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Zip Line Operators May Soon Face Liability

A new bill is headed to the Governor’s desk. If it is signed into law, the bill would hold operators of zip lines liable for accidents and injuries on their courses. The state senate passed the bill unanimously. It is expected that the governor will add his signature.

Once made into law, Senate Bill 100 will require operators of zip lines and similar attractions to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage would be $1 million per incident or a total of $2 million. Zip line courses owned by the government or those that are not open to the public would be exempt.

Titled “Aerial Adventure Financial Responsibility,” the bill stems from a 2015 accident. After the accident, a study of zip line safety was conducted. It was found that zip lines would not be regulated like amusement park rides. The report said, in part, that increased regulations would not remove all risk or make the industry a safer one.

There are currently more than 100 zip lines in operation throughout the state. most are inspected at least yearly as part of insurance requirements, but, until now, none have been required to carry liability insurance. Once the governor signs the bill into law, that will change.

Common Zip Line Injuries

In 2012, a study found that there were about 10 injuries resulting from zip line accidents each day. Most injuries occur, according to experts, when people fall or crash into a stationary object. Broken bones are the most highly reported injuries. Others include sprains, concussions and bruises.

Some of the injuries occur on publicly accessed zip line sites, and some occur in people’s backyards. With the popularity of zip lines and the relative ease of purchasing the necessary equipment, many people are installing them on their own properties for the use of family and friends.

Zip Line Safety

It is suggested that anyone visiting a zip line attraction perform due diligence before strapping on any harnesses. Take a good look around the site to make sure that it seems legitimate. Listen to all rules and safety suggestions before taking off, and check your safety gear frequently over the length of the course.

People are also urged to know their own limits. If they are over the weight limit, have a heart condition or are pregnant, they should pass up the ride. While zip lines are certainly exciting, they are not designed for everyone.

If you are injured on a zip line or amusement park ride in Charlotte or elsewhere, you may be entitled to compensation if your injuries are due to someone’s error or negligence. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights.

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