Types of Injuries from Amusement Park Rides
Amusement park rides can cause a variety of serious life-altering injuries, ranging from brain damage to blunt force trauma. When you hear “roller coaster injury,” you probably imagine a ride derailing or a severe accident. However, even a normally functioning ride can cause injury. Fast-moving roller coasters such as those at King’s Island or Cedar Point can exert too great a force of gravity, leading to serious brain and spinal cord injuries.
The sharp up-and-down or side-to-side motion of many roller coasters can cause the brain to bounce around the inside of the skull, resulting in brain swelling and serious damage. Children are especially susceptible to ride-related brain injury, since gravitational pulls affect their systems more severely. The G-forces of rides can also damage the spinal cord when a ride whips the body around in quick succession.
Other injuries can result from ride malfunction or part defects. Ride malfunctions don’t happen every day, but when they do, they can be catastrophic. Ride malfunctions are often due to operator negligence or part failure. Victims of negligence in roller coaster accidents can potentially sue the theme park or the ride manufacturer for compensation in these cases.
While most amusement park injuries are minor, a small percentage are fatal. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is an average of 4.5 fatalities associated with amusement park rides every year. Most injuries occurred to children 10-14 years old (17.9%), with children 5-9 (12.6%) and 15-19 years old (13.8%) next, but with many victims 0-4 years old (6.3%).
Who is Responsible for Amusement Park Injuries?
When someone is the victim of a ride malfunction or amusement park injury, it can be difficult to assign blame. While the theme park itself may sometimes be responsible, at other times it can be a different defendant or even multiple defendants. The courts assign responsibility for amusement park injuries by investigating the source of the injury, as well as looking at the type of liability the specific amusement park, fair, or carnival has based on Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations.
It may surprise riders to find out that the CPSC does not regulate major theme parks such as Kings Island and Cedar Point. Instead, the CPSC is responsible for enforcing safety codes and acceptable standards of practice for mobile amusement park rides, such as those found at the Ohio State Fair. Despite the CPSC not imposing safety regulations, victims of injuries at major theme parks still have a variety of legal protections.
Assigning Negligence in Amusement Park Accidents
Having Experience On Your Side Matters.
The law obligates amusement parks to provide a reasonably safe environment for patrons. This includes properly maintaining rides, posting clear warning signs for those who should not ride (i.e, those with heart problems), training ride operators and employees, inspecting rides routinely, and providing correct instructions for riders. If the amusement park fails in any of these duties, the court can find the park guilty of negligence.
If the amusement park did everything in its power to provide a reasonably safe environment for patrons, but a ride malfunction caused an accident, the victim or victims may have a case against the manufacturer of the ride or the maker of the defective part. For example, if a design flaw in the lap bar of a ride makes it susceptible to unlatching during the ride, the court will hold the maker of the lap bar responsible.
Our goal is simple:
To be the Best Amusement Park Injury Lawyers For You.
The experienced Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at The Durst Law Firm have helped numerous victims of all kinds of transportation, including amusement park accidents. Our goal is to provide you with the most outstanding legal representation possible, not only by marshaling our considerable experience, dedication, trial lawyering ability, and grit to obtain the highest possible settlement or verdict in your case, but by treating you – and every one of our clients – with dignity, respect and compassion. Let us represent you in your Ohio amusement park injury case.
Call us today at (513) 621-4999 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
When you work with the Durst Law Firm, you can expect us to:
Provide you with the support and guidance you need during this very overwhelming time.
Actually listen to what you have to say and use your side of the story as the foundation for our investigation.
Conduct an exhaustive examination into the circumstances leading up to and surrounding your case.
Gather and scrutinize relevant evidence (police reports, witness accounts, footage, etc) as we work to determine causation, fault, and liability.
Take care of all communication with interested parties, including insurance providers.
Work to disprove or minimize the effect of any claims that you share responsibility for the crash.
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