Amusement Park Accidents Overshadow Summer Fun

Each year, thousands of families flock to amusement parks for summer fun or as a part of their family vacation plans.  Whether taking advantage of Oklahoma attractions such as Frontier City or White Water Bay or enjoying one of the nation's countless theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks, most families are able to relax and have fun.  For some people, however, a theme park visit can quickly become a nightmare if an amusement park accident leads to serious injury or death.  Accident victims and their families may be entitled to financial compensation for the suffering they have endured.  Such compensation may cover medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and more.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at an amusement park, water park, carnival, fairgrounds, or go-kart track, an Oklahoma City accident attorney can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more that 290 million people visited fixed-site amusement parks in 2010, the year of the Council's most recent statistics.  Of these visitors, nearly 1,300 suffered injuries from amusement park rides.  While only five percent of these injuries (59) were considered serious enough to warrant hospitalization, the fact remains that amusement park accidents can and do occur.  These statistics, for example, relate only to fixed-site amusement park rides, and they do not take into consideration injuries and deaths from mobile-site rides at carnivals and fairs, from water park injuries, or from go-kart injuries.  Furthermore, statistics regarding amusement park accidents vary widely.  In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports 67 amusement park fatalities in 2004 and more than 15,000 ride injuries in 2006. Oklahoma personal injury lawyers note that amusement park accidents may be the result of products liability (defective rides), premises liability (failure to maintain a safe environment), or negligence (failure to act in a safe and responsible manner).  The most common causes of amusement park injuries include:

  • Operator error
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Rider misbehavior
  • Mechanical failure
  • Defective design
  • Malfunctioning safety equipment, lap bars, harnesses, or restraints
  • Inadequate maintenance
While amusement park accidents are rare when compared with the number of park guests each year, the results of such accidents are horrifying, with stories of catastrophic injuries and deaths occurring as riders fall from roller coasters, are thrown from high-velocity rides, or suffer amputation or brain injuries as cables break and bolts fly off of poorly maintained equipment. The following video, which was captured at a Texas carnival, demonstrates how horrifying such an ordeal can be.  Fortunately, the three-year-old child injured when thrown from the ride suffered only minor injuries: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbX9qKEZUTU Though the child in the above video met height requirements for that particular ride, it is clear that she was too small to safely ride.  Theme park administration must be responsible for ensuring the safety of all guests.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a theme park accident, it is important to seek immediate legal counsel.

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