Amusement Park Lawyers in Ohio
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Ohio Amusement Park Lawyers
Amusement parks and county fairs are often associated with family fun, long summer days, and delicious food.
While some parks are open year-round, many close for the cold winter months before reopening when the sun starts shining again in early March. Once schools close their doors for the summer, families, children, and teenagers flock to the parks to ride the roller coasters and take part in games, contests, and other fun activities.
There are many amusement parks throughout Ohio. A few of the most popular include Cedar Point, Coney Island Adventure Park, and Kings Island Amusement Park. Numerous cities and counties also host annual fairs, including the Ohio State Fair, Lucas County Fair, and Carroll County Fair.
While amusement parks and fairs are a source of fun that many people look forward to annually, they do possess inherent risks. It’s not uncommon for park-goers to suffer injuries due to poorly maintained rides and premises.
Fortunately, Morgan & Morgan has amusement park lawyers in Ohio ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation if you’ve suffered injuries at an amusement park or fair in Ohio.
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Causes of Injuries at Amusement Parks
Amusement parks and county fairs may be fun, but they’re rife with opportunities for injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 10,580 people are admitted to the emergency room annually with amusement park injuries.
Approximately 317 million people visit the parks and fairs each year. The number of people injured at amusement parks may seem insignificant compared to the total number of visitors, but the harm they suffer is often life-altering.
A few of the most common types of accidents at amusement parks include:
A mechanical failure occurs when a ride fails to operate due to a broken or defective component. Most rides contain built-in safety features, like locks that protect a rider from falling out of a cart. If these safety features fail, riders may experience serious injuries, especially on fast-moving, high-elevation attractions like roller coasters.
Other common mechanical failures include cars that come detached from one another, brake failures, cracked drive chains, and rides that don’t stop appropriately.
Injuries can also occur due to operator mistakes. Operators frequently run rides hundreds or even thousands of times each day. This creates plenty of chances for inattention or error to lead to injuries.
Common operator mistakes include inadequate ride maintenance, misuse of cutoff switches, and stopping the ride at the wrong time.
In some cases, park visitors may contribute to their injuries, typically because they get caught up in the fun and ignore specific safety protocols. Misbehavior that can result in injuries includes standing up during rides, breaking safety restraints, and intentionally rocking cars.
Dehydration and sun poisoning can also negatively impact visitors’ well-being, especially if they don’t take preventive measures like wearing sunscreen and regularly drinking water.
Sometimes, rides may function but still cause unexpected injuries. Rides involving high speeds or rapid changes in direction are especially likely to result in injury. Spinning rides, in particular, are notorious for causing brain injuries like concussions, hemorrhages, and loss of consciousness.
Poorly Maintained Grounds
Injuries can also occur when amusement parks and fairgrounds aren’t well-maintained.
Amusement parks receive thousands of visitors daily, and this kind of traffic can quickly wear down boarded walkways and other paths. Similarly, there may be spills, exposed wiring or debris, or other hazards present on park grounds. Unlucky visitors could suffer slip and fall injuries on surfaces that aren’t kept in good condition.
Inadequate Food Handling
Some visitors sustain food poisoning from the meals they eat at amusement parks and fairs. Workers may fail to keep the kitchen areas clean or leave food items out in the heat too long, leading to spoilage and bacterial growth.
The sheer number of daily visitors to an amusement park can make it difficult for kitchen staff and food preparers to keep up with proper food safety protocols.
Types of Injuries at Amusement Parks
Amusement parks have many inherent risks. As such, visitors can experience a wide range of injuries from their visit. Examples of common injuries sustained at amusement parks and fairs include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Motion sickness and whiplash
- Damage to back muscles
- Neck injuries
- Accidental drowning
- Animal bites and stings
If you’ve suffered an injury at an amusement park or fair, you could benefit from retaining the services of amusement park lawyers in Ohio. Morgan and Morgan can help you recover financial compensation for your injuries.
Common Amusement Parks in Ohio
There are dozens of amusement parks, county fairs, and other family fun centers throughout the Ohio region. Visitors could potentially receive injuries at any of the following types of facilities:
- Mobile carnivals
- State or county fairs
- Amusement theme parks
- Go-kart facilities
- Laser tag centers
- Zoos or aquariums
- Children’s playgrounds with “bouncy houses”
A few of the largest amusement centers in Ohio include:
- Cedar Point
- Kings Island Amusement Park
- Tuscora Park
- Memphis Kiddie Park
- Clay’s Park Resort
- Adventure Zone Family Fun Center
- Sluggers and Putters Amusement Park
- Coney Island Park
- Marion County Fair
- Ohio State Fair
- Montgomery County Fair
- Medina County Fair
Skilled amusement park lawyers in Ohio can review your case to determine who is at fault for your injuries. At Morgan & Morgan, we have centuries of combined experience helping victims of amusement park accidents win remuneration for their injuries.
Proving Liability in an Amusement Park Accident
There are often multiple parties involved in liability for an amusement park accident. Some parks employ thousands of workers, each with a different responsibility for ensuring the safety of guests.
Furthermore, liability may rest not with employees but with the manufacturer of a ride or game. Park owners may also be held responsible for visitor injuries.
Mobile amusement parks, like fairs and carnivals, often don’t have the staff to check their rides' safety regularly. Traveling fairs ordinarily set up camp for a few days or weeks before disassembling their rides and equipment and packing it up for the next show.
Some of the worst injuries occur at mobile amusement parks. Constant setup and breakdown of rides, combined with rough travel conditions, can easily lead to broken or malfunctioning equipment. Sometimes, inexperienced workers fail to prepare rides correctly, resulting in injuries to park visitors.
To prove liability in an amusement park accident, an attorney at Morgan and Morgan will review the facts of your case and pinpoint the party or parties responsible for your injuries.
What to Do if You’re Injured at an Amusement Park
Suffering an injury at an amusement park can be frightening and confusing. One minute, you’re having fun with your loved ones, and the next minute you’re nursing wounds and rushing to the hospital.
Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, it’s essential to follow a few key steps if you get injured at an amusement park.
Notify Staff of the Injury
Immediately following the accident, alert any staff members in the vicinity. Employees can help identify the source of your injury and take action to prevent similar incidents from occurring. For instance, if the safety restraints on a particular ride fail, they can notify the operator to stop allowing people onto the ride until they’ve fixed the issue.
Staff can also arrange emergency first aid and safe transportation to nearby medical facilities.
Take Pictures of the Cause of Your Injuries
If you’re able, capture a few photos of the cause of the incident. Your images might depict defective equipment, poorly maintained premises, or other issues. Make sure you also take pictures of your injuries themselves.
Get Contact Information From Available Witnesses
Witnesses will generally be happy to provide a statement if you ask for one. Ask for the names and phone numbers of any witnesses you can find. If possible, see if they’re willing to send you any photos or video footage they took showing what happened.
Keep Records of Medical Treatment
You’ll want to hold onto all relevant medical records, including X-rays, lab tests, CT scans, exam notes, diagnostic information, and bills. If a treating doctor recommends seeing a specialist, follow their advice and document your treatment from this professional as well.
Seek Legal Assistance
In the best-case scenario, injuries may be minor and won’t require much recovery time. Often, however, accidents at amusement parks cause severe injuries that require months of dedicated treatment and rehabilitation.
If it appears that your injury will require considerable medical expense or time away from work, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney.
What Compensation Can I Receive in an Amusement Park Injury Case?
If you’ve been injured at an amusement park, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. This typically includes the cost of current and future medical treatment, lost wages, and certain household expenses.
If your injuries are severe enough, you may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic harm like emotional pain and anguish, loss of quality of life, or disability and disfigurement. A court might even award you punitive damages if the amusement park or other liable party is found to be negligent.
Individuals who have lost a loved one to an amusement park accident may sue for wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, family members can recover funeral and burial expenses and damages for loss of consortium or parental guidance.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against an Amusement Park in Ohio?
Each state has a statute of limitations that restricts the time injury victims have to file a lawsuit. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death is two years from the date of an accident.
This may sound like a long time, but it’s always best to start the process as soon as possible. Over time, evidence can degrade or disappear, and witnesses may become difficult to locate or forget essential details concerning the accident.
Morgan & Morgan maintains a team of amusement park lawyers in Ohio who can assist you in filing your claim against a park, carnival, or fair.
What Is My Amusement Park Personal Injury Case Worth?
The value of your case will depend on several factors, including the type and extent of your injuries and who’s deemed at fault for the accident. The value of the insurance policies held by the park or other responsible parties can also impact the amount you stand to receive. Knowledgeable amusement park lawyers in Ohio can review the facts of your case to determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
Morgan & Morgan: Top Amusement Park Lawyers in Ohio
Morgan and Morgan is the largest personal injury law firm in the country, with over 800 attorneys on staff. Our experienced injury lawyers are standing by to help you seek compensation for any injuries that you or a loved one have sustained while visiting an amusement park. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.