Amusement Park Accidents
Each year in the United States, thousands of adults and children are injured in amusement park accidents.
Emergency room visits, medical care, and fatalities are not the topics that most people associate with places like Disneyworld, Six Flags, or Coney Island, but amusement park accidents do happen, and when they do, the victims should know their legal rights.
Millions of individual visits to amusement park rides go by without incident each year.
Although amusement park rides are generally very safe - some fans point out that they're safer than riding a bike or in a car - the safety data are of no comfort to someone who has been hurt - or worse, to someone whose child has been hurt - in an amusement park accident.
Where Accidents Happen
Amusement park accidents generally occur at/on one of the following:
- Fixed-site rides - the large amusement parks that draw thousands or millions of visitors each year
- Mobile amusement parks - the traveling carnivals that are set up for a few days or a week or two, with rides such as a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, whirligig, and roller coaster
- Inflatable rides - the "bouncy house" type of amusement, whether rented for private use or part of a larger public park; includes inflated slides, chutes, and obstacle courses
The owners and operators of the structures and equipment used for rides that are used by the public must adhere to a set of safety regulations that are usually set forth by the state.
Factors Involved in Amusement Park Accidents
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) keeps safety data regarding amusement park accidents, and they have categorized the factors involved as follows:
- Operator behavior - for example, stopping the ride abruptly, or improperly maintaining or assembling the ride
- Mechanical failures - broken welds or structural components, missing safety pins, malfunctioning lap bars or other safety restraints, exposed electrical wires, failure to shut off, a bungee cord breaking
- Consumer behavior - abandoning the safety restraints, sitting improperly, intentionally rocking cars, standing up, holding a child above the safety restraint
- Combination - for instance, the operator stops the ride very suddenly upon hearing the noise of a mechanical problem
The losses suffered by an individual or a family following a serious amusement park accident may be eligible for monetary compensation if the amusement park owner/operator is found liable for the injury. The liability (i.e., legal responsibility) for amusement park accidents and injuries may involve negligence or tort law , product liability law, and/or premises liability law.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The unique circumstances of each amusement park accident must be considered in any determination of liability. A qualified personal injury attorney can review your case and inform you of your legal options following an amusement park accident. Contact an attorney today to discuss your circumstances.
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