The thrill of an amusement ride draws many people to stand in long lines for the chance to be twisted, spun around, and turned upside down at terrifying speeds. The excitement of surviving such an experience can be exhilarating; but for some people, serious and sometimes fatal injuries can occur on what many assume are safe attractions.
Last week, a roller coaster derailment occurred in Florida injuring a total of eight people. Two people riding the coaster fell more than 30 feet from the ride. An additional eight riders were rescued by firefighters after the derailment. This recent accident highlights the real dangers and risks that are inherent in amusement parks across the country.
The International Association for Amusement Parks reports that there are 335 million visitors at amusement parks across the United States each year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 30,000 people were injured on amusement park rides or attractions in 2016. Another 22 people have were fatally injured in amusement park accidents over the past 18 years.
One of the most gruesome accidents occurred in 2016 when a 10-year old boy was decapitated on a water park ride in Kansas. Several people were indicted for safety violations and negligence that resulted in the accident that took the young boy’s life.
In light of this accident, safety activists called for more stringent regulations and safety inspections for amusement parks.
There are two basic types of amusement parks. Fixed amusement parks consist of permanent facilities such as Six Flags Great Adventure and Disney World. Mobile parks refer to traveling carnivals and festivals.
Many safety experts believe that a unified federal regulatory board could help reduce the number of serious and fatal injuries that occur at these parks each year.
Since fixed amusement parks fall under local and state jurisdiction, safety inspections, repairs, and reporting of injuries and deaths are left up to each individual jurisdiction. Not all states have amusement park regulations. In fact, only 44 states have any type of governmental guidelines regarding safety inspections for amusement theme parks. Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah rely strictly on local government for its safety standards and mandates.
Amusement park safety activists agree that federal regulation would provide the public with information on the types of safety inspections that are performed on the rides; the number of incidents of mechanical failures; access to data on accident reports, injuries, and deaths at each park; as well as how often safety inspections are conducted at the park. With this type of information available to the public, parents and thrill seekers can make informed decisions on whether or not they want to risk their safety on the rides and attractions.
Injured victims of theme park accidents should consult an experienced premises liability or wrongful death lawyer to ensure that their legal rights are protected. A competent attorney familiar with the laws in the state where the amusement park accident occurred can ensure that victims are fairly compensated.
There are many specific laws relating to premises liability and personal injury that can impact the maximum amount of compensation available.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an amusement park accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced and knowledgeable Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger are dedicated to helping their clients claim the maximum amount of compensation available to them.
Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading and we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.