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Amusement Park Accidents

For decades, amusement parks have been a top destination for vacationers and locals alike. Every year, tens of thousands of people brave the crowds and long lines to experience a rush of adrenaline on a high-flying roller coaster or a fast-paced waterslide. The high speeds and sharp turns create a feeling of being “on the edge of disaster,” which unsurprisingly causes our hearts to race even though we always make it back to solid ground unscathed. Even though amusement and water parks are generally safe and have safety and security measures in place, accidents can and do happen. The desire to host the most extreme rides leads to an increase in the number of serious accidents. Unfortunately, when amusement park accidents occur, the injuries sustained are frequently catastrophic or even fatal.

DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s personal injury attorneys are experts at determining the cause of these types of accidents and who should be held legally responsible for the resulting injuries. We have the knowledge, resources, and compassion to ensure that your legal rights are properly protected and that you receive fair compensation.  We serve clients throughout Upstate New York and have offices in several convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice is reflected in the results we have obtained for our clients.

A day at an amusement park is one of the most exciting things to do for both tourists and locals. From fascinating foods to entertaining games to exciting rides, the entire atmosphere exudes fun. We all enjoy entertainment, and what could be more enjoyable than thrill rides? Roller coasters, bumper cars, spinning rides, and even water rides abound in almost every type of theme park. Rides are constantly being improved to become bigger, taller, faster, and better, but at what cost? Amusement parks are supposed to be fun places, not dangerous ones. Nobody wants to get hurt badly or, worse, lose their life just to feel elated for a short time. Most people will be able to enjoy the thrills and excitement that these rides have to offer, but some will suffer painful injuries because of malfunctioning rides, defective rides, or negligent staff. Hidden dangers and serious safety concerns are sometimes overlooked or even denied by theme park operators. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of amusement park accidents requiring an emergency room visit has increased by more than 85% in the last five years. The CPSC reported 1,239 amusement park injuries serious enough to warrant hospitalization in 2020, with the majority being children aged 5 to 14.

Although accidents at New York’s amusement and water parks are uncommon, when they do occur, the consequences for many of the victims can be tragic. Some of the most common causes of amusement park accidents are mechanical failure, structural damage, exposed electrical wiring, missing safety equipment, malfunctioning lap bars or safety restraints, improper assembly or maintenance of rides, negligent operator behavior, failure to warn of a dangerous or potentially dangerous condition, and slip and fall accidents on poorly maintained walkways.

The majority of these accidents involve head and traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, drowning in water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, etc., traumatic brain injury from stress and high G-forces imposed on the brain by rapid speeds or flying debris, death from falling or being thrown from a ride, brain aneurysms from roller coasters, stroke from trauma to neck ligaments, lacerations, broken bones, and torn ligaments.

Typically, amusement parks will display the potential risks of specific amusement park rides and attractions. In addition to these warnings, amusement parks may require you to sign a liability waiver. Although this provides them with a safety net in terms of liability, it does not relieve them of all responsibility. In some cases, warning signs do not provide all of the information and risks associated with the specific attraction and thus do not guarantee customer safety.

Amusement parks are places of fun and entertainment where people gather all year to relax and bond with friends and family. However, due to the constant high traffic, some rides may not be well maintained.  Although property owners are required to keep their parks safe, some fail to comply with regulations, resulting in unsafe rides and premises for visitors.  Any venue that invites the public to experience special attractions has a responsibility to keep its grounds and equipment safe. Such duties are covered by two types of liability laws:

  • Product liability is the legal recognition that products or equipment must be reasonably safe and in working order. Failure to maintain this level of safety at amusement parks may hold the park or the manufacturer liable for any complications that arise.
  • Premises liability necessitates that public spaces be reasonably safe and that any potential hazards be clearly labeled. Dangerous areas that are not properly marked with signs or barriers may result in injuries that the park is responsible for.

In some cases, visitors may be held liable for their own injuries if they did not follow the instructions of a ride operator, ignored posted safety hazards, or acted recklessly.

If amusement park owners, manufacturers, or ride operators are found to be at fault for a patron’s injury, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an amusement park accident that was caused by the negligence or reckless actions of the park in Upstate New York, you need a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney on your side.  We have more than 30 years of experience practicing personal injury law. Contact us today to tell us more about your needs. The experienced personal injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano have won cases for our clients across the Upstate New York area, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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