What to Do After an Accident at an Ohio Amusement Park
One of the highlights of summer in states like Ohio is the beautiful sunny weather and amusement parks. Paramount's Kings Island, Cincinnati's Coney Island, and northern entertainment venues like Cedar Point, satisfies our thrill-seeking natures with exciting rides and games.
What we don't expect during these joyous times with our friends and family is a tragic accident. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury due to a ride defect or negligence by the park ownership, your world has been turned upside down. Worse, you may have no idea what your next steps should be or the rights you have to getting compensated for your damages. To learn what steps to take after an accident at an Ohio amusement park, your best first step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with the complexities of these injury cases.
Top Reasons Accidents at Ohio Amusement Parks Happen
While there are many ways one can get hurt while having a fun day at your local amusement park, below are some of the top causes:
- Mechanical failure
- Inadequate security
- Operator error or recklessness
- Poorly designed or defective rides
- Exposed wiring or cables
- Faulty straps or harnesses
- Poorly maintained rides or improper repairs
- Poor lighting
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Improper installation of the ride or any of its parts
- Lack of warning signs
Who is legally liable for causing the accident that resulted in your severe injuries is another important question that needs to be answered. Often, these types of cases involve multiple parties being held responsible, including:
- Ride operators
- Amusement park owners
- Park vendors
- Product manufacturers
Understanding Your Legal Options After an Accident at an Ohio Amusement Park
Deciding what legal steps you need to take after sustaining injuries on a rollercoaster or slip and fall at an amusement park's pool area depend on many factors. You and your attorney may be able to file a personal injury claim alleging negligence on the part of the owner in one of several ways:
Premises Liability Claim
Companies that own amusement parks are required to provide for the care and safety of those lawfully on their property. This is especially important given the large crowds that visit these entertainment venues every year. When a park is undergoing renovations, conducting maintenance on rides, and managing its employees, they must keep their premises free of hazards. Any open and obvious dangers are still generally expected to be announced with signage and barriers whenever possible due to the many children and vulnerable adults who visit and don't comprehend these dangers.
Product Liability Claim
When a ride had a defective part or design, a product liability claim may also be warranted. In the case of a ride causing you harm, your attorney would have to show that it was fundamentally dangerous to ride despite being properly maintained.
The majority of personal injury claims that arise from an accident at an Ohio amusement park are focused on the negligent actions of the park ownership. Ohio has specific laws and rules which govern how ride owners are to keep their rides in safe operational condition at all times. This includes regular safety inspections, maintenance, and safe operation of the ride to protect passengers from suffering physical harm or loss.
Ride operators and park owners who are careless in their duties to provide a safe ride experience could be found negligent and responsible for causing your injuries. Unfortunately, this is also true for their employees, whose actions they are also held accountable for.
Wrongful Death Claim
When tragedy strikes in the worst possible way, and your loved one was killed because of an accident at an Ohio amusement park, this type of suit may be your best recourse. These types of lawsuits seek compensation for various damages, including burial costs, the financial loss of that loved one's contributing income, and more.
Steps to Take Immediately After an Accident at an Ohio Amusement Park
There are several essential steps to take after getting hurt in an accident at an Ohio amusement park that you need to take right away. Many of these steps should happen before contacting an experienced personal injury attorney at Morgan & Morgan, but our legal team can certainly assist you if you cannot:
Don't Delay Getting Checked Out by a Physician
Brain and head injuries can be hard to diagnose and slow to present symptoms after an amusement park accident in Ohio. The violent force of rollercoasters is a regular source for whiplash and concussions at these entertainment venues. If an operator fails to conduct your ride safely, brain bleeds and traumatic brain injury (TBI) could leave you with permanent harm that can affect your most basic cognitive functions.
This is why you should always get checked out if a malfunctioning ride hurts you or if its operator was careless in controlling it.
Focus on Getting Healthy
If you've suffered a serious injury after slipping on a loose tile in the bathhouse of the amusement park's pool or were thrown off of a ride because your safety harness gave way, following your doctor's treatment orders is crucial to your personal injury case. Insurance adjusters will jump on any suggestion that you are not hurt as seriously as you claim. Failing to follow through on scheduled appointments or adhere to physical restrictions can jeopardize your claim.
You should also ignore the insurance company trying to hurry you to settle your injury claim. They are not here to help you by offering to cut you a check fast. In fact, they are likely trying to avoid a larger payout because they know you are severely hurt and will probably need extensive care for quite some time. These early offers rarely cover the full scope of your injuries and never consider the pain and suffering you've endured. Let the personal injury attorneys of Morgan & Morgan handle these pressure tactics for you so that you can stay focused on recovering.
Don't Delay in Collecting Evidence
Between the moment you get hurt and have the opportunity to sit down with a lawyer, a lot can happen. For example, documentation of your injuries could get misplaced, video footage from the amusement park that captured your accident might have gotten erased, and so much more. Even your memory of what happened becomes diminished, so make sure you start carefully documenting and storing evidence right away.
If you can, take photos of the accident scene, the injuries you received, and any other pertinent details available. Have your friends or family at the amusement park with you get names and contact information from not just the management involved but from those who witnessed what occurred. Evidence is fragile, and without making a concentrated effort to preserve it, you could find yourself facing an even harder battle for compensation than you planned.
Don't Trust the Insurer or Ohio Amusement Park Owners
An accident at an Ohio amusement park often makes headlines when severe injuries are involved. This bad press can permanently harm the venue's reputation, forcing it to close when it becomes no longer profitable. Serious accidents where a ride defect results in the disfigurement or death of a patron also mean a higher than average compensation award. All of these factors will motivate the park owners and their insurers to minimize your damages to save money.
They can achieve this in a variety of ways, including:
- Misconstrue your words to mean something they don't
- Purposely ignore your calls
- Insinuate you are to blame and get you to admit fault when you did nothing wrong
- Willfully destroy evidence or make it difficult to obtain
- Misrepresent the law and rights you have to pursue a personal injury claim
- Send you settlement offers that are undervalued, knowing you are desperate to pay your bills
- Tell you that a lawyer will take all of your settlement when actually you'll recover more
- Try to get you to indicate you're doing better when you haven't reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- Insist you have to give them a statement the day after your accident when you don't
- Purposely delay in calling you back or paying your claims
The Ohio amusement park injury attorneys of Morgan & Morgan warn all of our clients in your position to never speak with the liable parties involved in your accident. They know you are going through a challenging time in your life and have no issue with taking advantage of your vulnerable emotional state. Rely on our aggressive legal team to step in as advocates on your behalf to stop these tactics. You deserve time and space to focus on your healing after suffering an accident at an Ohio amusement park.
Rely on the Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys of Morgan & Morgan
Since 1988, Morgan & Morgan has been recognized nationally for our outstanding representation of individuals hurt by negligent and reckless acts. Our tireless advocacy has resulted in over $9 billion in verdict awards and settlements during this time. So if you or a family member suffered devastating injuries after an amusement ride malfunctioned or wasn't maintained as required, we have the experience you need to bring a successful injury claim against the liable parties involved.
From the moment you call us, we can step in and force the insurer and amusement park ownership to contact us regarding your case. We will shut down their efforts to get you to settle for less and instead build a case of undeniable evidence of their liability and the scope of damage it has caused you.
Trust our firm to provide you with the guidance and representation you need to navigate complicated personal injury law involving multiple negligent parties. Our compassionate approach to your client experience will help ease the stress and anxiety that often comes with legal action and give you hope for justice at the end of the day.
At Morgan and Morgan, our personal injury attorneys are here to serve you and your family during this challenging time of your lives. We encourage you to fill out our brief contact form to find out more about our free consultation offer.