Most people go to amusement parks and ride roller coasters for the thrill and danger. But everyone still expects to go home safe and sound at the end of the day. This is because theme park operators have a legal duty to keep their parks safe for their guests.
Unfortunately, theme park operators don’t always live up to these safety standards. They may fall behind on maintenance or repairs. Their employees may not get the proper training to operate the rides. The park may fail to take basic safety precautions and put patrons at risk.
Every year, more than 1,000 people get injured at the hundreds of amusement parks across the United States. While injuries and deaths have decreased over time because of safety and technical upgrades, a theme park ride gone wrong can affect you for life.
Even the safest amusement parks across the country have incidents of injuries and even deaths – Disney parks, Six Flags parks, Universal parks, Warner Bros. parks, SeaWorld parks, and Premier Parks properties, including their water parks. California alone has at least 33 theme parks across the state, including safari parks, WaterWorks, and Legoland.
In high-risk situations like roller coaster rides or giant tide pools, the slightest oversight could cause significant injuries like TBI, amputation, or even death to park attendees. Even a spinning teacup could be dangerous if operated improperly.
If an amusement park is guilty of negligence or intentional acts that cause an injury or death, you can hold the park operator legally responsible for the consequences with a personal injury lawsuit. If you’ve lost a loved one to an amusement park accident, you could have the right to file a wrongful death claim as well as a survival action in California.
The personal injury lawyers at Sepulveda Sanchez Law can help. Contact us now for a free consultation of your case – you don’t pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
What Are the Main Causes of Injuries at Amusement Parks?
The most common types of injuries at amusement parks usually involve:
- Slips and falls on uneven ground, wet floors, or from heights
- Falling or getting thrown from a roller coaster ride
- Drowning in or on water slides, wave pools, or water rides
- Suffering a stroke or aneurysm from especially fast rides
- Head, neck, or back injuries such as whiplash or slipped discs
- Traumatic brain injuries like concussions from the stress of intense G-forces
Most often, these injuries are caused by:
- Inadequate maintenance of equipment by the amusement park operator
- Improper repairs completed by a third-party contractor
- A ride operator or park employee failing to pay proper attention
- Improper operation by park employees or supervisors
- Mechanical failure caused by a manufacturing or design defect
But sometimes, it’s the ride itself that’s inherently dangerous. Many amusement parks advertise experiences more and more extreme than the last – until they end up crossing a dangerous line. Providing an adrenaline rush is one thing, but there’s only so much the human body can take.
Ultimately, amusement parks are responsible for making sure you’re safe during your visit, by:
- Inspecting the premises for hazards and fixing them quickly when found
- Posting the proper warning signs for hazardous areas and rides
- Constructing the park in a way that minimizes the risk of injuries
California also regulates the operation of amusement parks, with permit and license requirements. If the operators fail to keep the park safe, they could be guilty of negligence.
What Happens If You Get Injured on a Roller Coaster?
If you’ve suffered an amusement park injury, your first step should be to get medical attention as soon as possible – even if you feel “okay” or “fine.”
For example, you may go on a ride with extreme spinning forces that cause you to black out for just a second. You manage to walk off the feeling after the ride ends, but you start getting a headache that won’t quit. Or you start experiencing symptoms like vertigo, memory issues, or functional impairment in the days, weeks, or months after the incident. These could be signs of a serious head injury.
So many serious injuries could be latent – you may not actually realize the full extent of the harm you’ve suffered until much later. That’s why it’s important to get a medical check-up where a health professional can pick up any injuries before they snowball into something worse.
In addition, going to the doctor after an injury starts an evidence trail documenting the details. The sooner after the incident you see a doctor, the more convincingly you can prove that the amusement park accident caused your injuries. Establishing causation and backing it up with evidence is one of the most important parts of a successful personal injury case.
After seeing a doctor, you should talk to a personal injury lawyer about your legal options – and soon. You must file any legal claims before the statute of limitations time limit runs up.
Can You Sue a Theme Park for Injuries?
Some amusement park injuries end up getting millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. A lawsuit can help injury victims and their families recover and move forward with their lives.
In a successful personal injury lawsuit, you get to hold the amusement park operators responsible for your injuries accountable for the harm that they’ve caused. After all, you shouldn’t be the one to pay for the consequences of someone else’s negligence.
By filing a lawsuit, you can get the responsible party to cover damages like:
- All medical bills related to your injuries, including expenses anticipated for the future
- Any income you’ve lost or expect to lose from becoming unable to work
- Your physical pain, emotional suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life
The more severe or permanent your injuries, the greater the impact they’re likely to have on your life. Your injury settlement should reflect the full compensation you deserve.
While most roller coaster rides and amusement park attractions are safe, tragedy can still strike. When the unthinkable happens, your lawyer can help fight for your rights.
Don’t settle before talking to an attorney – click here now to schedule your free case consultation with our experienced amusement park injury lawyers.