Amusement parks are a popular family-friendly activity where kids and adults can enjoy rides, shop, eat and walk around the park. In fact, New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure attracts more than 3.4 million visitors each year, according to the Global Attractions Attendance Report. Recently, the media has reported on a string of accidents at the New Jersey amusement park as well as a spate of other injury incidents at amusement parks across the country. While a day at a theme park is intended to be fun and carefree, what happens when an injury occurs at the park?
While injury incidents at amusement parks are rare, it’s important to understand what parties may be liable for the accident and what your options may be to recover compensation for your losses.
Types of Amusement Park Accidents
While many people think of injuries related to extreme rides, like roller coasters, there are several common types of amusement park accidents. Patrons could suffer from any of the following:
- Ride injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Stairs and parking lot accidents
- Food poisoning
In many of these cases, the amusement park, park employees, manufacturers or other visitors may be liable to the injury victim for damages.
Dangerous Property Conditions at the Amusement Park
Under the premises liability law, property owners and managers are required to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition and avoid any dangerous conditions. As a patron or customer of the amusement park, the park owner owes the highest ‘duty of care’ to the public to not only maintain the property in a safe condition but also repair any dangerous hazards, warn customers about those hazards and follow all safety regulations. When a property owner fails in this duty of care, they can be held liable for compensation for any injuries that occur because of that failure.
Hazardous conditions that may cause an injury in an amusement park include:
- Wet and slippery stairs and pavement
- Inadequate lighting
- Jagged and broken concrete
- Parking lot potholes or hazards
- Broken ride restraints
- Broken benches
- Lack of instructions for riders
- Food spills in dining areas
- Inadequate and lack of warnings.
Amusement park operators are expected to provide adequate safety and ride operation training to their employees and can be responsible for damages if they don’t. If a park employee makes a mistake that leads to an amusement park attendee sustaining an injury, then the amusement park operator or owner will likely be held responsible.
Amusement rides must be properly inspected and maintained to prevent mechanical problems. Failing to do so could result in the amusement park operator or owner holding liability if an accident occurs. If an amusement park accident occurs because of a defective design or testing, then that third-party company or manufacturer may be held responsible for any injuries that occur.
Compensation for Your Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in an amusement park ride due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation for the losses you incurred because of the injury. There are two main types of damages you can seek in a personal injury claim. First, there are economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income if you were unable to work due to the injury. In cases of serious injury, a lawsuit may seek compensation for intangible losses like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. These are more subjective and are available to compensate you for discomfort and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
Brandon J. Broderick Can Help You Recover Compensation
Determining liability after an amusement park accident can be tricky and often requires the help of a personal injury lawyer. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, our personal injury attorneys are committed to client care and passionately fighting for the justice you deserve. One of our trusted team members will listen to your story, learn about your case, and can advise you on the next steps. Many of our clients feel a sense of relief once they make that first phone call. Contact us today for a free consultation.