Amusement and theme parks are a place where adults and children seek fun and entertainment. However, accidents involving amusement park rides can result in serious injury or death. Whether the injured person is a guest or an employee of the park; anyone near, currently riding or operating a ride is subject to injury if something unexpected happens.
Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to theme park injuries. Children might be just on the brink of meeting height and weight restrictions, but are still allowed to ride. Elderly people are more at risk because riding an attraction may have increased side effects if they have certain health conditions.
There are several types of amusement park accidents. They typically fall into one of four categories:
- Negligence on behalf of the guest, i.e. refusal to follow specific ride safety rules and regulations, or deliberate intent to disregard rules pertaining to the specific attraction or those of the park as a whole.
- The result of a guest’s known or unknown health issues, including pregnancy, heart conditions, high blood pressure, etc…
- Freak accidents that are not a direct result of an action on anyone’s part.
- Negligence on the part of the amusement park, either by the ride operator or maintenance staff.
Most amusement parks are required by law to report accidents to regulatory authorities. According to data from the 2010 Amusement Ride Injury Survey, there were 1207 amusement ride-related injuries reported from 386 theme parks. These break down as follows:
- 10% of injuries, 122 total, were on children’s rides
- 54% of injuries, 652 total, were on family & adult rides
- 36% of injuries, 433 total, were on roller coasters
- 5% of total injuries were reported as serious or fatal
- 95% are reported as “other” injuries
Contact one of Emroch & Kilduff’s attorneys today for representation if you or a loved one has been involved in an amusement park accident.