Common Amusement Park Accidents

amusement park ride

Southern California is right alongside Florida as one of the amusement park capitals of the United States. The region boasts five of the most attended theme parks in North America. Tens of millions of visitors enjoy these parks each year. Thankfully, most of these visits are enjoyable and end without incident. Occasionally, some amusement park patrons will sustain injuries that require them to obtain medical treatment. If the theme park was negligent and that negligence caused the accident, they may be legally obligated to pay your damages.

While rides are a large part of the amusement park experience, there are many ways that patrons can be injured. They often dine in the park, and they walk around all day long. One study found that Disneyland was sued an average of nearly 30 times per year over a five-year span. The same study revealed that Knott’s Berry Farm was sued an average of ten times per year over that span. Amusement parks often have an incentive to settle these cases because they do not want to create the public perception that their facilities are unsafe.

Here are some of the common amusement park injuries that patrons can suffer.

Slip and Falls

While many people think of the rides as the most dangerous thing and amusement park, slip and fall accidents are actually the most prevalent injury at a park. When guests are walking and eating at the same time, they may spill on the ground. Park staff may not clean the spill up in time, and other guests May slip. In addition, park employees may leave equipment or other hazards on walkways or other areas where people may fall.

Patrons also slip and fall when they are getting onto or disembarking from a ride. The design of the ride itself or the surrounding area could be dangerous, or The park may be improperly maintained.

Some of the injuries you could suffer in an amusement park slip, and fall accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Ride Failures

Amusement parks place a great deal of responsibility on their staff. The ride operators have a limited period of time to ensure that patrons are properly restrained before the ride begins. These staff members may not be fully trained when operating the ride.

In addition, the maintenance staff also practically has the lives of park customers in their hands. They must rigorously inspect each ride and repair any mechanical deficiencies. Maintenance operators may face pressure to bring rides back online quickly because parks do not want angry customers.

One of the common reasons given for ride accidents is that the ride has a “spotty maintenance record.” Park personnel may shortcut maintenance when the proper course of action would be to close a ride entirely.

Physical Attacks

Some people may not think of security incidents as amusement park accidents. However, some guests may be injured when they are attacked in an amusement park. Disneyland alone has had numerous incidents over the years when guests have been injured in physical altercations. Such a high concentration of guests in a small place invariably causes tension between patrons.

The theme park owner must provide adequate security, both on the premises of the park and in the surrounding parking lot. If there are any indications of potential security problems, the theme park must readdress and increase security. An amusement park is not automatically liable for an incident that occurs on its premises; however, it could be legally responsible when it knew or should have known that there was a potential for an incident and did not take adequate security measures.

Defectively Designed Rides

In some cases, the park staff may have exercised reasonable care under the circumstances, but the ride itself was defective. Amusement parks pay many millions of dollars to specialized companies to design and construct complex rides. While the engineers extensively model and test the ride before it is built, there are often situations where, in their zeal to designing the next great ride, they overlook certain safety dangers. Some rides may have never been safe, to begin with, because the designers tried to push the envelope too far.

Even if the ride is properly designed, there may have been defects in the construction of the ride that make it unreasonably dangerous. For example, in one recent accident, a woman was struck by debris that fell from a 400 ft high roller coaster, resulting in the permanent shutdown of the ride.

Suing the Amusement Park Owner for Injuries

Most often, you would seek to hold the amusement park accountable for any injuries that occur on their premises. However, there may be additional parties that you may be able to sue for financial compensation. You should hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident, so they can investigate what happened and gather the necessary proof for your legal action.

Like any other personal injury lawsuit, you would need to prove that someone was negligent in order to receive financial compensation. If the defendant does not try to settle the case, an amusement park will commonly defend against lawsuits by blaming the patron for their own injury. If the injury occurred on a ride, the amusement park would contend that the rider did something wrong. If the patient was injured in a slip and fall accident, the amusement park might claim that the customer was in a rush or did not take appropriate care.

Contact a Los Angeles County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an amusement park accident, the attorneys at The Arshakyan Law Firm will work on your behalf to receive financial compensation. We will investigate the accident and gather all necessary evidence to prove what happened. Then, we will fight to maximize your potential recovery. The first step on your part is to call for an initial FREE consultation.