting to file a suit or bring a claim against the company at a later date. However, with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, it may be possible for you to get the compensation that you deserve.

Legality of Liability Waivers

In most cases, the waiver you’ve signed before you go parachuting will be legal, but this depends on the exact terms laid forth in the document and how the document was presented to you. The legality of a waiver also largely depends on which state you live in, as some are more strict than others in the enforcement of these waivers. If the waiver was too direct in how it went about insulating the company from responsibility for any possible negligence, this could be a red flag. It could indicate that the company was aware of some danger or high chance of injury prior to you partaking in the activity. In this situation, the courts might not uphold the waiver.

There are some basic components of a waiver that you should look out for, as a waiver that includes all of the following aspects is likely legally binding. The waiver will need to be:

  • Written in a way that absolves the company of all liability, even if the injury was caused due to negligence.
  • Readily seen by the person signing it, which would be you. This means that all details will need to be clearly visible.
  • Written to follow all of the requirements set within state law. If it violates any of these laws, the waiver will likely not be legally binding.

Liability Waiver Limitations

If you’ve suffered from an injury after signing a waivers, don’t automatically assume that you have no legal recourse – as there are some possible loopholes that could apply to the document. For instance, the waiver could be written clearly but be too short to offer full protection from liability. If it’s too lengthy, it might be too complex for you to understand. These are things that a personal injury lawyer will be able to help you ascertain. If the risks of the parachuting activity that you are about to partake in aren’t precisely laid out in front of you by the company, the waiver may not be legally binding.

It’s also important to understand that the waiver will need to specifically mention each party that is protected from liability. If the person who you believe was responsible for your injury due to negligence is not listed in the waiver, legal grounds might be open. And as mentioned previously, if the injury was due to gross negligence as opposed to ordinary negligence, the company could still be liable. These are just a few of the ways in which legal options might be available to you.

Seeking Legal Options When An Accident Occurs

Due to the complexity of a liability waiver, you could still file a lawsuit against the individual or company that was at fault for your injury. If you wish to take your case to court, it’s highly recommended that you have a trained and experienced personal injury attorney to represent you, as these cases can be difficult to win.

Is It Really Safer to Fly on Planes Than to Drive?

Hearing about any problems on an airplane makes you think about the overall safety of flying. Sometimes, staying on the ground can seem like a much better plan. However, you must travel around your neighborhood and possibly across the nation at times. Flying is a common, and convenient option for most trips. If you look at the statistics, it’s actually safer to fly than it is to drive across town. Take a moment to understand the reasons behind this reality. It may not make sense in your mind until you compare driving and flying statistics and how they relate to each other.

Flying Requires Extensive Training

No pilot simply walks onto the job and starts flying a plane. They must have many hours of practice through a qualified flight school. These pilots might also come from military backgrounds so they know the basics of aerodynamics and physics. In contrast, car drivers have limited training. And they’re not monitored as closely as a pilot, which increases their chances of an accident on the road.

Airline pilots also go through continued training so that their skills remain fresh. Most car drivers will never take a class on safe driving once the required courses during their teenage years are complete.

Automating Systems on Multiple Levels

Pilots fly the airplanes, but there are many other systems that help out as well. Most airplane functions are automated. There are indicators in the cockpit that alert certain systems to automatically kick in when particular circumstances are present. Pilots don’t just rely on one, automated system either. There are several backup systems that cover the same operational area. Travelers don’t even notice that the plane is being flown by both the computer and the pilots.

When you drive a car, you’re relying on your reaction times. There may be some automation, such as blind-spot indicators, but you’re mainly in charge. For this reason alone, more accidents occur among drivers when compared to pilots.

Avoiding Weather Systems Is Easy

Take a drive one day, and a severe storm seems to appear out of nowhere. You have no choice but to drive through it or pull over. Accidents in poor weather are commonplace across the nation.

Now consider the tools that pilots have in the cockpit. They have precise forecasts of where each storm is located along their pathway. With storm clouds several miles away, the pilots can quickly calculate an alternative route for safety’s sake. It’s possible to avoid almost any weather with an airplane’s navigation tools. Fewer accidents are the result.

Learning from Previous Mistakes

The airline industry has seen its share of mechanical and human errors. With each new problem, the aeronautics industry learns from the situation. Several decades of improvements have culminated in an incredibly safe flying experience. There are so many checks and rechecks today that mistakes and miscalculations are nearly impossible.

Although vehicles today have many improvements, not every person has a new car. Human error and old vehicles make accidents more probable than flight issues. The airline industry simply has the resources to improve the machinery with very few older planes in the air today.

Piloting for Long Hours Prohibited

Scientists have seen the effects of sleep deprivation on people, especially pilots. Accidents occur more often with sleepy pilots. The airline industry has strict standards about sleep and flying. Pilots can only work a certain amount of time before they must rest.

These rules don’t apply to drivers on the road. You never know how much sleep the person next to you has gotten the night before – and a sleepy driver might doze off and strike your car at any time. These accidents are incredibly common on the road.

Co-Piloting Reduces Fatigue

Every pilot has a co-pilot so that turns can be taken as the flight continues. Both pilots take a break from the difficult task of flying the plane. This scenario reduces fatigue and limits accidents in the sky.

Driving a car might take several hours on the road, depending on your destination. It’s easy to get into an accident when you start daydreaming or dozing off. Switching drivers is the answer, but that situation doesn’t always occur at the right time.

Demanding Accountability in the Cockpit

The majority of people tend to drive their cars as solo drivers. They must make every decision on the road as an individual. Their decisions aren’t always correct. During flights, there are enhanced rules today. Every cockpit must have two pilots. They hold each other accountable for their actions. Regardless of the pilot’s rank, any decision can be challenged if one person believes it to be wrong. With this checks-and-balance system, fewer mistakes are possible in the sky.

Adding More Satellites Equals More Precise Flying

You might have a GPS system in your car that helps you find restaurants and other unfamiliar addresses. However, it doesn’t help you drive the car any better than before. Conversely, airlines have access to many satellites orbiting the Earth. The data runs through the plane’s system, which gives it precise coordinates. There might be fog outside of the plane, but the pilot can navigate through it by using satellites. Cars simply don’t have these capabilities so accidents are commonplace.

Enhancing Maintenance Checks

In the past, airlines ran their planes for as long as possible between maintenance checks. The airlines lose money when the planes aren’t in the air. However, past mistakes have taught the airlines that frequent maintenance checks actually save them money over time. Each plane has a strict schedule that it must adhere to when it’s operational. Minor issues are caught very quickly.

The same cannot be said for cars. Every person should maintain their vehicle, but that’s not always the case. As a result, accidents from mechanical failures are more common with cars than with planes.

Flying Is Wide Open

The number of planes in the air at any given time cannot compare to the vehicle density on the ground. Because there’s controlled flight traffic in the air, accidents rarely occur. Vehicles that are only a few car lengths away from each other can easily tap bumpers at some point. Traffic in the air will always be controlled with only a certain number of planes flying in the same area. They must have more space because of aerodynamics and other physical forces.

If you have a fear of flying, try to look at the phobia with an open mind. There may be other factors at play, such as the feeling of being trapped in an enclosed space or social anxiety. At this point, flying is one of the safest ways to travel today. Face your fears by remembering the real statistics surrounding flying and driving. Allowing the pilot to take you to a destination will always be a better choice.

5 Common Premises Liability Cases That You Should Know

Is there an instance that someone has incurred an injury on your premises? If none, you must be thankful because there are claims that exist when a premises liability case happens so that someone can have a settlement. Premises liability cases are incidents that cause someone to be injured in someone else’s place because of the owner’s negligence.  If you want to know what are the common premises liability cases that may happen, you can read the list below.

Here is the list of the common premises liability cases that you must need to know.

  1. Dog Bites

Dog bites are one of the most common and frequent premises liability case that happens to everyone. Dogs are always a man’s best friend and a faithful pet to everyone, but there are times that they can also harm everyone. If you are a dog owner, you must be responsible for taking care of your pets so that you can avoid this kind of case on your premises. You can put a leash on your pet to restrain it if you are planning a party and visitors will come, in this way you can avoid dog bites incidents.

  1. Restaurant Accidents

If you are a restaurant owner, you have a place that is open for accidents to everyone. To avoid accidents, you must ensure the safety of your customers by providing safety measures in your restaurant. You can put signs when the floor is wet to avoid slipping, you must have durable tables and chairs to avoid falls, and more importantly, you must keep securing a fire extinguisher in your place in case of fire. You must understand that a good businessman should offer a safe environment to his customers along with his services.

  1. Elevator Accidents

Elevators are commonly used by people in every establishment to provide convenience to everyone especially to people with disabilities. But with this advantages of using it, there are also risks that may occur. There are times that it does not function well because of technical difficulties and poor maintenance that may risk the safety of the users. There must be someone who will always check and comply with the maintenance and condition of the elevators to avoid accidents.

  1. Swimming Pool Accidents

When the summer comes, many people always spend their day in swimming pool and resorts. But you should also know that this place can also be perilous to everyone. Some accidents that may happen here are drowning, slipping and falls.  If you have this kind of business, you must ensure the safety and welfare of the people who come to your business. With this, you can avoid cases and claims that may occur.

  1. Amusement Park Accidents

The amusement park is the place where there are fun and happiness. Many people, especially children come to this place to enjoy and play, but there are also times that this place is can be dangerous to everybody. It is proven by the reports and incidents in the news because of the negligence of the business or property owner that result in these tragedies. Property owners should equip safety measures and provide adequate maintenance and repair to the rides. It should also be in good condition and tested by professionals before using it to avoid the risk of the lives of the people.

Now that you have this information, you now have the idea of what are the common premises liability cases and what you can do to avoid this. You must have safety measures in your place so that you can avoid accidents. In doing this, you can be assured that you ensure the safety of the people who come to your place and also, yourself. If you want to know more about premises liability cases, you can ask a legal expert.

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