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Amusement Park Accidents: Who is Responsible?

Amusement Park Accidents: Who is Responsible?

Amusement park accidents are, unfortunately, more common than you may think. You may wonder, “How many amusement park accidents happen per year?” 

National statistics show there are about 30,000 amusement park accident-related injuries in the US annually. From rollercoaster mishaps to unexpected slips and falls, these incidents can significantly impact your safety and enjoyment in these parks. They go beyond mere hiccups in your fun and even result in serious injuries.

In case of an accident in an amusement park, you must know how to establish responsibility and what steps to take next so you can protect your rights.

3 Types of Amusement Park Accidents

Accidents in amusement parks usually fall into three categories, each with its own potential dangers. Knowing their differences can help you identify the liable party, which can be valuable when filing a personal injury case.

1. Mechanical failures

Although designed for exciting experiences, amusement park rides can become hazards when mechanical failures occur. These failures range from unexpected stops on roller coasters to faulty safety restraints, posing significant risks to visitors. Not having a consistent machine and engine maintenance schedule can lead to these mechanical failures.

2. Operator errors

Lapses in ride operator attention or inadequate training can lead to serious accidents. For instance, a Ferris wheel operator mistakenly starting the ride while the passengers are still onboarding can result in an accident and injuries. Amusement park rides require the operators to be attentive all the time, and a second of misfocus can lead to unfortunate situations.

3. Visitor misconduct

Beyond mechanical failures and operator errors, park goers’ misconduct can also contribute to amusement park accidents. Visitor safety rules and guidelines are posted around the park to ensure a fun and smooth experience. Ignoring them and engaging in reckless behavior often lead to injuries. 

Take height restrictions for water rides, for example. Visitors disregarding this restriction and attempting to ride an attraction that requires them to meet a certain height pose a huge risk to themselves. 

4 Steps to Take Immediately After an Amusement Park Accident

Consider the following steps below to ensure your safety and protect your rights when you find yourself in an amusement park accident.

1. Seek medical attention

Your well-being should be your top priority, especially after an accident in an amusement park. Even if the harm seems minor, seek immediate medical attention, especially since injuries sustained during amusement park accidents can cause delayed symptoms.

For example, a jolt on a ride may lead to underlying injuries. In this case, you may need a thorough medical examination to uncover them. Alert the park authorities or go to the first aid med bay to assess your situation properly.

2. Report the incident to park authorities

Swiftly report the accident to park authorities or staff. They can help you handle emergencies and initiate the necessary procedures. When reporting, provide a detailed account of the incident—including the time, location, and any witnesses. With these, you can help the investigation process go smoother.

In situations where a ride malfunction was the cause of the accident, promptly reporting it can prevent further accidents and rectify the issue.

3. Document the scene and gather evidence

Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, noting any contributing factors or visible hazards. Collect witnesses’ contact information, as their statements will be valuable. This documentation can serve as vital evidence if legal action becomes necessary, backing up your claims and helping you get the settlement you deserve.

For instance, capturing a faulty safety feature or hazardous ride equipment in a photo or video can significantly strengthen your case. It can show that the liability of the accident does not fall on you.

4. Contact a personal injury lawyer

After the incident, you may think, “Who should I contact if I get into an amusement park accident?” For these cases, consider contacting and hiring a lawyer. These professionals can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected and helping you pursue fair compensation.

RMD Law has dedicated lawyers specializing in personal injury services, providing expertise and support to Californians in such situations. Their experienced team can assess the specifics of your case and advocate for your rights. More importantly, they offer a valuable resource in your pursuit of justice.

How to Establish Responsibility in an Amusement Park Accident

Determining liability in accidents in an amusement park is a critical step toward seeking justice and fair compensation. Below are key elements and strategies involved in establishing liability for the incident.

1. Identifying liable parties

In cases where mechanical failures cause the accident, ride manufacturers may bear responsibility. Whether it’s a design flaw or a manufacturing defect, the origin of the problem often traces back to the company that created the ride. 

However, the chain of responsibility doesn’t end there. Park operators and staff play a pivotal role in maintaining a safe environment. The park may bear responsibility if an accident results from operator error or inadequate training.

Moreover, maintenance contractors are responsible for the upkeep of the rides. Therefore, they may also be accountable, especially if the accident occurred from a ride malfunction due to neglecting routine inspections.

2. Understanding the legal aspects and liabilities

Establishing negligence is essential in assigning responsibility. When a party fails to uphold a reasonable duty of care, they may be held liable for resulting injuries. For instance, if an operator doesn’t follow proper safety procedures and causes an accident, they may be deemed negligent. 

On top of this, amusement parks are subject to strict safety regulations. The park may face legal consequences if an accident occurs due to non-compliance. For this reason, parks outline safety guidelines, and visitors must adhere to them. Accidents that result from non-adherence to these rules may fall on the visitor’s responsibility.

3. Collecting evidence for a potential lawsuit

In the aftermath of the amusement park accident, collecting evidence becomes crucial in establishing responsibility, as it can corroborate your side of the story. Eyewitness accounts offer valuable perspectives, providing additional insights into the sequence of events. These statements can bolster the narrative and strengthen your case by presenting a well-rounded view of the incident.

Moreover, video footage becomes a powerful tool as it provides visual evidence. Recording the incident by obtaining surveillance camera footage clarifies the circumstances surrounding the accident. 

Besides this, official records like maintenance logs and inspection reports add a layer of authenticity to your evidence. If inadequate maintenance or overlooked inspections are evident in these records, you can use them as compelling proof of negligence and significantly strengthen your position in a potential lawsuit.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities in an Amusement Park

Going through an amusement park accident can be troubling and cause panic, especially if you’re unsure what to do. However, knowing the next steps to take when you find yourself in one can help you navigate the situation with a clear mind. Remember, your safety matters, and understanding how to assert your rights ensures a swift resolution to amusement park incidents.

If you’ve sustained an injury from an amusement park accident and need a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process, reach out to RMD Law. Our team of experienced lawyers is ready for the tireless representation you deserve.

Contact us for a free case evaluation today.

Aria Miran
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