Generally, amusement parks are extremely safe for their visitors. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions reports that, for the 300 million visiting amusement parks each year, the chance of a serious injury occurring is 1 in 9 million. Each year there are between 1,000 and 1,500 injuries, with about 3% or less of them (30 injuries or so) being serious ones.
Despite amusement parks being extremely safe, guests can still encounter a variety of dangers on their trips. At Florida’s Walt Disney World a few months ago, a nine-year-old boy died when a Disney transportation bus hit him while he was riding bikes with his friend. The boy rode his bike into the side of the bus and the bus dragged him under it. Authorities did not believe the bus driver had any fault in the accident.
People with heart problems have frequently suffered injuries or death on amusement park rides and roller coasters. In 2005, an Indiana man at Disney’s Animal Kingdom died after exiting the ride “Dinosaur”. The man had a heart condition and he was wearing a pacemaker. That same year, a British girl spent six months in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke and two heart attacks following her ride on the “Tower of Terror”. In 2007, a Mississippi man died at Blizzard Beach as the result of a heart attack. His family said that he had a pre-existing heart condition. If you or a family member suffered injuries at an amusement park, an Orlando personal injury attorney can discuss your case with you to determine whether you may be able to receive compensation.
Instances When Amusement Parks Might Be Liable
- Inadequate warnings. Certain rides are more stressful and taxing on the heart than others. People like some of those mentioned above who already knew that they had pre-existing heart problems need to be aware of what rides are safe for them. Without proper warnings, such rides can be fatal.
- Negligent behavior. Courts can find employees and park owners liable for negligent behavior when it results in injury to another. Ride operators and park transportation drivers, for example, owe duties to park visitors to behave safely and responsibly.
- Product liability. Parks have duties to regularly inspect rides and ensure that their operation is safe for park visitors. Someone injured on a ride might able to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the ride as well if the company poorly designed or constructed it.
- Premises liability. As with all business owners, park owners owe duties to their visitors to keep their property free of dangers and to alert visitors as to known dangers.
In almost all cases, a trip to an amusement park can be a safe and fun day for everyone. Accidents do occur, however, and, if negligent behavior has injured you or a family member, contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. to learn more about your rights.