Amusement Park Accidents and Injuries: What You Need to Know

Amusement parks have provided entertainment for hundreds of years. They feature special rides like the Tilt-a-Whirl, roller coasters, and many other kinds of attractions.

But it’s not all fun and games.

Lurking among the laughter and thrills is the darker side of amusement parks. There were an estimated 1,224 ride-related injuries in the U.S. and Canada according to a 2022 report published by the National Safety Council.

We know you want to keep your family safe at the next park visit. So we’ve outlined some information about amusement park accidents and injuries so you can be better prepared.

Amusement park rides can lead to amusement park accidents and injuries

Common Types of Amusement Parks Accidents and Injuries

Regular inspections, employee training, and visitor compliance with safety rules are excellent ways to prevent common roller coaster accidents and injuries, which include: 

  • Mechanical failures
  • Whiplash and neck injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Amputations

If you have health issues like heart problems, back troubles, or if you’re pregnant, you should be extra careful. Some rides might be more dangerous for you. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor before going on certain rides or seeing certain things at the park.

Know Your Rights in an Amusement Park

Knowing about your legal rights and possible responsibilities is important if you get hurt at an amusement park.

If you know your rights, you’ll understand when the park may be responsible for your injury. Also, knowing your own potential liability can prevent you from doing anything that might block you from getting compensated for your injury. 

Types of Claims You Can File

Negligence claims  – If the park or its workers aren’t careful and you get hurt, you can make a negligence claim. In these cases, carefulness is judged by something called “reasonable care.” Reasonable care refers to how a normal, careful person would act in a certain situation.

Premises liability claims – If you get hurt because something at the park is unsafe, like a slippery walkway, bad lighting, or broken equipment, you can make a premises liability claim. These claims come into play specifically if these dangerous things are there because the park isn’t well-maintained or designed.

Product liability claims If you get hurt because of a problem with a ride or other equipment at the park, you might be able to make a product liability claim. Here, it’s not necessarily the park’s fault but the company that made the ride or equipment.

Remember, no matter what type of claim you’re making, you only have two years from the day you got hurt to do it. Otherwise, you will lose the right to seek compensation for your injury.

Who Might Be Liable

Several parties can potentially be held liable for injuries at a theme park, including:

  • Amusement park owners
  • Ride operators
  • Ride manufacturers or suppliers
  • Visitors

What Might Influence or Change Liability

  • Poor safety protocols – The park failed to create or enforce proper safety measures.
  • Visitor behavior – The injured visitor behaved in a dangerous way that contributed to them getting hurt.
  • Compliance with regulations – Did the liable party refuse to comply with regulations and industry standards? 
  • Inspections and maintenance – Were regular inspections performed? Was the equipment properly maintained? Did they fix any known dangers?riding rides at an amusement park involve an assumption of risk that might impact your ability to file an injury claim
  • Assumption of risk – Thisis the idea that just by going on rides, visitors accept certain risks, so the park shouldn’t be liable for someone’s injuries. Amusement parks might even have visitors sign waivers that say the park isn’t responsible. But there are exceptions to this, especially if it’s clear that the park didn’t do enough to keep things safe.

Staying Safe at an Amusement Park

These five tips are under your direct control and can help ensure your time at an amusement park doesn’t end with you or your loved one in an ambulance.

  1. Wear appropriate clothing.
  2. Drink water to avoid overheating.
  3. Take periodic breaks to recharge your body.
  4. Follow all safety protocols.
  5. Report any visible safety hazards.

Steps to Take After an Amusement Park Accident or Injury

No matter how well-organized and well-kept an amusement park may seem, always take precautions. However, if you are injured:

  1. Seek medical attention
  2. Report the incident to park management
  3. Gather evidence
  4. Consult with a personal injury attorney

Amusement parks provide everything from the whimsical vibe of the merry-go-round to the heart-pounding rush of the rollercoaster. When everything goes well, you are left with memories of a fantastic experience.

However, if your experience is tainted because of an injury or accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured at an amusement park, please contact the experienced attorneys at Timberlake & League. We can help.