Amusement Park Injuries and the Law
Rides at amusement parks are tested thoroughly before anyone is permitted to ride them, and ride operators ensure safety precautions are taken each time the ride is running. However, accidents at amusement parks in Michigan can still happen, and they can be very serious. Although the best personal injury lawyers can navigate cases of injuries at amusement parks for you, it’s important to know the basic tenets of this field of law to understand how it could affect a case.
Common amusement park injury causes
In Michigan, all amusement parks are subject to strict safety regulations enforced by the state. However, these regulations, unfortunately, cannot prevent all injuries.
One of the most common causes of injury at an amusement park is operator error. This occurs when the amusement park employee who is in charge of operating a particular ride or attraction makes a mistake or is negligent when performing their duties. Ride operators at parks like these are trained in safety best practices, but human error cannot always be accounted for.
Another common problem that can cause injury to amusement park guests is a mechanical error with a ride. If a ride is not manufactured correctly, is not maintained properly, or is damaged during transport, dangerous and hazardous conditions can arise, and riders can get hurt. The transportation damage usually occurs when referring to rides in traveling carnival-type amusement parks as opposed to larger, stationary attractions at designated amusement parks.
Inaccurate safety instructions can also cause issues and injury to passengers. If the amusement park employees do not provide full and comprehensive instructions on the safety measures provided for riders, such as safety harnesses and safety bars, personal injury can arise. In cases like these, it is more difficult to prove liability because of the number of people who may have been at fault to cause the injury.
Possible grounds for filing a claim
People who have been injured as a result of going on a ride at an amusement park may wish to file a suit against the park. A personal injury lawyer can help contact any witnesses who may have been present at the time the injury occurred, investigate the accident further, and interview you in order to determine whether there are grounds for a suit. The suit may be against the park or, such as in the event of a manufacturing error, it may be against the manufacturer of a specific ride.
Most people who sue amusement parks for personal injury are usually suing in an attempt to prove negligence or product liability.
A suit attempting to prove negligence will try to show that an amusement park, a ride operator, or a park employee was careless while doing their job. For example, if the park knew that a certain ride had a faulty part and neglected to do anything about it after the manufacturer made them aware of it, that constitutes negligence. Similarly, if the park alerted the manufacturer to an issue with the ride and the manufacturer ignored them, then the liability rests with the ride manufacturer.
Another example of negligence might be if the operator of a ride was careless and their carelessness led to a specific injury on behalf of a rider. In this case, the amusement park itself would be at fault because they accept responsibility for the actions of their employees while working at the park.
A product liability case is more concerned with a flaw in a particular part of the ride or attraction’s design that may have caused injury to a passenger.
When sued by a patron, the amusement park will most likely try to settle with them for a sum of money or attempt to prove the patron was responsible for the accident. They may use defenses claiming the rider was too short or too underweight to be able to safely ride the attraction that caused them to sustain the injury in question.