Atlanta Amusement Ride Injury Lawyers

The worst problem you encounter on a day out at the amusement park should be that queasy feeling that comes when you ride the roller coaster after a couple of chili dogs. Unfortunately, amusement ride injuries are far more common than most people realize. A 2013 study revealed that more than 4,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each year after being injured on amusement rides. That’s 20 per day during the summer months, and that figure doesn’t include adult injuries.

Amusement Ride Injuries

Of course, many of those injuries are relatively minor, and most riders are treated and released. However, another study released in 2014 said that nearly 10% of fixed amusement ride injuries were serious. Just last summer, we saw reports of a 10-year-old boy killed on a waterslide, three young girls falling 35-40 feet from a Ferris wheel, and a little boy who fell from a roller coaster being airlifted from the park.

The most common types of injuries sustained on amusement rides are:

  • Head and neck: 28%
  • Arms: 24%
  • Face: 18%
  • Legs: 17%
  • The boy in the waterslide accident mentioned above died of a neck injury, and one of the girls who fell from the Ferris wheel suffered a brain bleed.

    Liability for Amusement Ride Injuries

    Liability for amusement ride injuries, along with the entity responsible for ride safety and inspection, may vary depending on the type of park and the arrangement by which the ride is operated. For example, amusement rides may be owned and operated by the same entity, or may be leased. And, amusement rides are typically subject to inspection by Georgia-licensed inspectors, but that requirement may be waived if the rides have passed inspection by federal authorities or those of a state with more stringent safety requirements.

    Assumption of the Risk and Liability Waivers in Amusement Ride Injury Cases

    One complication when it comes to establishing liability in amusement ride cases is that riders may be deemed to have accepted the risk, or even waived their right to recover for damages. Most amusement rides have signs posted regarding certain types of risks, and warn people with certain medical conditions or below a certain height not to ride. In addition, many amusement parks have signs posted stating that you assume the risk by entering and/or choosing to ride, and some facilities even require a signed waiver upon entry.

    While it is possible to give up the right to recover for some damages through voluntary assumption of risk or explicitly waiving such claims in advance, it is also possible to overcome these defenses. Our experience with amusement ride injury cases enables us to identify acts or omissions that may allow us to prevail despite these obstacles.

    Amusement Ride Causes

    There are also multiple possible causes underlying amusement ride injuries, which may determine the responsible party or parties. These may include:

  • Negligent operation of the ride
  • Negligent maintenance or set-up
  • Faulty equipment design or manufacture
  • Negligent inspection
  • Inadequate warnings or other safety measures
  • Two or more of these causes may combine, as well, meaning that multiple parties could be responsible. For example, the ride may have a design defect that renders it unsafe under certain conditions, and those conditions may come about as the result of operator negligence.

    Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

    Amusement ride injury cases can be complex, given the combination of possible causes and liable parties. In addition, visiting carnivals are often operated by out-of-state companies, or equipment for festivals and events may be licensed from a third party.

    Hoffspiegel & Associates has the experience necessary to identify the responsible party or parties and assemble the evidence necessary to move your case forward. In this unique and complicated area of law, our history of successfully navigating amusement ride injury cases sets us apart. When you’ve suffered a serious injury and are seeking compensation that will help you rebuild your life, you don’t want to take chances in choosing an advocate.

    Get the Help You Need Today

    When you or a loved one has suffered a serious or catastrophic injury, the situation can be stressful, even frightening. Having an experienced advocate at your side will not only help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, but will allow you to hand off responsibility in one important and high-pressure area during your recovery.

    It is also in your best interests to act quickly, as evidence may be lost or destroyed with the passage of time. This is particularly true in the amusement ride injury arena. In a stationary amusement park setting, thousands of people may pass through the park. If the accident occurred at a short-term event and involved traveling equipment, that equipment may be torn down and rebuilt multiple times. In permanent amusement parks, surveillance footage may be recorded over or destroyed if a request to preserve the video is not quickly made.

    When you contact our offices as soon as you are able after an injury, you give us the best possible chance to assemble a strong case on your behalf. Call (404) 760-8600, or fill out our contact form right now.