According to some estimates, more than 330 million Americans visit amusement parks each year. With so many visitors, it is unsurprising that many personal injuries take place at amusement parks.
Accidents and injuries are even more common because of the prevalence of high-speed and elevated rides at theme parks. If you have been injured at an amusement park, you may be owed compensation for the resulting damages.
When you need to know how to file a claim against an amusement park, reach out to the firm at Morgan & Morgan. Our legal experts have a working knowledge of the relevant safety regulations that apply to amusement parks.
Some states have statutes that require amusement parks to adhere to safety regulations. Other states allow these parks to operate without regulatory oversight.
No matter what the regulatory status of an amusement park, owners and operators have a duty to keep customers safe. If you are wondering how to file a claim against an amusement park, our attorneys can help.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have the skills and specialized knowledge to hold negligent park operators accountable. You should not have to bear the burdens from an amusement park accident that you did not cause.
To schedule a no-cost legal evaluation with the team at Morgan & Morgan, fill out the contact form on our website.
Amusement Park Accident Facts and Figures
When they are properly maintained, amusement parks are very safe for patrons. Relatively speaking, amusement park injuries are rare.
But when an owner, operator, or employee is negligent, the chance of accidents increases. Each year, thousands of people are injured in amusement park accidents.
Research from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed more than 30,000 amusement park patrons sustained injuries requiring emergency room visits in a single year. Almost 4,000 of these injuries were sustained by children.
Each day during the summer months, an average of 20 amusement park injuries will occur.
Sadly, some of these personal injuries are fatal. This is because many rides consist of heavy and complex machinery. Some attractions move at incredibly high speeds and carry patrons to massive heights.
According to the CPSC, more than four people are killed at amusement parks in an average year. The causes of these fatal injuries are as follows:
- 27% of deaths are caused by roller coasters
- Elevated rides are responsible for 20% of amusement park deaths
- Water-related rides cause 15% of these fatalities
- 13% of deaths result from rides that involve spinning
Even rides that do not involve extreme heights or speed can cause injuries. Merry-go-rounds, for example, can cause damage when customers' hands, feet, or clothing become stuck in the machinery.
The statistics listed above only account for permanently standing amusement parks. Rides and attractions at carnivals are often broken down, moved, and reassembled.
This consistent rebuilding increases the likelihood of human error. When rides are assembled improperly, patrons may face additional hazards.
Following an injury, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for any damages that you sustained. If you are wondering how to file a claim against an amusement park, do not wait.
Let the legal experts at Morgan & Morgan handle your case. Legal claims against amusement parks can be highly complex. Our lawyers have the experience to get the money that you deserve.
Proving Negligence in Amusement Park Accidents
One of the most important elements of any personal injury claim is determining liability. Most amusement park injury cases involve the legal concept of “negligence.”
When an injury is the result of the inattention of a park employee or operator, the victim may be able to successfully prove that they were negligent.
In a typical negligence case, the victim must show that the law required the other party to maintain a reasonable standard of care. This is known as a “duty of care.”
Owners who invite the public into their amusement parks have a duty to keep patrons safe. To prove negligence, the claimant must also show that the defendant breached their duty of care.
A duty of care can be breached through action or inaction. Taking a reckless action may qualify as negligence. However, failing to act appropriately may also qualify.
In a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the accident or injury. If the defendant’s carelessness was not the reason for the damage to the victim, they will be unable to prove negligence.
Finally, the claimant must show that actual harm resulted from the negligent action. Speak with a personal injury attorney if you need to know how to file a claim against an amusement park.
Amusement parks are also responsible for the behavior of their workers. If an employee is reckless or careless, those who are injured may file a claim against the park.
Some common examples of amusement park owner and operator negligence include:
- Lack of clearly visible warning and hazard signs
- Warning signs that do not adequately communicate the possible risks
- Lack of proper training for ride operators
- Inadequate equipment maintenance and upkeep
- Failure to conduct regular equipment inspections
- Improper operation of an attraction or ride
- Failing to provide riders with safety instructions
- And more
There are many ways that a park owner or employee can breach their duty of care to patrons. Negligent amusement park operators should be held accountable for the damage that they cause.
Product Liability Cases
Not every amusement park injury claim involves negligent owners or operators. Some rides are dangerous even with proper upkeep and maintenance.
If a design or manufacturing defect causes an injury, those responsible may be liable for damages. For instance, imagine that a poorly designed lap safety bar comes open during a ride.
If the rider sustains harm as a result, they can pursue compensation from the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. This type of claim is known as a “product liability” case.
To prove that a product was faulty, the plaintiff must show that the defective piece of equipment caused their accident or injuries. Product liability claims can involve more than one liable party.
As a result, these cases are often highly complex. The accomplished legal specialists at Morgan & Morgan have years of experience representing plaintiffs in product liability claims.
If you believe that a defective element of an amusement park ride caused your injury, reach out to our firm. The experts at Morgan & Morgan know how to file a claim against an amusement park successfully.