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Injuries Caused by Halloween Hayride Accidents and Octoberfest Carnival Mishaps

October 14, 2013

October means cooler weather, Octoberfest, Halloween carnivals and hayrides. Unfortunately, Halloween carnival rides may be hastily erected while hayrides may utilize unreliable horses or poorly maintained equipment. Because these quasi-amusement parks may not be as closely inspected and maintained, such Halloween carnival rides and hayrides can constitute an accident waiting to happen. The massive weight and size of such attractions can cause devastating injuries or wrongful death when riders are ejected or crushed.

There can be many causes of accidents at Halloween festivals which can include but is not limited to the following:

  • Inadequate training or supervision of ride operators
  • Improper crowd controls
  • Failure to comply with industry safety regulations and practices
  • Lack of maintenance of equipment
  • Failure to clear debris or other tripping hazards
  • Improper lighting

Because Halloween amusement park rides are operated in dark heavily congested environments often after being hastily constructed on a temporary basis, the likelihood of a carnival ride malfunctioning or a hayride trailer rolling over can be fairly high. We have provided some examples of recent accidents from around the country that occurred at carnivals and fairs.

  • Seventeen children and one adult were injured when a revolving ride with suspended swings suddenly lost power causing the swings to slam into one another. Media reports indicate that law enforcement authorities initially believed some riders had been ejected which would likely have resulted in permanent injuries or fatalities.
  • Eight people were injured when a hayride was operated despite rainy conditions that made the roadway slick. Law enforcement authorities reportedly told media sources that the tractor slid and jackknifed before rolling over and causing the riders to be ejected.
  • Eleven kids were injured during a hayride accident when the arm attaching the trailer to the tractor broke while it was towing the trailer on which the children were riding.

While these accidents did not occur here in Georgia, a hayride accident in Douglas a couple years ago left two members of a church group with serious injuries and 25 others with less severe injuries. The trailer used for the hayride was towed on a road open to other vehicles where it was struck from behind by another vehicle. The pastor of the church indicated that the tractor operator noticed the approaching vehicle but believed there would be sufficient time to get off the road safely.

If you are involved in an accident at a Halloween carnival or Octoberfest, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Property owners have a legal duty to clear potential hazards and warn patrons of risks that the owner knows or should know exists on the property. Further, carnival operators must comply with safety requirements and customary practices that include proper maintenance of equipment and supervision of ride operators.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years Experience to Work For You

If you or someone close to you is injured in a fair or amusement park accident, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.