What happens when what was supposed to be one of the most exciting experiences of your life takes a rapid turn for the worse? If you were riding on a zip line, then your sudden accident might prove devastating.
Ziplining accidents are more frequent than many people assume, and from paralyzing injuries to deaths, their consequences are no joke. Making a proper recovery takes time, money, and legal understanding. Not all victims have such resources at their disposal. Fortunately, talking to a compassionate ziplining accident attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLLC could hold the clues to your healing journey.
The Realities of Ziplining Accidents
Ziplining is inherently risky, but not just because it typically takes place high above the ground. Although most people are rightfully wary of falling from zip lines, riders also run the risks of other severe mishaps.
For instance, in July 2019, a model broke her pelvis and ended up wheelchair-bound after running into a tree when a billionaire investor's private zipline failed to brake properly. As ziplining grows in popularity and more people create their own DIY or consumer versions, the dangers of riding faulty or improperly operated equipment also increase.
Ziplining accidents can also cause harm that's notoriously hard to spot. After a mother suffered a hard landing on a zip line ride during a trip to the Dominican Republic, she experienced persistent back pain. The victim sought medical care upon returning to her home in Puerto Rico, but she was unable to afford a recommended MRI due to her lack of insurance, and she later died. Although this case may have involved other medical factors as well, it's yet one more example of sightseers dying following ziplining excursions. In some cases, such as that of a now-deceased Canadian who plunged to his death in Thailand, the companies involved in operating zip lines have track records of prior tourist injuries and fatalities caused by operator negligence.
Riders aren't the only ones at risk from lax practices either. In May 2019, a 29-year-old zip line operator in Maui fell some 150 feet to her death after being knocked off the platform by an incoming rider. Although lawmakers responded by moving to introduce stricter safety rules for workers, such as mandating they wear tethers when aloft, the message is clear for anyone who risks their life around these dangerous attractions: Zip lines have a long way to go before they're even reasonably safe.
Understanding the Aftermath of a Ziplining Accident
Ziplining proponents might be quick to point out that the vast majority of people never get hurt. Such statistics offer little comfort, however, to those who end up with debilitating wounds and the surviving families of victims.
It's hard to anticipate what kinds of injuries someone might sustain in a zip line accident, but looking at the facts paints a clearer picture of the potential for harm. According to firms that sell zip lines and other high-altitude amusement gear, operators commonly make several mistakes without even realizing the error of their ways, such as
- Failing to use emergency stoppage devices,
- Relying on staff members to manually engage braking systems,
- Neglecting to conduct inspections of equipment between uses,
- Improperly mitigating sag in long zip lines, and
- Not installing the proper impact brakes or systems that mitigate injury potential by keeping riders oriented facing forward.
With participants traveling at speeds that may exceed 25 mph, these seemingly minor mistakes have vast ramifications. Depending on which errors your operator committed, the harm you suffer may look completely different from what happened to another victim who rode the same device. In other words, no solution is guaranteed to work for everyone. It's vital to find legal representatives that can get to the heart of your case and dig up the details you need to fight for justice.
The Legal Hurdles Commonly Association With Ziplining Injury Claims & Lawsuits
Accidents that occur during tourism and adventure activities also pose unique legal challenges. People love zip lines because they offer chances to explore diverse landscapes and destinations at breathtaking speeds. Most professionally operated versions, however, tend to share one particularly troubling characteristic — their use of waivers.
Waivers let companies reduce their exposure to legal liability risks. These forms accomplish this by placing some of the onus for responsible behavior, such as not riding while overly intoxicated or disobeying staff instructions, on the consenting rider. The problem is that they don't effectively reduce the harms caused by operator negligence, faulty equipment, or improper action.
For instance, even though a liability waiver might ask you to confirm that you don't suffer from any of the numerous health hazards that should stop you from riding, it's not as if there's a medical doctor onsite at every attraction to give you a once-over first. Instead, you have to take it on faith that the waiver properly explains the risks. This misconception may imbue you with a false sense of security as you consider what amounts to a massive gamble.
Waivers and private ownership can also confuse legal perspectives. Does signing a consent form mean that you give up your right to sue a bad operator after an accident or place you at the mercy of an unfair arbitration clause? When you go for a spin on your neighbor's backyard line and fall, should you take them to court or sue the product manufacturer? The answers aren't always clear, but when you're facing life-threatening injuries, getting informed is integral to getting better.
Exercise Your Rights With the Help of a Ziplining Accident Lawyer
Contrary to what ride operators or private property owners might have you believe, living with the sad aftermath of a zip line accident isn't your only recourse. From thoroughly examining business track records to exploring premises liability laws and alternate legal avenues for filing lawsuits, attorneys may be able to uncover options that power your healthier recovery. Why not take on the healing process at a happier pace?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experience representing individuals and families in catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a ziplining accident, we invite you to contact our law firm today for a free review of your legal rights and options for pursuing a financial claim.