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Personal injury severity at theme parks often understated

Major theme parks in Florida like those run by Universal, SeaWorld and Disney must report incidents that led to the hospitalization of guests for 24 hours or more to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The latest report, covering personal injury incidents for the period April through June, was recently released by the state. Some people believe that the severity of the injuries reported is often understated.

The quarterly report includes 15 incidents that sent theme park visitors to the hospital. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld Orlando reported one incident each while Universal reported five, and Disney World, eight. Typical reports indicate pre-existing conditions, fainting and dizziness. However, these conditions would have to be quite significant to justify hospitalization for 24 hours or more.

Although one report indicated a hip fracture suffered by a 69-year-old female guest, most other incidents describe people becoming ill, passing out and feeling dizzy. Reportedly, a life-changing injury suffered by an 11-year-old boy was recorded as foot pain. In reality, the boy's leg was crushed. It left him with fractures in both his lower leg bones, along with several broken bones in his ankle, foot and toes. After multiple surgical procedures, it is not yet clear how these injuries may affect his growth.

As in the case of this child, a personal injury at a theme park that is recorded by the facility as minor could lead to long-term health consequences. It could also bring about unanticipated medical costs and the loss of future earning ability. Such injuries could also adversely affect the victim's level of life enjoyment. All these financial and emotional damages might be recoverable with the help of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who can navigate a premises liability lawsuit on behalf of the victim.

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