Yesterday, three children fell from a Ferris wheel at a Tennessee county fair due to a mechanical failure. Recently, a 10 year old boy was tragically killed in a waterpark ride accident in Kansas. In 2014, a branch was knocked onto the path of a speeding roller coaster, derailing the car and leaving the passengers stranded for hours. In 2013, a woman was thrown to her death from a high speed coaster. These stories of fast rides and tragedy are headline grabbing and, fortunately, rare. But amusement park injuries are actually quite common. Only a fraction of cases involve serious trauma and wrongful death from attractions. Most ride injuries are less severe head, neck, and back injuries. While it isn't newsworthy, most injuries that occur at parks are cases of lacerations, broken bones, or fractures caused by slip-and-fall accidents. If you or a family member suffered an injury at an amusement park, you may be able to collect compensation for related expenses.
Here is what an attorney will take into consideration when reviewing an amusement park accident:
Negligence: Did the park or ride operator demonstrate a lack of reasonable care that contributed to or caused an injury? Was the ride operator properly trained?
Product liability: Was an attraction inherently dangerous? This means that proper maintenance and inspection still would not have ensured safety. It is expensive and difficult to prove that a manufacturer could have used a safer design for a ride.
Premises liability: Did the owner take reasonable care of the construction, management, and maintenance of the facility and grounds?
Assumption of risk: Is the rider participating in an act that has inherent risks?
Rider noncompliance with rules: Did a rider ignore posted rules and warnings such as height, weight, and health restrictions?