Most kids who see the signs and flyers for upcoming State and County fairs, carnivals, and amusement park specials get excited. Parents, on the other hand, begin to worry.
Most parents may not even know that the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, Tilt-a-Wheel, and Gravitron were thrown up in one day, on a wet, soft grassy area by unskilled labor or worse! Not only are these rides in carnivals and fairs quickly assembled, but often-times they are operated by non-professionals, kids, temporary workers, or seasonal workers that are not at all familiar with any of the safety issues or potential dangers these rides can cause.
Although amusement parks, usually have a more professional run operation sometimes the same problems of safety training and inexperienced workers make it possible for an otherwise “safe” ride to become dangerous.
Have you ever wondered who is liable if you get injured while riding a roller coaster or any other ride at an amusement park?
We’ve all seen the dramatic footage of unfortunate thrill seekers hanging suspended from a malfunctioning roller coaster, precariously dangling and hoping for a quick repair. Many times, the damage to the park visitor is simply more thrills than he or she bargained for, but sometimes physical injuries occur too. Anything from exhaustion, dehydration (baking in the sun for hours without water), mental anguish and fear to spinal cord injuries.
On average, about 5-7 amusement park accidents occur every year in California. That figure may be much lower because of glitches in reporting and the non-conformity of reporting. WE think the number is much higher.
Sometimes even being stuck for hours in an awkward position while waiting for the ride to be fixed is enough to cause soft tissue injuries such as neck and back strain and other physical injuries, some permanent.
Unfortunately there have even been cases where freak accidents have resulted in passenger deaths. So allow our experienced team of personal injury attorneys to evaluate your case on a free and confidential basis.
Some people may think that riding a “thrill ride” means that they assume some risk of injury and that perhaps the amusement park is absolved of liability, or fault. However, the courts in California have not found that to be the case.
In fact, they hold the amusement parks to a high standard of care with regard to roller coasters and other rides.
California courts have held that a rider should not face any more risk on a roller coaster than they would when riding an elevator or regional or public bus. Roller coasters have been found to fall under the category of “common carrier”, which is when a party accepts money to transport a person. Such transportation falls under common carrier liability and the degree of care is much higher than that held to an average person.
This means that riding a roller coaster and other rides in an amusement park is pretty safe and non-threatening as long as the rider is healthy. Cal-OSHA inspects amusement park rides in California once per year. However, as a quick search of YouTube will show you, accidents still can happen.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in an amusement park in Northern California, call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free and confidential case evaluation.
We are here for you, always just a phone call away.
For more information regarding Amusement Park Accidents, please visit our dedicated webpage here