People love to get a fright, and that’s one reason amusement parks are so popular. The thought of what could happen is part of the thrill when you step aboard any high-flying, twisting, whirling and plummeting amusement ride. Although it’s all in good fun, recent reports of people getting hurt or even killed at theme parks are cautionary tales for thrill-seekers. If you have experienced the living nightmare of a theme park accident, you need level-headed legal representation to help you pick up the pieces.
What Qualifies as a Theme Park Accident?
An amusement park is a commercial location which includes rides, games, food booths and other attractions for the entertainment of its patrons. A theme park is an amusement park that is centered on a specific theme, such as Legoland or Sea World. These parks have a permanent location. While they may not pose as high a risk of injury as itinerant carnivals where workers assemble and disassemble the rides multiple times per season, theme parks nevertheless do have safety risks. Some of the injuries people can sustain at a theme park include:
- Strain or sprain of the neck
- Stroke resulting from neck trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Death from falling
In one widely reported theme park accident in Kansas City, a young boy was decapitated on a water slide while in another fatal accident in a Florida theme park, an alligator snatched and killed a toddler.
Causes of Theme Park Tragedies
Nearly 40,000 injuries requiring emergency care are linked to theme parks and traveling carnivals in 2016, as reported by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. Fatalities are far rarer, but they do occur. The leading causes of theme park accidents include:
- Faulty or poorly maintained equipment
- Operator inattention or error
- Intentionally unsafe operation of the ride
- Risky behavior by patrons
- Normal operation of the ride
When the negligence or intentional actions of park management and ride operators are causal factors in an injury accident, someone is liable for your damages, and you likely have good cause for legal action. However, if you ignore safety rules or engage in risky behavior that leads to an injury, such as standing up on a moving roller coaster, you are responsible for the damage that results. Similarly, if you have a medical condition that a ride could exacerbate, you are responsible for avoiding it.
Dos and Don’ts Following an Accident
Theme parks have to have hefty insurance coverage because even in the most well-run establishment, amusements carry risks. However, you should not be quick to accept an insurance settlement without the advice of an attorney. You need a clear idea of your current and future injury-related expenses as well as such intangible costs as pain and suffering. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying out-of-pocket and going into debt. Your theme park injury lawyer will look after your best interests in any insurance settlement negotiations or court appearances.
Contact Rizio Law Firm for Help in Southern California
If you or a loved one are the victims of an amusement park accident, get in touch with us today at Rizio Law Firm of Riverside and Orange County, Cal., to arrange your free initial visit. We have built our reputation on caring, comprehensive representation for people just like you. Call us at 1-888-292-8888, or submit our contact form to get started.