Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Causes and effects of theme park accidents & injuries

Amusement parks, water parks, museums and theme parks are great fun. Every year, millions of Americans, both young and old, flock to such sites to spend a day enjoying themselves with friends or family. One of the main reasons that people go to these sites is for the rides.Amusement rides range from small, slow moving devices for small children to huge high speed roller coasters intended only for those thrill seekers who love to be scared. But even carousels can cause injury. We’ve all also been to the local carnivals that travel from city to city and set up shop for just a week or so. In contrast to other permanent structures at parks, these rides are constantly being assembled and disassembled which obviously leaves the door open for human error and possible tragedy.

In virtually every state, rides must be examined on a regular basis by local or regional authorities to determine if they are in good working order and safe. But unfortunately, accidents do still happen and when they do, very serious injuries or wrongful death may result. Injuries may include pinched fingers, severed fingers or limbs, crush injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones or death resulting from falls at great heights. Amusement park ride accidents may result from any number of causes, but some of the most common include:

  • Mechanical failure of the amusement ride
  • Defective design or manufacture of the ride
  • Operator error or inattentive behavior
  • Inadequate security or inadequate supervision
  • Failure to follow guidelines for minimum & maximum height, weight or age restrictions
  • Malfunction of safety restraints/ belts/ lap bars
  • Poorly maintained or assembled rides
  • Missing or defective safety equipment
  • Inadequate staffing or improperly trained staff
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Failure to properly warn of dangerous or off-limits areas
  • Failure to warn riders of restrictions including those for pregnant or infirm riders

When consumers go to theme parks, amusement parks or water parks for a day of fun, they usually spend a good deal of money for the privilege. But sometimes in return they get something that they just didn’t bargain for – injury or death. Consumers have every right to expect that their experience will be one of enjoyment and not one of danger.

Additional resources provided by the author

If you or a family member has suffered a accident or injury, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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