When the weather begins to warm up, millions of Americans flock to popular amusement parks across the U.S. or local carnivals in their cities or towns for a day of fun that both adults and children can enjoy. With attractions like Ferris wheels, roller coasters, water slides, and other fast, flying, fun rides, it’s no wonder so many people enjoy these types of escapes. Unfortunately, with these beloved adventures and rides can come countless hazards and risks. Over the years, visitors of carnivals and amusement parks have sustained serious injuries ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, or worse, death.
One case revealed a carnival ride manufacturer knew a defect in his ride would eventually cause corrosion and malfunction. The ride did just that, and collapsed, killing an 18-year-old woman and leaving three others severely injured. Endangerments like these oftentimes make people wonder who is responsible when someone is killed or seriously hurt at a park or carnival.
Amusement Parks in Texas
Texas is home to many exciting amusement parks, attracting both visitors from local cities and travelers from distant states. It’s important that precautions are taken to keep every visitor safe, particularly with regard to dangerous machinery. This responsibility also extends to zoos, water parks, and other popular vacation spots. Some of the most popular Texas amusement parks include:
- Six Flags over Texas
- Hurricane Harbor
- Great Wolf Lodge
- State Fair of Texas
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- SeaWorld San Antonio
- Joyland Amusement Park
- Wonderland Park
- Sandy Lake Amusement Park
Common Carnival Ride Injuries
Some of the most common injuries sustained at parks and carnivals include:
- Broken bones sustained from rough rides, falls, or slips.
- Concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and head injuries caused by being whipped and jerked around on forceful rides.
- Whiplash and neck injuries suffered on fast, aggressive rides.
- Soft tissue injuries from rides that throw your body around.
- Drowning accidents on water slides, rafting, and other water themed rides.
- Cuts, bruises, and scrapes from falling, corroding equipment, or other park neglect.
While you can try your best to keep a close eye out for these potential hazards, the dangers aren’t always avoidable. After an injury is sustained, it’s important to know what to do next.
Common Causes of Amusement Park Injuries
Although the idea of an amusement park injury brings to mind a disaster on a massive rollercoaster, many injuries take place when a patron is either on a smaller ride or not riding anything at all. For example, poor lighting and security create an unnecessary risk of robberies in a parking garage and/or unmarked construction areas could cause a patron to slip and fall. Park management and staff have a duty to provide a safe experience for their customers, and negligence on their part that causes injury is grounds to be held liable in court. Some of the most common cause of amusement park injuries include:
- Machinery is not properly maintained and inspected
- Operators are not properly trained
- Failure of brakes, wiring, safety structures, or metal parts
- Lack of adequate instructions to patrons
- Security is inadequate to protect guests from assaults, robberies, or other crimes
- Medical care is not available or provided in the event of an emergency
- Unmarked hazards, such as spills, construction, or potential risks
After seeking medical attention and making sure everyone is safe, it is critical to get to the bottom of what caused the amusement park accident in the first place so that it doesn’t happen again. Was the injury caused by a product defect, an issue with the park premises, or the negligence of a manager or owner? While these are some of the most common causes of theme park mishaps, every case is different.
Amusement Park Safety Tips
While many hazards at an amusement park are unavoidable, some precautions can be taken to prevent injury:
- Always follow the height, age, weight, and health requirements for roller coasters and other rides. These requirements ensure each rider will fit securely into the ride for maximum safety.
- Listen to any instructions given by a ride operator.
- Keep your limbs inside the ride at all times. While many people are tempted to throw their hands in the air during a roller coaster ride, this makes it more likely they will knock into other passengers or hit stationary equipment.
- Empty your pockets of any loose articles like wallets, pocket change, sunglasses, or cell phones, which could be hazardous falling objects for patrons below.
- Always use the safety equipment provided. Attempting to loosen safety harnesses or equipment is dangerous and leaves the rider unprotected.
- Remain seated in all rides until you come to a complete stop and are instructed to exit.
- Stay hydrated. Many riders get caught up in the excitement of roller coasters and forget to drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can increase your risk of injury or illness on some rides.
Texas Amusement Park Injury Attorneys
With any major injury sustained at a carnival or park, the injured party must prove fault and liability. The lawyers at Liggett Law Group have extensive experience successfully handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, so contact us. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Amusement parks provide hours of fun for millions of people each year; however, sometimes tragedies occur due to lax safety standards. If you or someone you love was injured at a Texas amusement park, call the experienced premises liability attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your case.