Use your best judgement to avoid common amusement park hazards.

Staying Safe at Amusement ParksHere on the West Coast, we are fortunate to enjoy great weather year-round — and access to world-class amusement parks. Undoubtedly, amusement parks such as Disneyland are amazing places to visit, and are generally well-run and safe.  But across the country, alarming incidents have highlighted the reality that amusement parks aren’t always safe — and raised questions about what happens when someone is hurt or even killed at an amusement park.

Last summer, there were a number of notable incidents of serious accidents and fatalities at amusement parks, including the death of a boy at a Kansas water park (which has since destroyed the attraction where the boy died) and an incident where a small child fell off of a rollercoaster in Pennsylvania.  As a general rule, amusement parks that are fixed — as opposed to traveling amusement parks — are safer, but the rules for ride safety and maintenance vary widely by state.

Some of the most common ways that people get hurt at amusement parks involve malfunctions or failures of equipment, including safety equipment designed to restrain people on rides, like harnesses, bars, and doors.  Ride malfunctions, crashes of cars (such as bumper cars) and drownings at water parks are other accidents that occur at amusement parks.  Finally, if rides or the grounds of an amusement park are poorly maintained, that can lead to any number of accidents or injuries, such as slips and falls.

If you get hurt at an amusement park, then you will likely be able to file a lawsuit based on a concept known as premises liability.  The owners of amusement parks — like all property owners — have a duty to keep their property safe and reasonably free from known hazards.  So if an accident occurs as a result of a hazard that was known to the amusement park, and they failed to fix despite knowing about it, they could be held liable for it.  They could also be held liable if safety rules were not followed, such as the case involving the little boy who fell off the rollercoaster in Pennsylvania; despite rules requiring children under a certain height to ride with an adult, the boy was permitted to ride with his 7 year old brother.

So how can you stay safe at an amusement park?  The most important thing that you can do is follow all safety rules.  They are posted for a reason — and you should not attempt to circumvent them.  If there is a height, age, or weight limit, it is there for a reason.  Do not attempt to convince the ride operator to make an exception.  Follow all instructions given to you by the ride operator, making sure that you and your children are buckled in securely.  You should also use your judgement when it comes to rides; just because you or your children technically meet the requirements to ride does not mean that it is a good idea to ride. Use common sense and think carefully before getting on a ride, and watch your kids carefully in pools and on water attractions.

If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park, the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker can help.  Our attorneys have recovered more than two billion dollars for our clients, and have a 95% success rate.  Initial consultations are always free, and we never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.  Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or to schedule an appointment.