Approximately 300 million Americans visit amusement parks and carnivals each year. The industry includes massive theme parks such as Disneyland, as well as mobile carnivals and fairs. Unfortunately, while amusement parks provide family fun and excitement for millions of people, each year several thousand park-goers suffer injuries ranging from slips and falls, to food poisoning, to trauma associated with rides and park transportation vehicles.
Injuries occurring at theme and amusement parks in the United States are rampant, and the ability of injured park-goers to recover compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering from their injuries is complicated by special legal doctrines that govern the liability of park owners. Theme and amusement park injury litigation requires a California amusement park injury attorney from The Senators Firm who are experienced in dealing with these laws and with the amusement park industry.
Theme and Amusement Park Ride Injuries and Deaths
As competition within the amusement park industry has escalated, roller coasters and other rides have become more physically demanding on riders, and potentially dangerous to certain individuals who may not know they are at risk. Additionally, rides have become more technologically complex and difficult to maintain; the risks associated with poor designs, inadequate safety equipment, negligent operation, and faulty maintenance, is greater than ever before.
Statistics compiled by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have documented thousands of theme and amusement park ride injuries during the past two decades. More troubling, according to CPSC, 51 people were killed on amusement park rides between 1987 and 2000 alone, including 16 deaths attributed to roller coasters and 11 deaths from “whirling” rides. Not surprisingly, children represent almost one half of those injured by amusement park rides, with children aged 10 to 14 years sustaining the most injuries of any age group.
Since 1979, there have been numerous published medical reports of serious traumatic injuries, including subdural hematomas, internal carotid artery dissections, vertebral artery dissections, subarachnoid hemorrhages, and strokes, all related to roller coaster rides. It has been estimated that at least 4 people in the United States will die from roller coaster-related injuries each year. While some injuries and deaths result from the failure of riders to follow instructions provided by park operators, better engineering, enhanced safety equipment, and greater supervision and warnings could prevent many others.
Roller coasters and other “thrill rides” are not the only cause of theme and amusement park injuries and deaths. A study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that from 1995 to 2010 there was a 15-fold increase in the number injuries to children as the result of “jumpers,” “bounce house,” and other inflatable rides and attractions. According to the study, more than 30 children per day, or about one child every 45 minutes, were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries associated with inflatable bouncers in 2010 alone.
California is famous for its large number of world-renowned theme parks, including Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, both located in Orange County. Theme parks and other amusement parks with permanent rides are required by state law to submit reports every time a park-goer seeks medical care beyond first aid for injuries sustained on rides. A review of injury reports made in 2009-2010 conducted by the Orange County Register discovered 284 reports of incidents involving multiple rides that required medical attention over two years at several Orange County amusement parks, including Disneyland.
California Theme Park Ride Lawsuits
Selecting a California amusement park lawyer to represent a client in a case involving theme and amusement park-related injuries can be challenging. The laws governing the duties, responsibility and liability of theme and amusement parks varies from state-to-state, so it is important to choose a California amusement park injury lawyer who has experience in this type of litigation.
In a number of states, the operators of theme and amusement parks are considered “common carriers.” This means that they have a higher duty to protect patrons from injuries resulting from certain rides as well in-as park transportation. On the other hand, because people visit theme and amusement parks with the intention of riding roller coasters and other rides known to have certain risks, many states have laws that limit the responsibilities of parks on the grounds that park-goers “assume the risks” when they ride. Even so, parks may still be liable for negligently operating or maintaining a ride or attraction when such negligence leads to injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on a theme or amusement park ride or other attraction, you should contact a lawyer who understands the various legal issues involved in seeking compensation. The California amusement park injury lawyers of The Senators Firm have a wealth of experience in the evaluation and litigation of cases involving theme and amusement park injuries.
Slips, Falls, Assaults, and Other Theme and Amusement Park Injuries
Rides are not the only source of injuries at them and amusement parks. A guest at a theme or amusement park has an expectation that the park owner will use reasonable care to design, operate and maintain all of the park’s structures including parking lots, roads and footpaths, concessions, and other facilities. In addition, patrons should be able to expect that parks are secure from criminal activity on the part of park employees or even other guests.
Sources of theme and amusement park injuries include the following:
- Improperly designed or maintained roads, walkways, elevators and escalators.
- Inadequate signs and warnings.
- Inadequate lighting.
- Faulty maintenance of rental equipment, such as strollers, wheelchairs and other items.
- Inadequate security.
- Food poisoning from park concessions.
Contact A California Amusement Park Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while visiting a theme or amusement park, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for and suffering. The California lawyers at The Senators Firm can help determine if you have a case, and can get you the compensation you deserve. We strongly encourage amusement park accident victims and their loved ones to contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can evaluate the merits of your claim and begin fighting for your full and fair compensation. When you want aggressive legal advocates on your side, you need our legal team.