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Commonly known as merry-go-rounds, and found at amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals, carousels are amusement rides that feature a rotating platform with seats or animal figures for riders to sit on. Studies have consistently shown that carousels are by far the most dangerous rides at amusement parks. First off, one study found that over 4000 kids get hurt on carousel rides every year.
If you or a loved one has suffered a carousel injury, contact Morgan and Morgan immediately for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Common Carousel Injuries You Should Know
Carousels are usually designed with safety in mind. But despite that, accidents still happen due to various reasons.
Some of these accidents occur when drivers lose balance and are thrown off the carousel due to sudden movements, speed, or improper seating. Others may be caused by entrapment, a situation where limbs, fingers, or clothing get trapped in gaps or between moving parts of the carousel.
We've also witnessed cases where riders are not properly spaced, leading to collisions. Such cases usually occur due to negligence on the part of the engineers who designed the carousels.
Cases of strains or sprains in muscles or joints due to repetitive motion or sudden jolts are not uncommon. There have also been incidents where uneven surfaces, slippery steps, or debris around the carousel have caused trip and slip hazards, leading to falls and other related injuries.
What to Do After a Carousel Injury
Some carousels are not as safe as they may seem, and the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by knowing what to do in case of an injury. Our amusement park injury experts recommend the following steps:
Seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the magnitude of your injuries. This step is crucial because some injuries, such as internal bleeding, may have delayed symptoms or complications that can worsen over time. Getting checked by a medical professional is the best way to discover these injuries before they worsen.
Next, make sure the appropriate authorities or personnel at the amusement park know about the incident. When you report the injury to them, don't reveal too much or say that you feel okay (even if you do at that particular moment). This is because anything you tell them could be used against you when you file a claim.
Whenever there is an opportunity to document the incident, don't let it slide. Instead, take photos or videos of the carousel. Also, document any visible hazards, your injuries, or any other piece of evidence that could help prove your case.
Did anyone witness the incident? If so, collect their contact information. Their testimony may add more weight to your case.
If you sought medical treatment after the injury, remember to maintain all medical records. Your attorney will need these records to assess the extent of your injuries and calculate potential damages.
Finally, fill out our free case evaluation form to have your case reviewed by someone from our legal team. If you have a valid case and you choose to hire Morgan and Morgan to represent you, we will assign an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in amusement park accidents and premises liability claims to handle the case on your behalf.
How a Morgan and Morgan Attorney Can Help After a Carousel Injury
A Morgan and Morgan carousel injury lawyer can help you understand your rights after such an injury. e have the resources and experience to investigate how the carousel injury occurred, and you can count on us to help determine liability. This step is crucial– you need to prove liability in order to know where to file a claim.
Speaking of filing claims, we can help assess the full extent of your damages and what compensation you may be able to pursue.n. Once that's out of the way, we will file a claim with the liable parties and begin negotiations for a reasonable settlement.
Assuming the liable party refuses to negotiate with us, the next step would involve filing a lawsuit. That way, a judge or jury will decide the case.
Understanding Liability In a Carousel Injury
How the issue of liability plays out in such a case will depend on the specifics of the accident. In some of these cases, the following parties may be found partially or wholly liable for the injuries.
The amusement park operator bears the highest level of responsibility for ensuring the safe operation of the carousel and maintaining a secure environment for guests at the amusement park. You expect them to properly inspect and maintain the rides, follow safety regulations, and provide adequate staff training. If they breach this duty, you may be able to hold them liable.
A defect in the carousel's design or somewhere along the manufacturing chain can cause serious injuries. In that case, the manufacturer may be held responsible. The same applies to the maintenance company responsible for inspecting and maintaining the ride; you may be able to hold them responsible for the injuries you or your loved one sustained if the maintenance company was negligent in one way or another.
In some cases, the owner of the property where the amusement park sits may bear some responsibility for carousel injuries. This is because it is their duty to keep the premises safe for visitors, eliminating any hazards or dangerous conditions that could cause such accidents and injuries.
Recoverable Damages After a Carousel Injury
Each carousel injury case is different, and that also has an influence on the damages you may be able to recover. In most cases, the injured can seek financial compensation for current and future medical costs associated with the carousel injury
Compensation for lost wages may also be available in situations where your injury prevents you from working. Additionally, because these injuries usually cause a lot of physical pain and emotional distress, you may be able to file a claim for such damages as well.
In the unfortunate event that your carousel injury results in a long-term disability or disfigurement, such as the loss of a limb, permanent scarring, or any impairment that significantly affects your daily life and future opportunities, a skilled attorney may be able to assist you in seeking financial compensation for your injuries.
If the case goes to court and the judge or jury rules that the defendant's behavior was particularly reckless or intentional, you may be awarded punitive damages to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future. Note that in some states, such as Massachusetts, punitive damages are available only to individuals who have lost their loved ones after an accident caused by extreme negligence or recklessness.
Common Barriers to Compensation After a Carousel Injury
Just because you or a loved one was injured on a carousel does not mean that the liable party will process your claim and not ask any questions. In fact, they know how dangerous these rides can be, and for that reason, these parties will do everything they can to protect themselves from lawsuits.
But that's not the only challenge you'll likely face in your journey to securing the compensation you need and deserve.
First of all, these cases are time-sensitive. In other words, if you fail to initiate your claim within the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to seek compensation. Keep in mind that this deadline is never constant; it varies from state to state, which is why you need an attorney to ensure you file a claim within this window.
Amusement parks often require visitors to sign liability waivers or release forms before using their rides, including carousels. These waivers aim to limit the park's liability in the event of an injury. While they may pose a challenge for your legal team, they are not always absolute protections for the amusement park. Depending on the circumstances, and applicable laws, you may still have legal recourse to pursue compensation despite signing a waiver.
Then there is the issue of comparative negligence, a legal concept that assigns liability between parties involved in an accident. In states like Alabama and Maryland, you cannot recover compensation if you contributed to the injury in any way. In such jurisdictions, all the other party needs to do is prove that you were at least one percent responsible for the injury. That could be all it takes to jeopardize the entire claim.
As mentioned earlier, such injuries may occur due to negligence by multiple parties. In such a case, no one will want to claim the larger percentage of liability, especially when they know they could easily dispute the case.
These are not the only barriers to recovering compensation after such an accident, and that's because each case is unique. When you have an attorney by your side, your chances of weaving through these barriers significantly increase.
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The Amusement Park Has Offered a Settlement. Should I Accept It?
It's not surprising that the amusement park may want to settle the carousel injury case as quickly as possible. This is because they know that the longer the case drags on, the higher its value. For example, if you develop further medal complications after the initial checkup, the amusement park may be responsible for compensating you for those additional medical bills.
But if they settle the case quickly enough, whether or not you suffer additional complications won't be an issue anymore, at least to them. That's because once you accept the settlement offer and sign the release, you agree to waive your right to pursue further legal action against the liable party. Therefore, before accepting any settlement offer by the amusement park or its insurance company, you should contact an experienced attorney for advice on how to proceed.
Can I File a Carousel Injury Claim if I Was a Spectator and Not Actively Riding the Carousel?
Yes, in most cases, you can. However, to do this, you must demonstrate that the amusement park or another party's negligence caused your injury while you were in the vicinity of the carousel. Whenever in doubt about your eligibility to seek compensation, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Will a Pre-Existing Condition That Was Aggravated by the Carousel Accident Damage My Claim?
Not really. You may still be eligible for compensation if you successfully establish the connection between the accident and the exacerbation of your condition. In situations like these, medical records and expert opinions usually come in handy, something our attorneys may be able to help you obtain.
The Amusement Park Has Since Closed Down; Can I Still Pursue Compensation?
Such a scenario could further complicate the legal process, but it does not necessarily mean you cannot pursue a claim. A skilled amusement park attorney may be able to find other avenues to seek compensation, even if it means filing a claim against the park's previous owners, insurers, manufacturers, etc.
How Much Will It Cost To Hire a Lawyer for My Carousel Injury Case?
Many amusement park injury lawyers, including the team at Morgan and Morgan, usually work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, the fee is free unless we win.
I'm Not a U.S. Citizen or Resident — Can I Still Pursue a Carousel Injury Claim?
Your eligibility for compensation after a carousel injury has nothing to do with your citizenship or residency status. Just as long as you were injured at an amusement park within the jurisdiction where legal action can be taken, you may still have the right to seek compensation.
Hire a Morgan and Morgan Carousel Injury Lawyer
At Morgan and Morgan, we understand how a carousel injury can change your life or that of a loved one. From serious injuries to mounting medical bills, dealing with such an incident without a lawyer is the last thing you want to do. But fret not; we have experience, an army of attorneys, and powerful legal resources to fight for your rights.
All that remains now is a free case evaluation with us to learn more about your options.