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Amusement Park Accidents

Santa Clarita Personal Injury Attorney

One of the largest attractions that bring people to the Santa Clarita Valley is the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. With some of the country's largest and fastest roller coasters, Magic Mountain is a perfect example of amusement parks that attract millions every day.

Thrill seekers, adrenaline junkies and people simply looking to let out some of their tension thrive off of the fast speeds, steep falls and terrifying flips found on roller coasters. In spite of the very danger and thrill that attracts so many to amusement parks, people seldom stop to think of the possibility of an accident occurring on one of those rides and the potentially tragic injuries that would ensue as a result.

In 2006, a study conducted by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission found that approximately 8,800 people were injured in amusement park accidents that year.

These figures couple with the most recent story of the woman who fell to her death from a Texas roller coaster after a safety harness malfunction exemplify the reality of amusement park accidents. At such heights and speeds, it is important to understand what rights consumers have before boarding these rides.

Claims involving injuries from amusement parks are not always due to one acute instance of injury. While many amusement park injuries are sustained due to an accident, others may be developed over time from a subtle malfunction or deviation from state safety regulations.

Some rides are inherently dangerous and can easily cause head injuries such as cerebral hemorrhages, subdural hematoma and loss of consciousness. Obviously more serious injuries can result from accidents as amusement parks such as acute amputation, broken bones and even death.

While regulations as to the safety of amusement park rides vary state to state, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission found that the most common causes of amusement park injuries include:

  • Mechanical Failures: Large rides that reach tall heights and fast speeds are only safe if every aspect of their structure functions properly. The malfunction of a safety harness, the detachment of a roller coaster car or damage to a structural component can lead to a devastating and potentially fatal accident.
  • Operator Failure/Negligence: While many of them end up being adolescents or young adults, operators at amusement parks are trained and trusted to operate the rides safely. Abruptly turning the ride off, allowing a car to go prematurely or failing to notice and respond to safety harness failure that leads to injuries for the people on the ride.
  • Passenger Misconduct: Sometimes a ride may function and be operated properly but still lead to an accident due to another passenger's misconduct or failure to follow instructions. Misusing the rides may not only lead to injuries for that particular passenger but put others at risk as well.

In order to avoid injuries at an amusement park, it is wise to follow instructions provided by the park and park employees, pay attention to any possible equipment failures and report suspicious or potentially dangerous elements.

Legal Claims Involving Amusement Parks

Legally speaking, amusement park accidents are most often due to one of two factors: negligence or product defect. If the accident is due to the carelessness of the park supervisors or employees, then a person may file a claim of negligence in order to recover compensation following injuries from a ride or accident.

Likewise, if the accident or injury was due to an issue of product liability such as a defect in the design of the ride, a shortfall in the maintenance of the ride or the failure to provide adequate warnings and instructions, the claim may be filed as a product liability matter.

Either way, it is possible for those who have suffered injury or even personal loss because of an amusement park accident to seek legal action against those who were responsible to promote the safety of those visiting the park.

Contact a Santa Clarita personal injury attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus to learn more about how you can file a claim following an injury sustained in an amusement park accident.

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