Who Is Liable For Amusement Park Accidents?
Southern California is home to some of the most famous amusement parks in the world. These include Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The area also has a wide range of water parks, fairs, and festivals that feature rides throughout the year. Families in the Golden State have multiple options for a day of fun all year round.
Sadly, visitors are injured and even killed in amusement park accidents every year throughout the U.S. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in an amusement park accident, call the personal injury lawyers at The Dominguez Firm today for a FREE consultation at 800-818-1818.
Amusement park accident injuries fall under a specific area of personal injury law, specifically premises liability. These cases arise when an unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property causes an injury. What follows is more information on amusement park accidents and how The Dominguez Firm can help you.
What are the Most Common Causes of Amusement Park Accidents?
There are many possible causes of amusement park accidents. Among the most common are:
- Ride malfunction due to a manufacturer defect
- Ride malfunction due to poor maintenance by amusement park staff
- Ride malfunction due to poorly trained operators
- Inadequate or no warning signs where needed
- Poor security
- Poor lighting
- Uneven, cracked, or slippery pavement
- Food poisoning
- Vehicle accidents, usually involving shuttle vehicles
If you were injured while staying at a hotel operated by an amusement park, they are still responsible for your injuries even though they didn’t happen in the actual park itself. This includes any injury or drowning in a hotel pool.
What are Some of the Most Common Amusement Park Injuries?
According to a report prepared by the National Safety Council, there were 1,299 ride-related injuries in 2019. This figure comes from information provided by approximately 436 fixed-site amusement parks in the U.S. and Canada. Most injuries to adults were caused by the motion of a ride. Children, on the other hand, were most often injured while getting in or out of rides.
Some amusement park injuries are obvious, while others are not:
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Food poisoning
- Strokes and heart attacks
While rare, visitors have suffered strokes after riding a roller coaster. Medical studies have even been written about this type of amusement park injury.
What Damages (Compensation) Could I be Entitled to for My Amusement Park Accident Injuries?
If you are injured in an accident at an amusement park in California, you are entitled to damages (the legal term for compensation) for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. There are two categories of damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for the economic losses you’ve suffered due to your injury. These can include, but aren’t limited to:
- Ambulance fees
- Doctor and specialist bills
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages
If you lost a loved one, you would be entitled to the following economic damages:
- Any hospital bills the deceased had due to their amusement park injuries
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the emotional impact of your injuries. They can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (companionship)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In the case of a death, the deceased’s legal next of kin would have the right to file a wrongful death claim against those responsible. The Dominguez Firm has over 30 years of experience helping grieving family members find justice and closure for the unexpected death of a loved one. Let us do the same for you.
Who Exactly am I Suing?
Identifying the defendant depends on the circumstances of your amusement park accident. For example, if your injuries were caused by a defective ride, there may be two defendants; the company that manufactured the ride and the amusement park operator.
Possible defendants can include:
- Another park visitor
- The amusement park operator
- A ride manufacturer
- A shuttle driver
- Third parties, such as an outside food supplier if visitors become extremely ill from something they ate at the park
Many amusement parks are notorious for being overcrowded. A hot day and big crowds can make people quickly lose their tempers. If you are injured in an unprovoked attack by another visitor, that person will face criminal charges for assault and battery. You can also sue them in civil court for any injuries they caused, whether they were convicted in a criminal court or not.
The park may also be liable if you’re injured by someone else, even if it wasn’t due to a violent act. For example, if you’re trampled and injured by people rushing to get on a ride, the park will share some blame if they didn’t have an employee handling crowd control.
When Amusement Parks Aren’t to Blame
There are exceptions to an amusement park’s liability for visitor injuries. These include:
- Anyone injured while illegally trespassing
- Anyone ignoring safety requirements. For example, a person not putting on their harness or standing up on a roller coaster
- Being injured while committing a crime in the amusement park.
Amusement parks and their insurance companies will often argue that all visitors assume risk—known legally as an assumption of risk when they enter an amusement park. They claim getting on a water slide or riding a roller coaster is a risky activity. They do this to avoid being sued.
However, California is a comparative negligence state. So even if you do share some blame for your amusement park accident, you may still be able to sue for your injuries. A court would decide your percentage of blame and subtract that from your final verdict or settlement.
Amusement Park Accident Injury? The Dominguez Firm Can Help
You can follow all of the rules and still be injured in an amusement park accident. Fortunately, the personal injury lawyers at The Dominguez Firm are available to help you recover the damages you’re entitled to for your injuries.
We are a full-service law firm with our own award-winning attorneys. We have over 30 years of experience dealing with all types of accident injury cases. Plus, we work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing upfront to hire us. Instead, we receive a percentage of your final settlement or verdict when your case is finalized. That percentage is clearly stated in the representation agreement you sign when you become our client.
In the unlikely event we can’t obtain any compensation for you, you owe us nothing. If there is no recovery, there is no fee! So call The Dominguez Firm now for a free consultation at 800-818-1818.