Theme Park Accidents
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
What to Do If You’re In a Theme Park Accident
Theme park accidents are more common than many people realize. Whether it is a rollercoaster becoming stuck on the tracks and leaving riders stranded and in a dangerous position or a safety harness coming loose and causing a passenger to be thrown from a ride, theme park accidents are often the result of negligence. Therefore, if you or someone you love has been the victim of a theme park accident, you need to act quickly to hold those at fault accountable for the damage they caused.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Theme Park Accident?
Following an amusement park accident, the most important thing is to make sure that everyone is safe and receives the medical attention they need. After that, you should make sure to avoid speaking with the theme park’s staff, legal team, or insurers about the incident until after you have spoken to an experienced personal injury lawyer. The reason you do not want to say much to the amusement park’s representatives is because they are often working to ensure the theme park does not have to take responsibility for the accident or victims’ injuries or deaths.
The best thing you can do in the wake of a theme park accident is to gather any evidence you can, including photos of the accident scene and your injuries, getting witness contact information, and writing down detailed notes about the incident. The evidence can be used to help your case if you decide to move forward with a personal injury claim.
Types of Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks are large facilities and as such, there are several types of accidents that can occur within their grounds, including but not limited to the following:
- Slip and fall accidents due to spills or slippery walkways
- Drowning on water attractions
- Collisions involving vehicles on site
- Rides shutting down while in use, stranding passengers
- Attractions malfunctioning, leading to riders being violently whipped around, thrown off, or stranded in dangerous positions
- Faulty safety harnesses and other equipment
- Food poisoning from concessions
- Assaults from unruly employees, guests, or trespassers
- Struck by/struck against objects, possibly due to poor design
Amusement Park Accident Injuries
Just as there are several types of attractions in an amusement park, there are also a wide variety of theme park injuries that can result from riding those attractions, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries from the violent movements of rides such as rollercoasters or detached objects on rides hitting passengers in the head at high speeds
- Drowning while riding water attractions like water slides, river rafting rides, and lazy river rides
- Brain aneurysms from riding very fast rides
- Lacerations, broken bones, torn ligaments, and wrongful death from falls or from being thrown from a ride
- Trauma to neck ligaments leading to a stroke
- Injuries to passengers’ backs, necks, and heads from being violently whipped around on rides such as bumper cars and rollercoasters
- Slip and fall injuries from walking on a slick surface in the park
How Do Theme Park Accident Cases Work?
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a theme park accident, you may be able to hold those at fault accountable with a lawsuit. After the theme park accident, if you choose to pursue legal action, you and your attorney will need to prove the amusement park’s negligence led to your injuries or the death of your loved one.
There are multiple causes for theme park accidents that can be considered negligent, enabling victims to pursue an injury claim. These include:
- Operator error – This involves an amusement park employee making a mistake while operating the ride you are hurt on, such as not properly latching a safety harness, or stopping a ride abruptly by mistake.
- Mechanical failure – If a ride leads to passenger injuries due to mechanical failure, it can often mean the park and/or state did not properly inspect the attraction before allowing patrons to ride it.
- Inherent nature of the attraction – In some cases, rides are just inherently dangerous to certain individuals who, if not properly warned prior to boarding the ride, can suffer injuries from the speed and violent movement of the ride, including loss of consciousness, cerebral hemorrhage, dizziness, and headaches.
- Negligent security – If a guest is assaulted or the victim of a crime while at an amusement park, it could be due to a lack of adequate security on the premises. If that is the case, the theme park could be held responsible for the victims’ injuries or loss of property.
- Negligent design - Some theme parks rush to put up the fastest, tallest new ride without first guaranteeing its safety. If a theme park fails to fully test its rides, rushes through construction, or skips steps when verifying the safety of the design, the owners could be held responsible for injuries or deaths that occur on the ride.
Damages in Premises Liability Cases
Victims of theme park accidents and their families could face a mountain of expenses following the incident. If the accident and/or their injuries were the fault of the amusement park, they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the theme park.
A personal injury claim can provide accident victims and their families with the compensation they need to cover hospital bills, physical therapy, rehabilitation, medication, loss of wages, and other expenses that resulted from the theme park accident. In addition, in some cases, victims can recover compensation for the pain, physical suffering, and mental anguish that the accident and their injuries has caused them.
Discussing Your Situation with a Premises Liability Attorney
If you or someone you love was the victim of a theme park accident, you have nothing to lose speaking with a premises liability attorney about your situation. In many cases, experienced and highly qualified personal injury lawyers will meet with accident victims and their families for free to discuss their case. During these free consultations, attorneys will analyze your case, answer your questions, inform you of whether you have a valid claim, and explain what options you and your family have moving forward. With this information, you and your family can make an informed decision about whether to pursue legal action. If you do decide to pursue an amusement park injury claim, you may be able to recover the compensation you and your family need to cover hospital bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident and injuries.