Amusement parks are commonly seen as a place for fun and laughter for a family, a group of friends, and couples alike. From rollercoasters to other rides, to fun games of luck and chance, there are countless activities in which to engage at any given amusement park. However, this is not always a purely fun activity.
There are occasions where these activities go wrong and people can get seriously hurt. While the chances of an amusement park accident’s occurrence are somewhat rare, the stakes are extremely high given the nature of rollercoasters and rides. According to a study from the journal Clinical Pediatrics, almost 93,000 children under 18 were treated in US emergency rooms for ride-related injuries from 1990 to 2010.
At Mike Agruss Law, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries in Chicago, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured from an amusement park accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Types of Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks have an extremely broad range of activities and attractions which could pose a risk to park-goers. Rollercoasters, by nature, are high-intensity and fast attractions which we automatically think of when we think of amusement park accidents; however, they are not the only source of injury in an amusement park. These are enormous properties with hundreds of people coming together to one place. A number of things could go wrong. Some of the most common types of amusement park accidents include the following:
- Slip and falls or trips and falls – Various substances or objects obstructing a pathway can make someone slip or trip and get seriously injured on impact.
- Inadequate security – This may consist of poor lighting, an insufficient amount of security guards, or other factors leading to a criminal act on the premises.
- Defective parts in rollercoasters or rides – When there is a design defect or manufacturing defect on an attraction, the consequences could be fatal.
- Inadequate maintenance of rides or rollercoaster – There should be some company or party whose job is to maintain and inspect the attractions to ensure their safety over time. Failure to do so can end in a catastrophe on a large scale.
- Poor or lack of training for employees – Employees should be properly trained to enforce safety standards and help park-goers be safely secured in their seats.
- Improper park maintenance – Each aspect of the park should be regularly maintained for its safety and utility. Various types of accidents could result from the failure to do so.
Who Is Liable?
The liable party depends on the type of accident that occurred. Premises liability plays a large role in some of these cases. Premises liability is an area of law concerning liability falling on the property owner when hazards on their property cause injury to entrants. For most of the above-mentioned accidents, the property owner could be liable for the resulting injuries since they breached their duty of care to the entrant and caused their injuries. This is a display or negligence by the property owner if they were responsible for the hazard and failed to take care of it.
In the case of defective parts in attractions, the manufacturer, vendor, or other actors in the chain of distribution could be liable under product liability law. This is an area of the law that says that actors in the chain of distribution could be found liable for injuries caused by a defective product since they released an unsafe product to consumers
In cases of inadequate maintenance or inspection of attractions, the party responsible for conducting these inspections and maintenance care could be found liable for the resulting injuries. This is because they were negligent in carrying out their job. The same goes for improper park maintenance. There are important details to this rule, though, which we will discuss further below.
Illinois Law Regarding Amusement Parks
Illinois has laws in place to regulate the amusement park industry for its safety and enjoyment. The Carnival and Amusement Riders Safety Act mandates that any amusement ride or attraction in the state must be inspected and have a current permit before it is first operated. The Illinois Department of Labor is responsible for inspecting these attractions. Inspections must be conducted each year to get the yearly permit. If an amusement park fails to obtain the new permit, there can be serious criminal and civil penalties for them, including a Class A misdemeanor.
In the event that you are injured after an amusement park accident, you should first get treated right away. You should also document the injuries, report the problem to an authority of the park, speak to eyewitnesses to corroborate your story and keep records of everything that is impacted because of the accident. then, consult one of our attorneys so that we can help you navigate this traumatic experience so that you can get the fair compensation that you deserve.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
An amusement park accident can result in injuries such as broken bones, bruises, and cuts, whiplash, lacerations, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, neck injury, amputations, paralysis, serious burns, drowning, crushing injuries, and even death. Depending on the type of accident that occurred, these can be life-altering and frightening to endure. With our help, we will make sure that you are compensated for what you have been through. Some damages that you can recover after an amusement park accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future loss of earnings
If you or a loved one has been injured from an amusement park accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.