Amusement Parks Offer Summer Fun and Potential Danger


June 16, 2011

Summer is here and it is that time again to be visiting amusement parks with the kids for some thrills and riding all the rides.

 While there is nothing like that feeling of having the pit of your stomach drop out or your hair and body getting pressed back as you whip down a roller coaster hill, there are potential dangers involved when you visit these places.

Thousands of adults and children are injured in amusement parks every year. These injuries are caused by such things as:

  • Inexperienced operators
  • Defective manufacturing of rides
  • Defective design of rides
  • Height and weight allowance errors
  • Poor maintenance
  • Ineffective safety regulations and precautions
  • Unsafe conditions such as inadequate lighting, security, and unsafe equipment

Inexperienced Ride Operators

The level of experience amongst those hired to work as operators on amusement park rides can sometimes be downright scary. Many are young people just out of high school who lack experience and can be distracted by using their cell phones and texting when they are actually supposed to have their full attention on the ride.

Many amusement parks do not have a lot of excess revenue, especially in light of the recent downturn in the economy, and often provide operators minimal training at best. It is the amusement park company's responsibility to make sure that they are not negligent in their hiring practices when filling ride maintenance and operator positions. Proper screening and background checks should be performed to make sure that the prospects do not have any history of drug or alcohol problems or relevant criminal activity.

The other area of responsibility comes in the training of the employees for the job that they will be performing. A person who will be operating any amusement park ride should be put through a proper training program and supervised to make sure that they can handle the responsibility and understand all appropriate safety and operating procedures. The ride operator is responsible for many lives when he or she has their hand on a button or lever.

A Safe Environment

Amusement parks that are not mobile, like the small carnivals, have typically been designed to adequately manage large crowds of people all at one time without a lot of difficulty. There are usually many checks and balances such as roving supervisors and constant maintenance and inspections to ensure that the operation functions properly.

Accidents can still happen, especially when large crowds are involved. People can slip, trip or fall due to objects or waste left on the ground. If there is inadequate lighting in an area, a patron can lose footing and fall and injure themselves.

The amusement parks that are a bit more risky are the ones that move from place to place. These are typically called carnivals or fairs and are set up in parks, sports fields or parking lots. They are set up quickly, sometimes in only one day, and can be set up on unstable ground such as wet, soft grassy areas. The workers that are employed with these types of companies are typically either temporary or are called "carnies" and travel around with the carnival and work for nominal wages.

Amusement park rides can be potentially dangerous whether they are located in a permanent park or are traveling with a mobile outfit such as a fair or carnival. Injuries sustained, as a result of accident on these rides, can be severe and traumatic. These injuries can include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head, neck and brain injuries
  • Amputations
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Whiplash
  • Electrocution
  • Paralysis

When you or a loved one sustains injuries or experiences a wrongful death at an amusement park, it is best for you to contact an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney. There are many different forms of liability that may apply if the injuries were caused by negligence on the part of the amusement park or by the manufacturer of the ride or even a part used in the ride. An investigation will need to take place to determine the cause of the accident.

Multiple parties may need to be named in a claim or suit depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your accident. If proper inspections were not carried out or proper permits were not issued, then local government entities may be at fault as well. In order to obtain just compensation for your injuries, it is imperative to sort out what parties are involved.

Georgia premises liability law may apply in the case of an amusement park injury due to the danger presented there or defective product liability law may apply if an accident occurred due to defective equipment. If you or your child was injured while at an amusement park, you should contact an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney to determine your rights to compensation for you or your child's injuries.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been assisting families who have been injured at amusement parks for over 27 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

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.