Going to the zoo can be a fun outing for residents of Norfolk and Virginia Beach and individuals here for business or vacation. However, visitors can suffer serious injuries in a premises liability accident if the zoo owner fails to maintain the property in a safe condition. Here, we explain the leading reasons these accidents occur and what to do to protect your right to compensation if you suffered injuries at the zoo.
Four Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents at the Zoo
In order to obtain compensation for their injuries, victims of a zoo accident must prove that the zoo owner breached their duty of care to them. Here are the top ways zoo owners’ negligence results in injury accidents:
- Zoo animals. An animal can attack a patron if guests are allowed easy access into the cage or the animal escapes their enclosure. While these accidents do occur, they are rarer than other types of premises liability accidents.
- Defective equipment. If seats, tables, viewing decks, playground equipment, rides, or other equipment at the zoo are not regularly inspected or repaired, a guest could suffer a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, or a spinal injury in an accident.
- Slip and fall. A slip and fall accident can happen due to spills of food and drink, water in restrooms, cracks in pavement and sidewalks, and other dangerous conditions when zoo staff fail to remove the hazard or post a warning sign quickly.
- Food poisoning. A guest can become seriously ill if they suffer from food poisoning after consuming food at the zoo.
Five Steps to Take to Protect Your Right to Compensation for Your Injuries
You need to take action right after your accident to protect your right to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Here are five steps that will help you build a winning case:
- Get immediate medical care for obvious injuries. Even if you do not believe you were hurt or suffered serious injuries, you should be examined by a doctor within 48 hours to protect your health and avoid disputes with the insurance company.
- File an accident report immediately. This will put the zoo owner on notice that you have a potential claim for compensation and help document that you were injured in an accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Obtain contact information for the zoo owner, their insurance company, and any eyewitnesses who saw your accident occur.
- Retain an experienced premises liability accident attorney as soon as possible. They can collect the evidence you need to prove your case and fight with the insurance company so that you receive what you are entitled to in your settlement.
Were you or a family member injured in an accident at the zoo or in another premises liability accident? Call our Norfolk office to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your options and how we can assist you.