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Injury At An Amusement Park – Can You Make A Claim?

July 7, 2016 By John Torgenson

Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit amusement parks for the unique attractions, thrill rides, and the ridiculous amounts of fun to be had. That being said, did you know that there are no current federal safety regulations for amusement parks that exist? While some states do require amusement parks to pass rigid safety code inspections, thrill rides and attractions often pose inherent risks of personal injury, sending thousands of individuals to the emergency room.  So, if you, a loved one, or a close friend suffers a personal injury at an amusement park, who should be held responsible? This blog will look to answer that question in discussing negligence and product liability in the context of amusement park injuries.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are numerous factors that can contribute to an injury occurring at an amusement park. Such factors commonly include, mechanical failure, improper operation, passenger misuse, and even the inherent nature of any given thrill ride such as whiplash. Under the unfortunate circumstance in which a loved one or friend suffers a personal injury at an amusement park, legal action may be taken for either negligence against the park or product liability against the manufacturer of a defective ride – or both. So, the next question that needs answering pertains to what would constitute as negligence or product liability at an amusement park?

Negligence:   It should go without saying that amusement parks are responsible for the actions and/or the omissions of their employees. If an injury occurs at an amusement park as a result of the carelessness or inattention of the park or park employee, then it is likely that a negligence claim could be made. Examples of such negligence may include the following:

  • Failing to post clear warning signs.
  •   Posting warning signs that do not sufficiently warn guest and riders of any  inherent risk involved.
  •    Failing to properly train ride operators and employees.
  •   Failure to regularly inspect or maintain rides or equipment.
  •    Improperly operating a ride, or;
  •    Omitting to instruct or provide proper instructions to riders.

Product Liability: In some instances, amusement park accidents are caused by faulty ride and attraction design or faulty components; and NOT as a result of inadequate maintenance, inspection, operation, or use. An extreme example could be the faulty design of a lap bar placing riders at risk of falling out of the ride and injuring him/herself.  Structural or design defects in the ride itself, may also give rise to product liability claims against the manufacturer of the ride or the maker of a particular part. Because making such claims can be very complicated, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to prove that the equipment, structure and design, or part was defective, and ultimately caused injury.

Call Torgenson Law to Schedule a Free Consultation

Contingent on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the amusement park owner, the ride manufacturer and/or designer, as well as the ride operator could be held liable. If you or a family member suffers a personal injury at an amusement park, give us a call for a free consultation. Because amusement park owners may put forth a whole host of defenses to avoid liability and compensation, it is important to call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. The process can be a complicated one, you will want to have an accomplished legal team examining your case, collecting evidence, and protecting your rights. Give Torgenson Law a call at (602) 726-0747.

John Torgenson portrait

John Torgenson

After high school, John attended the University of Utah, graduating in 2001. John then attended his dream school, Notre Dame Law School, where he graduated, with honors, in 2004. John is licensed to fight in court for real people in the State of Arizona, the United States Federal District Court of Arizona, and the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before establishing what is now Torgenson Law, John practiced in the litigation group at Fennemore Craig, the oldest law firm in Arizona, and one of the largest firms in the Southwest. Having practiced at Fennemore Craig in both the defense and plaintiff’s practice areas gives John a complete perspective of the litigation process, and valuable insight into how to efficiently and effectively advance his clients’ interests. His unique and balanced background enhances his credibility with defense lawyers, insurers, and defendants as well as with judges and arbitrators.