In 2022, 17 million people visited Disney World in Florida, making it the most visited theme park in the world.
Planning a vacation to Disney is fun and exciting. The anticipation mounts for everyone in the family as the day gets closer. When you embark, your plans probably don’t have much to do with accidents and injuries.
Unfortunately, not all vacations are problem-free. If you sustain an injury while visiting, it may be possible to recover compensation.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, our amusement park accident law attorneys can review your case and determine what caused the injury. We can then provide advice on your legal rights to pursue compensation. Learn more about accidents at Florida parks here.
Most Common Accidents at Disney
Since its opening in 1971, 63 people have died in 61 incidents at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Around 35% of these were due to natural causes rather than park-related accidents.
While shocking, one way to prevent fatal or serious accidents at Disney is to know some of the most common causes. These include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall incidents are one of the most frequent accidents at Disney parks. Many visitors find themselves on the ground due to wet floors from spilled drinks or rain.
- Ride Malfunctions: Though rare, ride malfunctions do occur. These incidents can lead to injuries, whether a mechanical issue or operator error.
- Food Poisoning: With numerous dining options available, food poisoning can occur. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, affecting not just the ill individual but potentially ruining the trip for their group.
- Heat-Related Illnesses: Florida’s hot and humid climate poses a risk for heat-related illnesses like heatstroke and dehydration, especially for visitors not accustomed to such conditions.
- Collisions and Bumps: Given the many people navigating the park, physical collisions between visitors are common. Whether it’s a child running into an adult or a collision between two people looking at their maps, these incidents can lead to minor injuries like sprains or bruises.
Awareness of these common accidents can help you navigate Disney parks in Florida more safely and know what steps to take if you are in an unfortunate situation.
Common Injuries Seen After an Accident at Disney World
As you can see, several accidents may occur while spending time at Disney World. These accidents can result in several injuries, including the following:
- Sprains and Strains: Falls and collisions often result in sprains and strains affecting wrists, ankles, or other joints. Immediate swelling and pain are usually the primary symptoms.
- Fractures: Fractures are another common injury, whether from a ride malfunction or a bad fall. Broken bones require immediate medical attention and can have long-term implications.
- Concussions: Head injuries are serious and can occur from various accidents, such as ride malfunctions or slips and falls. Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, and confusion.
- Food Poisoning Symptoms: As mentioned, food poisoning is not uncommon and can result in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration, requiring medical treatment for fluid replacement.
- Heat-Related Issues: Heatstroke and dehydration are prevalent due to Florida’s climate. Symptoms often include fatigue, extreme thirst, and fainting.
Understanding the common injuries at Disney World and other theme parks will help you avoid them. This knowledge will also ensure you know what to do if these injuries occur.
Legal Aspects to Consider
Any situation in which you or your family is injured can be stressful. However, the stress of the injury and required medical treatment is not the end of the situation.
If the accident and injury were caused by negligence, you can file a lawsuit to recover your losses. For many, the legal process seems complex and confusing, which is where a premises liability lawyer can be helpful. They can provide help and guidance through the legal process, including explaining the different legal aspects of your case that may exist.
In Florida, property owners are legally obligated to maintain a safe environment. This is the state’s premises liability law. If you are injured because of unsafe conditions at the park that should have been managed, you likely have a valid claim.
Comparative Negligence in Florida
Florida follows a pure comparative negligence system. If you’re partially at fault for the injury, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you ignored a safety guideline on a ride and suffered an injury, a court may find you 40% at fault. That percentage would then reduce your total damages.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years from the date of the injury. If you plan to file a lawsuit for an accident at Disney World, you must meet this deadline. Failing to do so will likely result in your case being dismissed.
The Aftermath of an Accident
After an accident, it can be hard to think and focus on what to do next. Thinking about the right steps will help you protect evidence and your right to recover compensation.
- Seek Medical Attention: The first and foremost action is to seek medical help. Even if the injury seems minor, documentation from a healthcare provider can serve as vital evidence later.
- Document the Incident: Take photos of the accident scene, including any hazards contributing to the injury. These can serve as evidence when making your case.
- Collect Witness Information: Take down their contact information if there are any witnesses. Their testimonies can provide a third-party account of what transpired, strengthening your case.
- Reporting the Incident to Park Authorities: Report the accident to Disney’s park authorities. Fill out an accident report if available, but avoid making statements that could be construed as admitting fault.
Protecting Your Rights After an Accident at Disney World
A visit to Disney World should be a fun and exciting experience. However, accidents can (and do) happen. Being prepared and knowing the most common accidents and injuries will help you protect your right to compensation.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, we are here to help with your personal injury case. Our team can review your situation and determine if you have a viable claim. The first step is to call our office to schedule a free consultation.