b'GUEST VIEWHow to Respond to an Accident: Before, During and Aftertime to read it. If your general waiver/li- member as soon as possible. They should this direction in writing.ability release is on your payment re- fill out an accident form (sometimes pro- You should usually hold onto the in-ceipts, make sure that your employees vided by your insurance company) with formation collected and the offendingChristineknowitslocation,pointitouttothe as much detail as possible. Senior staff equipment until the statute of limitationcamper and make sure they read and should take pictures of the area in which for personal injury in your state passes.Taylor sign iteven if they have already paid the accident occurred; if there is a video This varies but is often in the range of onefor the campsite in full. camera, the footage should be saved. If to three years. It is good practice to holdAt the very least, this process puts the therewereanywitnessestheirstate- onto all liability waivers and releases forcustomers on notice and will make them ments should be taken, and contact in- the full statutory period. Even if you wereInevitablyasacampgroundowner, think twice about suing. Further, some formation should be acquired.not notified of an injury, a lawsuit mightthere will come a time when the dreaded insurancecompaniesrequireyouto Admit no fault to the injured person, show up later.occurrenceisboundtohappena gather waivers. Check in with your insur- offer medical care and call an ambulance if If after that time passes there is no law-camper or visitor allegedly gets hurt at ance company for their requirements. necessary. If the injured person is threaten- suit you can move on and will no longeryour campground. Whether it was in the It isnt just about the paperwork. To ing a lawsuit, immediately notify your in- be required to hold onto that evidence.waterpark, tripping on roots at a campsite, help build a defense in the event of a law- surance carrier. Some insurance carriers If a lawsuit is commenced against you,an old piece of playground equipment or suit you want to have created policies that want to be notified whenever there is an in- immediately contact your insurance car-falling down your store steps, there are demonstrate you did everything to ensure jury, regardless of the threat of legal action. rier. This is why you pay them; they hireseveralproceduresthatshouldbefol- the safety of your guests. First, start a After the lawyers to fight the case, whats re-lowed without fail. There are things you maintenance log for different amenities at Do not, under any circumstances, de- ferred to as insurance defense work. should have done prior to the incident to your park. Lets use a waterslide, for exam- stroy any photos, video or in some cases At this point, because you are properlyprotect yourself, things you should do ple. Have a written log that shows that the amenity that harmed the guest. In the prepared, you will now be your lawyerswhile the incident is occurring, and things daily your employees check the condition event of a lawsuit, such destruction can favorite client because you should haveyou should continue to do afterwards. of the waterslide and there are no obvious and will be considered spoliation of evi- all the information the lawyers need, theThe Before defects that need to be repaired. Train dence. Spoliation of evidence is the inten- physical evidence, statements, pictures,Any time a guest or camper enters your employees on how to check the wa- tional, reckless or negligent withholding, policiesandpaperworkthatsupportyour park you should have them sign a terslide for defects. If at any time a guest hiding, altering, fabricating or destroying your position.waiver. Although the intricacies and le- tells you there is an issue with the water- of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.galities of waivers vary by state, at the slide, document and fix it immediately. If This does not mean that you should Christine Taylor, a graduate of UCLAvery least a waiver demonstrates that the youareonnoticeofaconditionand not fix the issue so other people dont get School of Law, is an associate at Towne,camper or visitor is assuming the risk of choose not to fix it, you will have a harder hurt. You do need to remedy the thing Ryan and Partners, P.C., a law firm withthe activity. This helps you build the de- time building a defense if someone gets that caused the injury to avoid a repeat attorneys licensed in New York, Con-fense that the camper or visitor knew hurt. As always, check with your insurance performance. If it is a repair instead of a necticut, Vermont, Massachusetts andwhat they were getting into.company for special requirements. removal, take pictures and keep an ac- Washington D.C. Taylor has grown upYou should also have specific waivers The Accident count of the before-and-after from fixing in the camping industry; her family hasfor specific dangerous activities, such as In the event someone is injured, your the offending equipment. If you are re- owned three campgrounds in both thefiretruck rides or a jumping pillow. In ad- employees should already be trained on moving the equipment, keep it until you Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA)dition, if you are giving a waiver/release the steps to take following the incident. aretoldotherwisebyyourinsurance and Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-to a customer you must give them the The employees should alert a senior staff company. It is in your best interest to get Resort franchise systems. WCMWOODALLSCM.com October 2019-41'