Most kids who see the signs and flyers for carnivals or fairs get excited. Parents, on the other hand, start to worry. All most parents can think about is that the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, Tilt-a-Wheel, and Gravitron were thrown up in one day, on a wet, soft grassy area. Not only are these rides quickly assembled, but they are quickly assembled and operated by non-professionals, kids, temporary workers, or seasonal workers that are not at all familiar with any of the safety issues or potential dangers these rides can cause.
Hidden Dangers of Amusement Park Rides
But, it is not only the fly-by-night carnivals and fairs that parents need to be concerned about. Amusement parks, such as Dorney Park, Six Flags Great Adventure, Morey’s Pier, Disney World, Disney Land, Cedar Point, Sesame Place, Wild River Country, Raging Waters, Universal Studios, Hurricane Harbor, Jungle Jim’s, Busch Gardens, Blizzard Beach, Disney, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Jolly Roger, Hershey Park, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, Morey’s Pier, Steel Pier, Casino Pier, Gillian’s Island Water Park and Boardwalk amusement rides, can also be an unknowingly dangerous form of entertainment. Amusement park operators and carnival owners are always advertising the newest thrill ride or adventure to increase popularity and visits. Unfortunately, many of those rides are not safe and cause many catastrophic injuries and life altering injuries including traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, spine injuries, broken face bones, broken noses, broken legs, internal injuries, crush injuries, amputations, electrocution, whiplash, brain hemorrhages, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and even death.
Causes of Carnival Ride Accidents
In evaluating many amusement park ride accidents, our experienced personal injury attorneys and our expert structural engineering, human factors, and biomechanical engineering experts look for every possible cause of theme park accidents and carnival accidents, such as: operator error, mechanical failure, design defects or limitations, inadequate security, failure to post proper warnings, water damage, improper repairs, metal rust, parts failure, improper operation, improper training of operator, improper maintenance, loose cables, loose nuts, rusty nuts, loose bolts, worn cables, worn out belts, faulty safety straps or harnesses, safety lock failure, inadequate padding, sharp and protruding parts, improper height or weight calculations or restrictions, abrupt starts and stops, failure to load and unload in a safe and proper manner, improper assembly, exposed electrical wires, malfunctioning lap bars, broken welds, failure to shut off, engineering design defects, structural flaws, improper installation, or electrical shorts/failures.
For example, many lawyers do not realize is that if an amusement park ride is also close to a body of salt water, the salt water spray can lead to corrosion of cables, nuts, bolts, and other vital components faster than if the ride was not near salt water. Just like road salt corrodes the metal on our cars, ocean salt spray corrodes the metal on amusement rides just as fast.
Same goes for heat: in higher-temperature areas like Texas and Florida, or during heat waves in the Northeast, plastic and rubber components behavior differently, leading to mechanical failures. We look at every factor, including the weather, when investigating cases.
Liability for Injuries and Fatalities at Theme Parks
Unfortunately, with a downturn in the economy, many theme parks have cut corners on safety and no longer staff experienced or qualified operators. Many times high school or college students, many of them from other countries, are working on a temporary basis and are hired to operate rides with minimal training in addition to having significant language barriers. In this day and age, many of the young operators of those rides are also distracted because they are looking at their cell phones or texting instead of paying attention to operating the ride. A cell phone text could be more important to an operator than the safety of you or your child. How much do you know about the person operating the ride that you and your child might get on?
Amusement parks, quasi-amusement parks, carnival, or fair injuries often involve many complex theories of law requiring legal experience and technical expertise. There is most likely a combination of product liability, negligence, and premises liability law to be explored. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury or lost a loved one in an amusement park ride accident, water park accident or carnival accident, it is important that you contact an experienced amusement park lawyer who knows how to investigate what went wrong.
Most amusement parks and carnival operators will not settle a claim unless a lawsuit is filed. Many times an amusement park owner or representative will try to settle a claim for as cheap as possible. Never sign or say anything without contacting an experienced carnival or amusement park accident attorney first.
Obtaining Justice For Injury Victims
Since 1958, the nationally known Beasley product liability law firm in Philadelphia has evaluated thousands of amusement park, carnival, fair, and amusement ride injuries. Our highly specialized teams here at The Beasley Firm have been awarded over $2 Billion dollars on behalf of families just like yours that have been injured. Our collective knowledge and experience assisted in obtaining two of the largest verdicts in Pennsylvania history, $907 million and $104 million, as well as countless other multimillion dollar judgments and settlements.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, wrongful death, or catastrophic injury due to a faulty amusement park or carnival ride, contact one of our experienced lawyers at 1-(888) 823-5291. As always, we offer a zero fee guarantee which means that if we don’t make a recovery on your behalf, you don’t owe us a dime. We always offer a free, no obligation consultation.
You can also read our blog posts about amusement ride accidents.