In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs released the first of a series of novels, Tarzan of the Apes. In this delightful story which has captivated readers and inspired additional books and movies, the main character is depicted as a strong man capable of swinging through rainforests, covering hundreds of feet in mere seconds. Today, one of the ways that someone can get a taste of that experience is to go ziplining.
Like any other outdoor activity or sport, owners and operators of ziplines are busy researching and building lines that are longer, stronger, taller, and faster than ever before, which of course, puts more riders at risk than ever before.
Woman Falls 35 Feet To Her Death
Just recently, a 59-year-old woman who had decided to go on a zipline course because she was crossing off items on her bucket list, fell almost 40-feet to the ground below. She was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. An investigation is being performed into her accident to determine why she fell.
This victim is not alone.
Study Shows Sharp Increase In Accidents
In 2015, a study released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy reviewed data from 1997 to 2012.
According to their findings, nearly 17,000 accidents involving ziplines that resulted in injuries took place during those 15 years. But what was more disturbing was that 70% of the accidents took place in just the final four years, between 2008 and 2012, showing a sharp increase in the number of issues with ziplines.
Sadly, almost 80% of the victims in these cases were children.
What Causes Zipline Accidents?
The majority of all accidents involve either the participant falling from the line or striking a tree or object. But how could this happen? Causes may include:
- A faulty steel line.
- A defective or poorly maintained harness.
- A defective or poorly maintained pulley system.
- Safety devices that aren’t correctly put into place.
- A poorly designed course.
- New growth on trees that hasn’t been observed and cut back.
Whatever the cause of the accident, the fact is that most victims, if they survive, sustain very serious injuries, including:
- spinal damage
- traumatic brain injury
- fractured bones
- dental damage
- internal organ damage
Adult or child, these injuries can be life-changing and most families are unprepared for those changes, especially financially. So, how can they get the care they need without becoming destitute?
Zipline Lawsuits Also On The Rise
Sometimes, the only way to obtain the financial coverage that a victim needs to get the proper medical treatment is to file a zipline accident lawsuit. Benefits that may be available to the plaintiffs include:
Medical care, even with great insurance, isn’t cheap and insurance companies do everything they can to ensure that their payouts are small, saving the business money. Victims often find that they are in thousands of dollars of debt and still in need of care.
Nearly everyone has had a dream where they are falling and can do nothing to stop themselves but few have actually experienced it. Those that have are often left with PTSD, nightmares, anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. Although therapy can help, it is also expensive and not frequently covered by insurance.
Some injuries can be healed, leaving no trace of former damage, but many cannot. If the victim is scarred, disfigured, or left with chronic pain, they may recover compensation for this.
Injuries take a lot of time to heal and if the body part that was hurt is required for the victim’s chosen career, they won’t be able to return to work. If the damage is significant and permanent, that career and all the years of study and experience may suddenly become irrelevant.
Can I Sue If I Signed A Release Waiver?
Yes, it may be possible to file a lawsuit even if you signed a waiver. This is because, regardless of the waiver, zipline owners and operators are still responsible for providing the proper safety equipment and maintaining their property.
In addition to this, lawsuits can be filed against multiple defendants. So, for example, if the reason the victim fell was because of a defect in the harness used on the line, the designer and/or manufacturer of that harness may also be held legally responsible.
How Can I Afford To Hire An Attorney?
Our team fully understands how stressful the idea of working with a lawyer may be. You’re already drowning in debt and now you have to think about paying for legal counsel.
That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we discuss all of our fees up front and then, only when you obtain compensation, do we get paid. If we don’t win your case, we get nothing. This way you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
How Long Until I Recover Compensation?
There is no simple answer to this question. Lawsuits, at the very least, take several months. Our team needs time to investigate, collect evidence, speak with witnesses, and do research. In addition to this, if a settlement cannot be reached, the courts will need to schedule a trial date.