Who is Liable for Amusement Park Injuries?
Trips to amusement parks can be a lot of fun for the whole family. Kids love being able to go on rides and play games and there are lots of ways for adults to have fun, too. In the best circumstances, a day at an amusement park becomes a fond memory. But there are times when a fun day at an amusement park can end with a trip to the emergency room or even in death.
Every year, thousands of people are seriously injured on amusement park rides. According to the US Consumer Product Commission, mobile amusement rides caused about 2,500 injuries that needed treatment at an emergency room in 2004. And those were just injuries caused by mobile rides at places like carnivals, not permanent rides installed at places like Cedar Point.
The fun of amusement park rides comes in giving people the thrill and exhilaration of doing things like going down steep inclines at a high rate of speed, but they’re supposed to do so in a way that keeps people out of real danger. However, to keep people out of harm’s way, amusement parks have a responsibility to make sure their rides are properly maintained and are operated very carefully. If they fail to do either of those things, that’s when the possibility of danger becomes very real.
When amusement park rides are poorly maintained, it can result in a mechanical issue that puts riders at risk for injuries. Safety features like seat belts and lap bars are particularly important to maintain because if they malfunction, people can easily get hurt or completely thrown from a ride. Ride operators also need to closely follow the correct procedures for securing passengers and for safely operating the ride. A ride abruptly stopping is one way people often get hurt on amusement park rides. Or if a ride operator doesn’t follow the recommended height guidelines, a person who is too short for a ride might not be adequately protected by the safety features.
For people with certain types of health issues, amusement park rides can cause very serious problems. Depending on the nature of the ride, a person might experience problems like injuries to the head, neck, or back, complications of heart conditions, stroke, or brain injuries. Because of this, it’s very important that amusement parks warn visitors of any potential risks involved with a certain ride.
In some cases, an amusement park ride might be the result of defective equipment in the ride. If this occurs, the manufacturer of the ride could be held liable for the injury. However, if the amusement park owner was aware of the defect in the ride and allowed it to remain in operation without having it repaired, the park could be responsible for any injuries caused by the ride.
If you’ve been injured on an amusement park ride, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. When you’re dealing with an amusement park, they’ll be quick to try and blame you for your injuries or their insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help answer your questions and fight for you to get the compensation you need. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to speak to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. Contact us today to get started.