Each summer, millions of American families seek thrilling vacations at amusement parks, water parks, carnivals, and local fairs. These destinations offer something for the whole family, including fun carnival games, performances, roller coasters, bumper cars, and more. While a good scare and adrenaline rush is an important part of any good thrill ride, we trust that these dangers are only imagined. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every year, innocent victims get injured due to amusement park negligence.
Common Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks have a duty to follow strict safety rules and regulations in order to keep their guests safe. Sometimes these rules are broken due to employee carelessness, and visitors end up getting hurt. Common examples of amusement park accidents which can lead to serious injuries include:
- Slip and fall accidents – Amusement park staff should clear any slip and fall hazards (such as spilled liquids, obstructions in walking paths, etc.) within a reasonable amount of time.
- Ride operator mistakes – Such as not securing passenger seatbelts or not stopping the ride properly
- Falling objects – Maintenance workers who are conducting work from high elevations should make sure tools are properly secured so they don’t fall and injure park guests.
- Defective rides – Rides need to be thoroughly inspected and maintained on a regular basis to prevent serious accidents, such as safety belts malfunctioning, roller coaster cars veering off the tracks, etc.
In a well-run and safely operated amusement park, the risk of injury should be next to nothing. If you’ve been involved in an amusement park, carnival, or local fair accident, there is a good chance the accident could have been prevented but not for negligence. You should strongly consider meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Can I Sue An Amusement Park For My Injury?
In order to file a lawsuit, you must prove that your accident and injuries resulted from negligence. Negligence is a failure to meet a duty of care, or a responsibility to follow safety rules in order to keep guests safe.
Amusement Park Negligence
Amusement parks are legally responsible for the actions (or inactions) of their employees. These employees represent the park and they owe a duty of care to all park guests. If an employee breaches this duty by acting negligently and someone gets hurt, then the injury victim may file a lawsuit against the park.
Examples of amusement park negligence include:
- Improperly operating a ride
- Failing to post warning signs for guests whose conditions could be affected by a ride (i.e. heart conditions)
- Inadequately trained ride operators
- Equipment which is improperly maintained or not maintained often enough
- Ride inspections aren’t done frequently enough
- Failing to provide proper safety instruction to riders
It may not always be immediately clear what caused an amusement park accident, but there are very few cases in which some form of negligence was not involved. If you or a loved one was injured in one of these accidents, a reliable personal injury law firm can help investigate the details of your incident and help you plan for a lawsuit.
Some amusement park accidents occur not because of employee or park negligence, but because of defective rides or ride components. In these cases, lawsuits may be brought against the manufacturer for product liability.
Examples of product liability in amusement parks include:
- Structural and design defects in rides
- Defective safety equipment, such as lap bars
In order to successfully receive compensation for product liability, your legal counsel will need to prove that your injury was the direct result of a defective product.
How Common Are Amusement Park Injuries?
Amusement park injuries are more common than you might think, but the statistics are incomplete. There are no state or federal agencies in charge for overseeing amusement park safety and the regulations vary between regions. A 2011 study by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) revealed that at least 1,204 people were injured on amusement park rides that year. However, less than half of the nation’s parks responded to the survey and many others provided incomplete data. The number of injury victims is likely higher than this report suggests.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
Many injury victims may not be aware of their right to sue the park for damages related to their injury. It’s important to realize that guest safety should be the #1 priority for any amusement park. Injury victims and the surviving families of those killed in fatal accidents deserve to be compensated when a park fails to meet their duty to keep guests safe.
Lipsig’s personal injury lawyers take pride in standing up for people who have had their lives disrupted by preventable injuries. You spent your hard-earned money to provide an enriching amusement park experience for your family, and there is no excuse for the park’s failure to keep you all safe. We’re prepared to investigate the cause of your accident and hold parks and manufacturers of defective products liable for the damages they’ve caused.
If you think you may have a case, we’d love to hear your story. We offer free consultations and only require payment if we win for you. This allows our clients to pursue claims without worrying about financial setbacks. Contact us today for help acquiring the compensation you need and deserve.