How to Get Hurt at a National Park


Throwing caution and common sense into the wind, disobeying rules, and disregarding warnings are great ways to get injured at a National Park this summer. When proper warnings are not provided or enforced and unsafe conditions result in injury or death, victims may have a claim for damages if an injury lawyer can demonstrate that negligence by other visitors or park personnel was involved.

A Great Safety Record

On average, only 0.57 percent of visitors suffer a serious injury or death during their visit to a National Park. Considering that in 2017, over 330 million visitors passed through the fifty-nine National Parks, that’s an outstanding safety record.

A family vacation to a National Park brings with it excitement and the promise of adventure. Most visitors enjoy their stay and return home with fond memories of their experience in a National Park. For the unwary, it can also include unexpected dangers.

Despite the National Park Service’s excellent safety record, each year there are people killed or severely injured during their visit. Many of these injuries could be avoided by exercising caution and obeying park rules.

Wild Animals are Wild

Approaching grizzly bears, alligators, or other wild animals is one way to get hurt at a National Park. Still, there are those who seem determined to tempt fate for the sake of a photo opportunity, putting their lives or their family in danger.

Not Obeying Warnings and Signs

Despite signage and warnings, two or three people a year die from falls into the Grand Canyon. Each park has its hazards, and the National Park Service goes to great lengths to identify and mark the dangers for visitors. Those who ignore them risk injury or death.

Exceeding Personal Capabilities

Each year people die or are injured because they swim too far from shore, drive too fast on park roads or hike beyond their endurance in rough terrain. Exceeding personal capabilities is a common cause of injury and death in National Parks.

Using Common Sense

An injury lawyer may not be able to help when injuries are the result of a person’s failure to follow the rules and common sense safety precautions. When injuries do occur from the negligence of others, courts may award damages to the victims.