Amusement Parks Can Be Fun, But They Can Also Be Dangerous
Amusement parks are fun, and largely, are safe. But when they aren’t, the results can be deadly. You may think that any establishment that throws people around high in the air, or at high speeds, must be heavily regulated by government agencies. But you would be incorrect about that.
Injuries are Becoming Common
Amusement park rides are more and more common. Last year, a boy from Tennessee was seriously injured when he got trapped underneath a roller coaster. In Indiana, a woman died after internal bleeding was caused by an amusement park ride.
Not every injury or death in an amusement park arises from a defect or a malfunctioning of the ride. In some cases, the sheer force or speed of the ride, operating normally, can cause injuries to people.
Generally, an amusement park isn’t responsible for these kinds of injuries–however, they may be liable if they failed to warn people of potential dangers, of health conditions that could put the rider at a higher risk, or where the park allows people to ride who physically should not be riding because of size or age.
One example of that was an accident in Missouri, where a visually impaired Tennessee boy nearly lost his legs. The boy had an impaired vision, and asked to sit with his caretaker, an older brother. He was told that he couldn’t do that. Sitting by himself, and with his condition, he fell while getting out of the coaster, trapping and severely injuring his legs.
Almost No Regulation or Oversight
Although most states have inspection requirements, Tennessee provides almost no oversight of amusement parks.
Even worse, the state allows amusement parks to have their own inspectors inspect their rides for safety, meaning that there is no neutral body overseeing the safety of these rides (although the inspectors do have to be certified, with the requirements that the state provides). Even if there were such requirements, there are few rules or laws that talk about exact safety measures.
For example, there are no specific laws that say what ride needs a handrail, or how it should be secured, or the number of ride attendees that need to monitor a ride. This often leads to amusement parks cutting corners–especially in the midst of a pandemic, where attendance may be down, and parks may be encouraged to cut staff.
Rider Error or Carelessness
Additionally, many jurors may try to blame the rider for his or her injuries, in the event that the rider did not follow instructions. Doing things that many people do, like sticking limbs out of a moving ride, or failing to tightly secure lap bars and other devices, can lead to an amusement park to say that a rider’s injury is caused by, or made worse by, the rider’s failure to follow directions.
Call the Clinton personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, today for help if you are injured at an amusement park, or because of another business’ errors.