Kansas City Amusement Park Injury Lawyer
While Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun are the most well-known Kansas City amusement parks, there are several more just a few hours away. Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO and Six Flags in St. Louis are always popular hot spots for families on summer vacation, but accidents do happen and sadly, theme parks don’t always offer the fun experience they advertise.
While it’s true that most people enjoy amusement park rides without any injuries, a surprising number are harmed due to negligence of park operators. According to the Global Association for the Attractions Industry (IAAPA), thousands of amusement park-related injuries happen each year in the United States. Ride malfunctions, ride operator errors, inadequate or defective safety restraints, and generally dangerous conditions are usually to blame.
Although routine safety inspections are standard practice for well-run theme parks, accidents still occur. And while they’re somewhat rare given the popularity of these attractions, these accidents can cause catastrophic injuries and even death.
Legal Claims In Amusement Park Injury Lawsuits
Amusement park accidents can be disastrous – in rare cases, even fatal – but filing a personal injury claim can help victims, and their families, receive appropriate compensation for their injuries. With the help of a Kansas City personal injury attorney who is experienced in amusement park lawsuits, a negligence or product liability claim can be filed against the at-fault party, whether it’s the park itself, park employees, or manufacturers of a defective ride. These individuals can and should be held liable for their actions.
Common Causes of Amusement Park Injuries
Many people believe that the disclaimers that customers sign upon entry to an amusement park effectively protect the amusement park in the event of accident or injury. That is not the case. Most of the disclaimers people sign release injuries that are associated with the assumed risks of the activity. For example, if you rent a pair of skis and buy a lift ticket, the ski resort is not liable for injuries sustained merely during routine skiing. However, if the skis that they rent you are themselves defective, or if a double black diamond trail is negligently identified as a green slope, that disclaimer is not going to protect the resort. Courts are reluctant to enforce disclaimers that use overly broad language in an attempt to vitiate liability in every circumstance.
Injuries of all kinds can happen when they’re the result of negligence, product malfunction, or lack of safety — this is true for any business. However, at an amusement park, there are some additional factors that can make an injury accident more likely:
- The rides themselves are in constant use, and despite frequent maintenance, are certainly prone to wear and tear. In cases of mechanical failure, cables can snap, restraints can fail, and parts can come loose or be damaged from overuse.
- Ride operators may not have adequate training for passengers who need extra assistance. And even with proper training, mistakes do happen. Something as simple as being distracted when the ride starts and stops could lead to injury.
- The rides must be designed to accommodate park visitors of all ages, and safety features may not be as effective for younger/smaller passengers.
- Passengers can, on occasion, misunderstand the instructions provided by the ride operator. Or, more likely, the ride operator can fail to adequately describe the safety measures.
- For new rides, a design flaw may not be immediately apparent. It can take numerous rides before a defective part or poor design becomes obvious – likely resulting in an injury before the problem is identified. If a ride is poorly manufactured, an accident can be deadly.
- Not all accidents are ride-based. General slips and falls, food poisoning, and other injury accidents can occur when proper safety standards aren’t met or adhered to by the park staff. Claims of that nature are tested by the premises liability standard of care in the jurisdiction embracing the amusement park.
Amusement Park Injuries Caused by Negligence
All amusement parks, carnivals, and theme parks must be responsible enough to protect visitors from harm. Even though fixed-location parks like Disney World and Worlds of Fun here in Kansas City are only regulated by state and local governments, the parks have a duty of care to protect their guests. If an amusement park owner fails to do so, they can be held liable for negligence.
Negligence can occur when someone at the amusement park, whether directly or indirectly, failed to act in a reasonable or responsible way. When a park guest is injured as a result of an amusement park’s negligence, the visitor (or their family), may be able to sue for damages and compensation.
Amusement Park Injuries Caused by Product Liability
In cases where an amusement park ride causes injury due to a mechanical defect in the ride or flawed design, a product liability claim can be filed to hold the manufacturer liable. For a product liability claim, you must legally prove that some equipment in the ride or the structure itself was defective, and this defect caused your injury.
Compensation for an Amusement Park Injury
If you or a family member sustained serious injuries at an amusement park, and those injuries were the result of negligence on the part of the park owner, park staff, or ride manufacturer, contact Donovan Dodrill at Plaza Injury Law immediately. He has the experience necessary to maximize your recovery through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
In amusement park negligence claims, the damages awarded can include medical expenses, lost wages, and general pain and suffering.
Contact Plaza Injury Law
Attorney Donovan Dodrill is an experienced personal injury and product liability attorney in Kansas City, and is well-suited to represent you and your family in your amusement park injury claim. Plaza Injury Law offers complimentary case reviews and works on a contingency fee basis. There are no out-of-pocket costs to you. Contact Donovan today at (816) 945-4409.