When negligence occurs at an amusement park, where roller coasters travel at high speeds and rides soar many feet into the air, the consequences can be catastrophic. Recently, a 7-year-old boy fell off of a popular ride at the Mississippi State Fair held right here in Jackson, MS. The ride, known as the Skyride, was some 30 feet off the ground when the young boy pummeled down. The boy was rushed to the hospital and was traumatically injured. Officials investigated the Skyride and could find no signs of malfunction. In fact, they found all safety lap bars to be functioning correctly, including the bar in the car which the boy fell from. Mississippi State Fair officials have reopened the ride and stressed that the incident was unprecedented. The Skyride has not had previous accidents of this kind.
If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The following are some of the most common means of recovering for your injuries after an amusement park accident:
Over 300 million people go to amusement parks each year, as reported by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The likelihood of injury at an amusement park is estimated to be 1 in 9 million. While this means the odds are in your favor for enjoying a day at the park injury free, the potential for catastrophic injury at an amusement park is there.
An individual injured at an amusement park may be able to recover for their injuries through a personal injury suit. For the amusement park to be held liable, a plaintiff must show the amusement park acted negligently and created or failed to prevent a dangerous condition which caused your injury.
Some of the most common negligence issues arising from amusement parks are:
- Ride defects
- Inadequate maintenance on rides
- Failure or poorly designed safety restraints
- Unlocked doors or gates that allow access to dangerous areas within the park
- Inadequate warnings as to restricted areas
- Inadequate ride warnings, such as warnings for those with heart problems to not ride the roller coaster
- Failure to properly train ride operators
- Ride operators who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Slippery areas
- Poor upkeep of the amusement park grounds and buildings
If you are injured due to the actions of an amusement park’s employee, the park will generally be liable. The amusement park is normally responsible for the actions of its employees. Therefore, if an employee failed to inspect the safety harnesses on a ride, for instance, or did not post clear warnings, then amusement park will still be liable.
- Products Liability
Sometimes the amusement park accident is not caused by the negligence of the amusement park; rather, it is caused by a defective ride or component of the ride not due to improper maintenance, inspection, or use. For instance, the faulty design of a lap safety bar could cause the bar to unlatch mid-ride and send the rider falling to the ground. Products liability can also encompass structural or design defects in the ride itself. Products liability is a complex area of the law and will require you prove numerous elements that lead to the conclusion a defect in the product caused your injuries.
John D. Giddens, P.A. Can Help
The Giddens Law Firm is a boutique firm in Jackson, Mississippi known for its exceptional representation in all types of personal injury and products liability cases. John D. Giddens and his attorney team select only a few cases a year, allowing them to better focus on the needs of their clients. If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park, call the Giddens Law Firm today at 601-355-2022 for a free consultation.