Whether it’s a well know theme park, your county fair or a local street carnival, people of all ages love amusement parks. The last thing you expect is to be injured in an accident while enjoying a day out with your family. Yet a quick scan of news headlines shows amusement park accidents happen with alarming frequency nationally.
A serious accident at San Diego SeaWorld’s popular Electric Eel rollercoaster in June of 2023 shows that something can go wrong at any amusement park, regardless of the safety protocols in place. In that case, a man sustained a major ankle injury while on the ride and had to be rushed to the hospital. No one likes to think about it, but if you or a loved one are injured in an amusement park accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and how to proceed.
Reporting and Investigation
In the unfortunate event of an amusement park accident, note that amusement parks and their owners are legally obligated to report any injuries or accidents that occur on their rides. This requirement ensures that authorities can properly investigate and take appropriate action to prevent similar incidents in the future. In the case of SeaWorld’s Electric Eel coaster, the park reported a rider’s left ankle injury to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
Your Rights if You Are Injured
If you’re injured in an amusement park accident, be aware of your rights:
- Right to Compensation:Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
- Liability Consideration:The park’s liability will be assessed during the investigation. If the accident occurred due to negligence on the part of the park, ride operator, or maintenance staff, they could be held responsible for your injuries.
- Product Liability:If the ride’s design, manufacturing, or maintenance was flawed and led to your injury, you may have a case of product liability against the manufacturer or maintenance company.
- Premises Liability:Amusement parks have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors. If inadequate safety measures or poor maintenance contributed to the accident, you might have a premises liability claim.
- Statute of Limitations:There is a time limit for filing a personal injury claim. However, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to file your personal injury claim. Consult with a personal injury attorney immediately so they can present the strongest case possible for you.
What if the Victim is a Child?
If a child is injured in an amusement park accident, know your rights if you are their parent or guardian. Firstly, make sure your child receives immediate medical attention for their injuries. Additionally, gather information about the accident, including witness statements, photographs, and any relevant documentation. Report the accident to park officials and authorities right away.
Attorney J.J. Dominguez of The Dominguez Firm explains how parents should proceed if their child is injured in an amusement park accident. “As a concerned parent, you want to enlist the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. If your child is under 18, you, as their parent or guardian will be filing the lawsuit on their behalf. Your lawyer will guide you through the process of seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages for them. Having the funds to help your child make a full recovery provides much-needed financial peace of mind during a difficult time.”
Seeking Legal Help
You don’t want to take on an amusement park accident claim by yourself. These are usually complex cases involving multiple parties. A personal injury with experience in amusement park accident claims can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests in court if necessary. That way, you or your loved one can concentrate on getting better.