Nevada law allows people injured at water parks to file lawsuits for money damages. Common accidents at Las Vegas water parks include slip-and-fall injuries, drowning injuries, food poisoning, negligent lifeguards, and water slide accidents.
Children, in particular, are prone to injuries at Las Vegas water parks. In a worst-case scenario, a water slide accident can lead to a claim under Nevada's wrongful death law.
To help you better understand lawsuits for water park injuries in Nevada, our Nevada personal injury lawyers discuss, below:
- 1. How do I prove a Nevada water park was negligent?
- 2. What duty of care does a Las Vegas water park owe its customers?
- 3. Common causes of Nevada water slide injuries
- 4. Who can I sue for my Las Vegas water park injury?
- 5. What damages can I get for a water park injury in Nevada?
- 6. Can I settle a claim against a Nevada water park on my child's behalf?
- 7. Water parks and Nevada's “Assumption of the Risk” doctrine
- 8. What if I was partially at fault for my water slide injury?
- 9. Notable water slide injury cases at Las Vegas water parks
Four elements need to be proved in order to win a negligence claim against a Nevada water park:
- The water park owed the patron a duty of care;
- The water park breached that duty;
- The breach was the legal cause of the patron's injuries; and.
- As a result of the breach, the patron suffered damages.1
Nevada premises liability laws require water park operators to maintain their parks in a reasonably safe condition. This duty extends to all areas of the park, including rides, concession stands, parking areas, bathrooms and walkways.
Nevada water parks have a duty of care to make sure their water slides are safe. They must also have emergency procedures in place in case of accidents.
In keeping with their duty of care, Las Vegas water parks must (without limitation):
- Inspect the rides and catch pools regularly,
- Keep their rides and pools in good repair,
- Ensure that water is adequately chlorinated,
- Provide enough life guards,
- Warn riders of rules and possible hazards, and
- Make sure riders don't “double tube” or exceed posted weight limits.
A Nevada water park's duty of care extends to all portions of the premises, including parking areas, walkways and concessions. Duties in these areas include (without limitation):
- Complying with food preparation safety standards,
- Cleaning up spills promptly,
- Maintaining adequate security,
- Providing adequate lighting throughout the park,
- Being able to provide reasonable aid in an emergency, and
- Complying with state and federal anti-discrimination laws.
Waterparks carry a unique set of risks, especially on waterslides. Common causes of injuries on Las Vegas water slides include:
- The raft picking up too much or too little speed due to a patron who exceeds the weight limits;
- Slip-and-fall accidents on wet surfaces;
- Rafts and other objects that get stuck in the tubes and later come loose and hit riders;
- Drowning and near-drowning accidents; and
- Small children slipping out from broken restraints or restraints designed for larger patrons.
Patrons injured on a water slide or at a water park in Nevada may have a claim against several parties. Potentially liable people and entities include:
- The water park's owner or operator,
- Park employees,
- The water park's managers,
- The hotel in which a water park is located,
- The parent company of the hotel or water park,
- The park's liability insurer, or
- A third-party company providing food or security for the water park.
Additionally, under Nevada's strict liability law for defective products, the designer or manufacturer of a defective water slide may also be liable for injuries.
For more information on who to sue, you may also wish to review our articles on:
- Nevada's respondeat superior (vicarious employer liability) doctrine, and
- Nevada's law on negligent hiring, retention and supervision of an employee.
Patrons who are injured at a Las Vegas water park may be able to recover Nevada compensatory damages for:
- Payment of medical bills,
- Long- or short-term care,
- Physical or occupational rehabilitation
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering, or
- Wrongful death.
In extreme cases, people injured on water slides may be able to recover additional sums under Nevada's punitive damages law.
Our Las Vegas accident lawyers offer free consultations to help you evaluate your claim and determine how much money you are entitled to after a water slide accident.
In Nevada, parents and legal guardians have the right to enter into out-of-court settlements on behalf of their minor children. This is known legally as the compromise of a minor's claim in Nevada.
A compromise of a minor's claims is not legally binding, however, unless and until it has been approved by the district court in:
- The county in which the minor resides, or
- If the minor is not a resident of Nevada, in the county where the claim was incurred.
Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys can help you negotiate a settlement for your child and petition the court to approve it.
Water park owners often try to avoid liability by raising Nevada's “Assumption of the risk” doctrine.
Under this legal defense, a person who voluntarily engages in a potentially dangerous activity in Nevada assumes the risk” of injury when:
- The person has actual knowledge of the risk involved in a conduct or activity;
- The person fully appreciates the danger resulting from the risk; and
- The person voluntarily accepts that risk.2
However, Nevada's “Assumption of the Risk” doctrine applies only to reasonably foreseeable risks. It does not cancel out a water park owner's obligation to make water slides and other attractions safe.
Courts follow a “modified comparative negligence” standard in Nevada. Under this standard, a plaintiff can recover for injuries as long as another party or parties was at least 50% responsible.
If you were partially at fault for a water slide accident, then as long as you were no more than 50% responsible, your damages will simply be reduced by the percentage for which you were at fault.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 4,200 people require emergency room treatment every year for injuries suffered on public waterslides. Such injuries include scrapes, concussions, broken limbs, spinal injuries and drowning or near-drowning injuries.
Both adults and children are injured in water parks. However, children are more likely to be involved in fatal or near-fatal accidents on water slides.
For instance, in 2015 a 6-year-old boy suffered a catastrophic brain injury after a near-drowning in a wave pool at Cowabunga Bay water park in Henderson. The boy had no pulse and had to be revived by CPR. The boy requires round-the-clock care and is unable to speak, bathe or feed himself. A lawsuit against Cowabunga Bay for the boy's injuries is still ongoing.
And the Wet 'n' Wild water park in Las Vegas was sued in 1997 when a 9-year-old girl died a week after being pulled unconscious from the wave pool. The park was eventually cleared or wrongdoing. However, another lawsuit from that year accused Wet n' Wild of liability for a child's broken hip after the child fell while climbing out of the catch pool at the bottom of a water slide.
Injured at a water park in Las Vegas? Call us for help…
If you or someone you know was injured at a Las Vegas water park, we invite you to call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. For California cases, please visit our page on lawsuits for waterslide and waterpark injuries.
You may be entitled to significant compensation for your water slide or other injury.
And know that we will never charge you a dime unless and until you win or settle your case.