An estimated 375 million people enjoy the rides, food, games, and other attractions at amusement parks in North America each year. Most guests have a great time and go home with full stomachs and lots of memories. Unfortunately, what makes amusement parks so fun is also what leads to any number of injuries.
If you or a loved one was recently injured at an amusement park, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have.
What Are the Common Causes of Amusement Park Injuries?
All amusement parks in Michigan are subject to strict state regulations. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that rides and attractions are completely safe. Here are a few of the most common causes of amusement park injuries:
- Operator fault. Operators are well-trained, but this doesn't mean they make mistakes or are negligent. For example, the operator might not properly secure a seatbelt or operate the ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Mechanical issues. When a ride isn't properly maintained, wasn't manufactured properly, or was damaged during transport, potentially dangerous situations can arise.
- Inaccurate instruction. The operator must provide safety instructions at the beginning of the ride, such as the appropriate time to remove the safety harness or to keep their hands on the safety bar.
The amusement park is obligated to warn the riders of the inherent danger of the ride and caution them from riding if they suffer from any medical issues, such as a heart condition. The malfunction, operator error, or other failure can lead to several injuries, including broken bones, severe cuts, neck or back injuries, or even death.
Do I Have Grounds to Sue the Amusement Park?
Your attorney will investigate the incident, including interviewing you and any witnesses, to determine if you have grounds to file a suit against the amusement park or the attraction's manufacturer. The suit you file will either try to prove negligence or product liability.
A negligence lawsuit will attempt to show that either the amusement park, an operator, or another employee was careless. For example, say a ride malfunctions and the amusement park's owners or management is aware of the problem. If they neglect to remedy the situation and a rider is injured, an attorney can argue negligence.
Another example of negligence is if the carelessness of an operator leads to an injury. In this case, the amusement park is at fault because they are responsible for the employee and liable for their actions.
A product liability case, on the other hand, might involve a flaw in the design of an attraction. If the injury occurs because of this flaw, an attorney will file a product liability claim.
What Are the Amusement Park's Possible Defenses?
Once the lawsuit is filed, the amusement park will either try to settle or argue that the patron is at fault for the accident. One possible defense is the inherent risk of amusement park attractions. The amusement park's attorney will argue that the rider knew the risks associated with the attraction and chose to ignore them.
The park's attorney might argue that the rider did not comply with the posted safety rules and regulations. For example, if the rider is underweight or too short to be allowed on the ride and was aware of this noncompliance, it could be used as an effective defense.
If you or a family member is injured while enjoying a day at the amusement park, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Anthony M. Malizia are here to answer any other questions you may have about your personal injury lawsuit. Contact us for a consultation today.