Vacations are something everyone looks forward to, as it is a time for relaxing and having fun. It’s not pleasant to even think about it, but do you know your legal rights should you be injured while on vacation?
You have a legal right to be covered by a tourist facility’s insurance
Tourist establishments are required to maintain four types of liability insurance to cover visitors on their property and who use their facilities: premises liability, product liability, negligence liability and wrongful death liability.
Premises Liability Insurance: This type of insurance requires the owner or operator of a public premise to maintain a reasonably safe environment. Examples of maintaining safe conditions include such things as providing guardrails on a sightseeing cruise ship, and ensuring dry floors in a store.
- Product Liability: A zip line, for example, that malfunctions with a resultant visitor injury can hold liable manufacturers and distributions of defective products and inadequate warnings of risk.
- Negligence Liability: A tourist facility’s staff can be held liable for not acting with reasonable care to ensure the public’s safety. Examples of this type of negligence can include ignoring reports of hazardous situations, failure to provide security for the establishment, or not maintaining on-site medical staff.
- Wrongful Death Liability: In the tragic circumstance of someone losing their life because of an accident at a tourist establishment, close relatives may recover damages for
You may not have a legal right to be covered by a tourist facility’s insurance
There are instances when you may not have a legal right to be covered by a tourist facility’s insurance.
- When the Statute of Limitations Tolls: All jurisdictions have a time limit by which a claim or a lawsuit must be filed. If someone tries to collect or file a personal injury lawsuit after the time deadline (after the statute of limitations tolls), the victim will have no recourse. (There are instances when the statute of limitations can be extended, but they are not very common.)
- When you Sign a Waiver of Liability: Some tourist establishments require that you sign a waiver of liability if the activity in which you are to engage is inherently dangerous. Examples of such activities can include sky diving, rock climbing, or any type of extreme sport. By signing such a waiver, you may be barred from making a claim or filing a lawsuit against the facility in the event of an injury. However, there are some instances when a waiver of liability can be challenged.
- Substantive Law Defenses: This type of legitimate law defense on the part of the tourist establishment defines certain limitations of an individual’s rights. An example of this defense is when a person has a previous injury, such as a neck injury, and reinjures it participating in an activity at the facility. He or she may be barred from collecting on a claim or may receive a reduce settlement due to contributory negligence and assumption of risk (knowing he or she was going into a situation that could put them at risk).
What are some of the most common activities that cause personal injuries?
Based on the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which compiles emergency room visit statistics, the following are some of the most common activities causing personal injuries.
- Amusement park rides
- Playing soccer, baseball, volleyball or softball
- Bicycle riding
- Riding an ATV
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Engaging in water sports
Here’s hoping that every vacation you take is injury-free, but if you or a loved one are injured at a tourist establishment, contact a personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights.
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If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please contact me.
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