Technically, there are only two major amusement parks in Indiana: Holiday World and Indiana Beach Boardwalk. However, that doesn’t account for the numerous other smaller theme parks and even fairgrounds spread across the state. And now the summer is upon us, these parks will start getting quite crowded. Unfortunately, amusement park accidents are an unfortunate result of attending some of these entertaining locales.
Though deadly amusement park accidents are not a common occurrence, they do still happen. And even if amusement park deaths do not happen often, theme park incidents can still result in injuries that require medical attention, which can end up costing you a lot of money when it comes time to pay the medical bills.
Statistically, 30,000 amusement park-related injuries occur annually, but few of them result in serious injury, and even fewer result in death. In 2021, for example, only 130 serious amusement park injuries were reported across North American theme parks. And on average, only four amusement park deaths are reported in the US each year.
Still, when these incidents do occur, they can be scary. And even a moderate injury can require costly medical treatments that you shouldn’t have to pay for if the accident wasn’t your fault.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have handled amusement park cases before, and we understand the complexities of these cases. Holding those in charge liable is not easy, but we know what it takes to help victims of these accidents win their cases.
If you were injured in an amusement park accident, our Indiana personal injury lawyers can help. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Common Causes of Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks are often crowded, and a lot is going on, which means it’s easy for things to go wrong. Some of the most common causes of accidents at amusement parks include:
- Slips and falls on wet, slippery surfaces, such as when someone spills something or when there are water rides or water attractions that get the ground and other surfaces wet.
- Mechanical malfunctions or maintenance issues on rides. This type of thing doesn’t happen often, but it can happen. For example, if an issue causes a ride to stop suddenly, it could cause neck or back injuries like whiplash or strains.
- Operator negligence, such as an operator starting a ride before all the passengers are safely secured.
- Lack of restraints. All rides have the proper restraints, but this doesn’t mean they will be secured properly. For example, if one of the ride workers doesn’t latch something properly or if they completely forget to check a row, it could lead to a serious injury.
- Poor lighting or lack of safety rails. If there are areas of an amusement park that are not well-lit or if they are missing or have broken handrails, this could lead to someone falling or injuring themselves in some other way because they couldn’t see or didn’t have something to hold onto.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Amusement Park Accident?
Amusement park owners, as well as the employees they hire to run the park, have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for those who visit the park. If a dangerous condition was left unaddressed and caused the accident, you could hold the park owner liable.
If an employee causes the dangerous condition, such as by failing to properly check restraints or follow safety protocols when operating a ride, then the amusement park owner will still likely be the one you hold liable. This is because the amusement park takes responsibility for those who are hired and trained to work in the park.
If the accident was the result of a mechanical malfunction, however, the ride manufacturer could potentially be held liable. In this case, you would file a product liability lawsuit against the company that designed and/or installed the ride.
Of course, visitors can also be responsible for their own injuries. For example, if a rider willfully disobeys the rules for the ride, such as by attempting to get out of their seat before it is safe to do so, then they will be responsible for covering the cost of their injuries.
If you do intend to file a claim against the amusement park, you will need to be able to prove that the park owner is the one liable for what happened to you. To do this, you must prove the following elements:
- The amusement park and its operators owed you a duty of care;
- A dangerous condition existed;
- The amusement park or its operators knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
- They failed to address the dangerous condition in a reasonable amount of time, thus breaching their duty of care;
- The dangerous condition was the direct cause of your accident;
- You suffered injuries as a result of this accident.
What Should You Do After an Amusement Park Accident?
To prove the above elements and win your case, you will need to provide substantial evidence that shows these things as being true. As such, taking certain steps after an amusement park accident is important to ensure you have the evidence you need to prove your case. These include:
- Contacting park security or onsite emergency services immediately to handle the situation and treat your injuries.
- Ensuring that someone in charge files an official incident report. Make sure you request a copy of the report.
- Taking pictures or videos for evidence of what happened. This includes pictures of what caused the accident as well as the injuries you sustained.
- Getting contact information from anyone who witnessed what happened.
- Keeping copies of all medical documents proving you were injured and received treatment.
- Contacting a personal injury attorney who can help you build a strong case against the amusement park or other negligent party.
How an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one are injured in an amusement park accident, you have a right to file a claim against the park or other negligent parties to pursue compensation for your injury and other damages. The money you recover for damages can help cover medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
At Crossen Law Firm, our team has over 20 years of experience to help you win your case and receive the full compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.