When Your Child Gets Taken By An Alligator At A Theme Park Resort: Can You Sue?

Recently, in the news, a toddler was snatched by an alligator near a Florida theme park resort. The family was on vacation, and they lost their child to the natural dangers of this region. The question that many people might be thinking in this case is: Can the parents sue the resort and theme park for the loss of their child? Here is what a personal injury attorney might say about this situation (if and when it applies to you).

The Resort/Theme Park Should Post Warning Signs and Tell Guests to Be on Guard

First and foremost, the resort and/or theme park should make a habit of telling guests about the natural wildlife that inhabits the lakes and marshes surrounding the area. There should also be signs posted near the water's edge every few feet when dangerous animals like alligators are spotted there regularly. It the responsibility and "due diligence" of the resort and theme park to protect guests and prevent these catastrophes. Failure to do so is grounds for a lawsuit.

Guests Can Sue in These Situations

No doubt the family of this toddler are grieving heavily, but they can sue. The resort/theme park may have gone above and beyond when they killed and removed a half dozen alligators from the same lake in which the toddler was taken, but that does not bring back the child. (It may prevent other losses for other families, but the danger still lurks because no one knows for sure if the correct alligator was slain.) Ergo, you can sue in these kinds of cases for pain and suffering for your family and for your child, who may have suffered immensely. If the resort/ theme park also does not post warnings and/or warn families and guests at check-in, then you can sue them for negligence.

A Word about Countersuits

While it is in very poor taste, a countersuit by the resort or theme park may follow your attempt to sue them. If that happens, they may try to prove that the incident was entirely your fault because you should not have left your child alone near the water, or left him/her wander off. If such a suit is filed against you in your case, you may have a long, drawn-out trial that continually reopens wounds and causes you more grief. In the end, it may be best to offer (through your lawyer) a plea that gives you some restitution but does not upset the resort or theme park such that you have a painful battle ahead of you.

To learn more, contact a personal injury law firm like Putnam Lieb