Car Accidents In and Around Theme Parks: Who Has Jurisdiction?
Those of us who live around theme parks are probably not surprised that car accident attorneys in Orlando spend a lot of time dealing with crashes involving tourists. Since theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios seem to be their own municipalities in many ways, it may ultimately lead to confusion about who to contact in the event of a car accident. These questions are well-warranted, considering the fact that Disney World is not actually part of Orlando, but is instead its own incorporated area called Reedy Creek Improvement District.
In trips to Disney World, you may have noticed that there is an abundance of law enforcement officers present, which can lead to further confusion about jurisdiction inside or around the park. Read more below to understand how law enforcement works in Disney World in particular, and theme parks in general, below, and how to handle a car accident if you are involved in one.
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Does Disney World Have a Police Force?
Disney World does not have their own police force, and instead hires off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s and Florida Highway Patrol officers to provide protection in the park. The Orlando Police Department does not have any jurisdiction inside the park, since Reedy Creek Improvement District is its own municipality, but there is a technical explanation as to why the Highway Patrol and Orange County Sheriff’s Department does have authority.
When a Sheriff is patrolling inside Disney World, they are being paid for extra duty by the park, as well as for the use of their cruiser. They work in tandem with the Disney internal security team, but the internal security team does not have the power to arrest people. In these cases, the arrest will be handled by a Law Enforcement Official who is contracted by the park, or a responding officer from either Orange County Sheriff’s Office or the Florida Highway Patrol.
Who Should I Call After a Car Accident In a Theme Park?
Since there is a lot of technical understanding required to figure out who does and does not have jurisdiction inside or near a theme park, it is best that you first call 911 to report any injuries and hazards, and then contact the park directly if you are able to. While jurisdiction issues may be complicated, you must remember that any injured victims will need medical attention from a nearby hospital, which will absolutely not have anything to do with the theme park.
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If there is an issue with jurisdiction on the other end once you call 911, the professionals who you are in contact with will be able to determine the most appropriate course of action. The most important thing to do is get in contact with any possible responders to make sure that the scene is safe and secure as quickly as possible.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident In a Theme Park?
If you were injured in a car accident in or around a theme park in Orlando, you absolutely have the same rights you would if you were somewhere else. This means that if your situation would qualify you to seek personal injury damages elsewhere, you have the same rights and options inside the park. You may actually have an easier time building a case inside a theme park, since security is such a major priority.
Your attorney might be able to contact the park and get recordings of your accident, which will be a huge help for your argument — especially if there is any question about who was at fault.