The last place people expect to be hurt or injured is an amusement park. However, as with any situation, accidents can happen, lives can even be lost. In light of such a tragic circumstance, is there an opportunity to recover at least some of the expenses associated with an accident at an amusement park? As with anything, if another party has engaged in some sort of negligence which in turn caused an injury, then you may be entitled to recover some compensation for medical bills and perhaps for pain and suffering.
Amusement park injuries and accidents that generally occur are most often attributable to negligence and/or product liability. It is therefore very important to understand the details of any such accident and the circumstances involved.
Injuries Caused by Negligence
If a person is injured at an amusement park as a result of a careless or distracted employee then the most likely sort of legal case is negligence. In a negligence case, the plaintiff will need to be able to prove that the defendant did not behave in a reasonable and careful manner. And consequently, it needs to be shown that this carelessness resulted in the plaintiff (the injured party) being injured.
Furthermore, an amusement park is responsible for the actions of all of the people it hires. If one of its employees behaves in a negligent manner, then the injured party will be able to sue the amusement park and is not simply limited to going after the individual responsible.
Negligence may be caused by someone doing something wrong, or by failing to do something right. Examples include:
- If the park does not post clear signs warning patrons that people with certain physical ailments or limitations should not ride a particular ride; this may constitute negligence.
- If ride operators were not properly trained and evaluated in the safe operation of a ride, then the park may be found negligent.
- If the equipment used to operate rides, or the ride itself is not properly maintained, or if they lack appropriate records detailing those inspections, the amusement park may be found to be negligent.
- If a ride is being improperly operated, the park may be found to be negligent.If riders are not given appropriate instructions regarding ride procedure, or if they are given incorrect instructions as they board a ride, and this results in an injury occurring, the amusement park may be found to be liable for negligence.
The other common reason amusement parks may be found responsible for the injury of a patron is product liability. Rides may be appropriately maintained, inspected, and operated, but due to mechanical and/or part failure or poor design, a person may suffer injury. Examples of such failures could be a faulty restraint intended to hold a patron safely in place, or a part failing as a result of heat or similarly cold weather.
In a case of product liability, it is up the injured party or their representative to prove that a manufacturer is responsible for allowing a defective part to be used. Plaintiffs have to prove that their injury, or the death of a loved one was caused by a part failure and that the part was specifically responsible for the injury or death.
Requirements in Court
People generally go to amusement parks to engage in behaviors that are somewhat risky—sharp curves on roller coasters and other thrills are what patrons seek. Legally, this is referred to as assumed risk. In some states, if an amusement park can prove that riding a particular ride involved certain assumed risks, they will not be liable for injuries. Other states will give smaller payouts if there is assumed risks from an injury on a particular ride.
Patrons have to be aware of the risks associated with a particular ride. However, just because there is an assumption of risk, that does not preclude the responsibility of the amusement part if their negligence is a factor. Therefore, you need to understand the cause of your accident which hastened your injury. Knopf Bigger wants to help you navigate the complex maze of personal injury law. Our highly trained team understands what to look for, what questions to ask, and what avenues to pursue. If you or a loved one was injured at an amusement park, we can help make certain you are treated fairly.