Amusement Park Injuries
Houston, TX Amusement Park Injury Lawyers
If you need a lawyer for an injury at an amusement park, we can help. Amusement parks are a very popular attraction and can be a great adventure for families and young people. However, when not managed and maintained properly, they can be a danger to the public. According to the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, 51 people were killed on mobile amusement park rides from 1987 to 2000. In 2004, approximately 2,500 people sustained a personal injury on amusement park rides requiring emergency medical care with children compromising one-half of those victims. These numbers do not reflect the countless amusement park patrons that do not seek emergency medical treatment after an accident at an attraction. Nor do these numbers reflect the patrons injured on rides permanently affixed to a site.
Prolonging medical attention can result in long-term injury. Injuries such as whiplash, neck and back problems, heart problems, internal injuries, and broken bones if left untreated can lead to complications later in life.
Some of the serious injuries that can occur at amusement parks include:
- Wrongful Death
- Amputation Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken Bones
Injuries at amusement parks, state fairs, and carnivals are caused by many things. According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, about 300 million people visit amusement parks annually, with about 1.8 billion rides being ridden. Examples of things that might cause injury are mismanagement, faulty and uninspected equipment, and negligence. According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, negligence by ride operators or by ride safety inspectors is one of the biggest reported causes of injuries. There is no federal organization that regulates amusement parks, but state inspections can occur at any time. This means that it is largely up to the company that owns the park to make sure that things are running well. The company that owns the amusement park is legally responsible to make sure that the customers are safe. These owners are also responsible for hiring knowledgeable and competent staff. When they fail to do so, the person who is injured should be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained.
Each year, amusement park rides cause thousands of injuries to patrons varying from superficial bruises and scrapes to more significant traumatic head injuries and broken bones or even death. A reported nearly 300 million guests to visit amusement parks annually throughout the United States. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission monitors the number of amusement park accidents occurring each year in the United States. According to the CPSC, close to 9,000 patrons were injured significantly enough to warrant emergency room treatment. About one-half of the injured are children, who also make up three-quarters of the victims of falls or forceful ejection accidents on amusement park rides.
The force exerted on the rider’s body can result in significant injury including injuries to the head, neck, and back; amputations or decapitation; stroke; traumatic brain injury; brain aneurysms; lacerations, torn ligaments, or broken bones; drowning (water slides/rides). The CPSC reports that the majority of amusement park injuries occur due to:
1. Improper operation of the ride by park staff;
2. Mechanical failure of the ride due to a manufacturing defect or park staff’s failure to maintain the ride;
3. The very nature of the ride itself may cause injuries;
4. Rider failure to heed warnings or instructions or misuse of the restraints or ride itself.
No matter the cause, the results can be horrifying.
The inspection and regulation of amusement parks vary depending on the type of park. The federal government (through CPSC) regulates only those rides that are moved from place to place, i.e. mobile, such as those that you see at a county fair or rodeo. In contrast, the CPSC has no authority to inspect or regulate permanent rides such as those at an actual stationary amusement park. These are known as “fixed-site” rides. Surprisingly, only half of the states conduct inspections and regulate fixed-site amusement park rides located within their boundaries while the other half of states rely only on insurance companies or third-party inspectors in regulating these rides.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of the negligence of a manufacturer, owner, and/or operator of an amusement ride, it is imperative to immediately contact a qualified personal injury lawyer. Amusement park accidents and injuries can be catastrophic and lifelong. You need the experienced personal injury attorneys of Fleming Law, P.C. to fight for your rights as a victim.
Accidents at amusement parks are a common occurrence. If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries or death due to an amusement park accident, call Michael P. Fleming to discuss your options.