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What to Do if You Need an Amusement Park Accident Attorney
Every year, over 300 million people visit amusement parks in the U.S. Unfortunately, given the volume of people visiting amusement parks accidents can and do happen. If an amusement park ride injures you or one of your family members, you will need an experienced amusement park accident attorney.
Indeed, amusement parks offer guests fun, adrenaline-pumping rides, fantastic sights and much more. However, whether you are visiting a county fair, state fair, carnival, theme park, amusement park or even a water park, you’re not looking to get injured. Consequently, the negligent park owners and their employees, ride operators, or the makers of park rides that cause injuries to visitors should be held accountable.
Amusement parks are regulated at the state level. Unfortunately, not every state is as diligent in regulating amusement parks as they could be.
In fact, nine states do not have an agency to oversee amusement parks. Additionally, three states (Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming) don’t have any regulations regarding amusement parks.
Notwithstanding that, amusement park owners, ride manufacturers, and ride operators have a responsibility to make their rides reasonably safe for patrons.
What Are Some of The Major Causes That Would Leak to Someone Needing an Amusement Park Accident Attorney?
There are several causes of amusement park accidents we see across the country:
Mechanical failures frequently cause accidents on amusement park rides. For instance, cables can snap, brakes or restraints can fail, or rides become stuck at the top of elevated rides
We often see poorly constructed support frames in amusement parks accidents. In addition, corrosion of exposed parts of the rides is a common problem for attractions
Ride operators cause amusement park accidents by not leaving enough space between patrons and failing to deploy safety nets
As another example, operators may stop rides abruptly or fail to properly secure riders
All the above can cause collisions with other patrons, cars, walls, ride tracks and structures
Riders who are not properly restrained can fall out of cars, swings, slides, or being thrown from inflatable devices
Some rides are inherently dangerous. A roller coaster can go too fast, the curves are too sharp or the restraint system is defective
Yes, riders make mistakes. For example, sometimes they fail to follow height requirements or health warnings. Likewise, they sometimes don’t follow safety instructions
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents frequently occur in amusement parks. Frequently, running children trip over debris on a walkway. A park patron can fall on a wet floor in a bathroom or dining room
Here are Some Common Amusement Park Accident Injuries That Might Require the Help of an Amusement Park Accident Attorney
Typically, when an amusement park accident causes an injury, the head and neck were the most common body regions injured.
Common amusement park injuries include whiplash, head/neck/back injuries.
Additionally, amusement park accidents can cause lacerations, torn ligaments and broken bones.
More serious injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Lastly, wrongful death claims have been made because of amusement park accidents.
For instance, visitors to water parks have drowned in big wave pools.
Who Can Your Amusement Park Accident Attorney Sue the Amusement Park Accident for your Injures?
In fact, visitors who get a theme park injury may have several parties to include in a suit:
Amusement park owners
Certainly, amusement park owners may be liable to persons their negligence injures in their park. As with any property owner, if they invite patrons onto their premises, they must maintain safe conditions throughout the park.
Therefore, if defective stairs, wet, slippery floors, or unsafe rides cause a visitor to be injured, they can hold the park owner liable for that person’s injuries.
In addition, many amusement park accidents take place on a more local level, at county or state fairs and short-term festivals and carnivals. The safety measures for small-scale events like these are not as strict as large and permanent parks like Disneyland.
Workers set up and taken down repeatedly rides and stations. They transport them across the country monthly. Sometimes the storage process of these rides can be inadequate.
Moreover, these rides are usually not maintained properly, overused and outdated. In fact, it is not uncommon for workers to improperly erect the rides, which can make them dangerous for riders.
The manufacturers of the parts and equipment in the amusement park must ensure that the equipment is safe and properly maintained.
The persons who operate the rides must do so in a safe and responsible manner. In addition, they must enforce any rule regarding the rides, such as minimum height and age requirements.
If the actions (or inactions) of these parties were negligent, injured parties may recover personal injury damage for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages (past and future).
Notwithstanding the above, the quality of the ride operators’ staff at these local events can be uneven. Indeed, many times, they are not fully aware or trained in handling the rides.
When this is the case, serious accidents can occur.
What Are an Injured Person’s Damages in an Amusement Park Accident Case?
In an amusement park accident case, there are several types of damage claims injured persons make:
Medical expenses – You may recover all your medical expenses (even those which insurance paid
Lost wages – You may make a claim for the wages you were not paid because you missed work because of your injuries
Pain and suffering – Injured parties can tell the jury how badly your back hurt after your amusement park accident. You can also tell the jury how you got chiropractic treatment for weeks and you still have stiffness in your back most mornings when you wake up. That is pain and suffering
Disability – If there are lingering symptoms from your injury (and there often are), you can tell the jury about them. Perhaps you work at a desk all day but cannot sit for over 25-30 minutes because of the back injury you sustained in the theme park accident.
Because of your back injury, you stop working frequently, get up from the desk and walk around the office. You can tell the jury about that. The jury can take that into account during their deliberations. They can then factor it into their damage award
Future medical treatment – If you suffered a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture of your leg falling off a ride, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. You (and your doctor) can tell the jury about that
Loss of consortium – If an amusement park accident killed your spouse, or severely injured him/her, the jury can compensate you for the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other. In other words, the loss of consortium
Punitive damages – Punitive damages are a distinct type of damage and are not usually available in a personal injury case. Punitive damages punish the defendant for bad conduct. Therefore, cases in which someone’s negligence injures others rarely involve punitive damages.
However, punitive damages might be available against an amusement park owner that falsified maintenance records for its rides, including the one that injured you.
Likewise, if the amusement park had a history of accidents on a particular ride, and did nothing to address those repeat accidents, a punitive damage claim might succeed.
But there would have to be serious misconduct by the park’s owner to justify an award for punitive damages. However, if the defendant’s misconduct was egregious, we will fight to get an award of punitive damages for you.
Experienced and Knowledgeable Amusement Park Accident Injury Attorney
If an amusement park accident has injured you, a close friend or a loved one because of a defective ride or negligent ride operator, you need an experienced amusement park accident law firm. We will investigate the accident and determine who was at fault for your injuries.
Then we will negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies for the responsible parties that fully compensates you.
And, by the way, we negotiate with insurance companies almost every day.
However, if the insurance company is not willing to settle your amusement park injury case at a reasonable amount, we will prepare the case for trial.
Of course, the case can still settle. But, as every experienced lawyer knows, sometimes the at-fault party’s insurance companies don’t make the best settlement offers unless their backs are against the wall.
Lastly, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Contact our law firm to begin our attorney-client relationship at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.