Common Causes of Amusement Park Accidents

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From roller coasters and spinning rides to bumper cars and water slides, amusement parks have plenty of rides and attractions for the whole family. There are dozens of amusement parks in South Florida that attract thrill-seekers all year round.

However, thousands of people suffer injuries from amusement park rides annually. Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, broken and fractured bones, torn ligaments and muscles, cuts and bruises, and even heart attacks and stroke from the traumatic experience.

According to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the following are the most common causes of amusement park accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the United States:

  • Mechanical issues with the ride – Amusement park operators are responsible for ensuring that their rides and attractions are safe for visitors and properly maintained. If a ride is not properly inspected and maintained, a malfunction could occur and lead to a devastating accident. Mechanical problems are also caused by a manufacturing defect. Common examples of mechanical issues include when a roller coaster car detaches when a lap bar detaches, or a structural component malfunctions.
  • Improper ride operation – Improper operation of a ride occurs when a ride operator stops the ride at the wrong time, incorrectly latching lap bars or seatbelts, fails to check if a rider is properly secured, fails to conduct pre-ride inspections, or otherwise fails to correctly perform his/her job duties.
  • Passenger negligence – When a passenger misuses the ride or fails to adhere to the safety instructions, passengers can injure or even kill themselves and perhaps others. Common examples of passenger negligence include standing up during the middle of the ride, intentionally rocking a car, or sitting improperly.
  • Inherent nature of the ride – Some amusement park rides cause injuries because they are simply dangerous by design or nature. Riders must always read the ride warnings and avoid rides that may likely cause injury based on the person’s age and health conditions.

If a park operator or employee causes an accident due to carelessness or inattention, then the injured party may file a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence. Amusement parks are responsible for their employees’ actions, so they can be held liable for failing to properly train ride operators, failing to maintain equipment in a safe condition, or any other negligent actions from their employees.

On the other hand, if an amusement park accident was caused by a defective ride or component, the injured party may file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the ride or component. The injured party must prove that the part or structure was defective and that the defect directly caused the injury or death.

If you have been injured in an amusement park accident in or near Fort Myers, Naples, or Bonita Springs, FL, call Pittman Law Firm, P.L. at (239) 603-6913 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. With more than 25 years of legal experience, our legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients!