Every year, thousands of children are injured or killed in amusement-park accidents. Legal liability for injuries caused by such accidents may be influenced by the nature of the accident itself, where it occurred, and the ownership of and responsibility for the ride or grounds on which it occurred.
Who may be held liable for injuries sustained by your child in an amusement-park accident?
Liability for amusement-park injuries is generally covered by the law of premises liability, which involves the determination of responsibility for injuries related to the condition or use of a building, land, or other premises. Some states assign a duty of care to amusement-park owners to make the park reasonably safe for anyone who uses it, while others assign a duty of care only to people who were admitted to the park as paying or non-paying “invitees.”
• Accidents on park grounds
Amusement-park accidents generally occur on rides or on the grounds themselves. If an accident, such as a slip-and-fall, occurs on park grounds and the park’s inadequate maintenance is found to have been a cause of your child’s fall, the park may be held liable in negligence for the injuries sustained.
In order to establish such negligence by the park or its employees, your attorney will need to show that the defendant violated its duty of care, for example, by failing to ensure that walkways were free of obstructions or other unsafe conditions.
• Accidents on park rides
Liability for accidents occurring on amusement-park rides may be assigned to several individuals or entities, depending upon the circumstances of the particular accident. To establish liability of the park or its employees for injuries sustained on a park ride, your attorney may show that the defendant violated its duty of care, for example, by failing to properly inspect and maintain equipment or by failing to ensure that your child was safely strapped in.
Liability may also be assigned to the manufacturer of a ride or to the company hired by the park to maintain the ride. A company hired to maintain and/or inspect a ride may be liable under a negligence theory, as described above. A manufacturer may be liable under products-liability law if an equipment defect is found to have been a cause of the accident.
What damages can you recover for your child’s injuries?
• Personal-injury actions
Amusement-park injuries sustained by children are often severe, and include brain and spinal-cord damage, neck injuries, fractures, and paralysis. You may be able to recover damages for your child’s pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, physical therapy, and even mental anguish resulting from the emotional trauma of the accident.
• Wrongful death
If your child died as a result of injuries sustained in an amusement-park accident, you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit to recover damages.
Obtain the Expert Assistance of an Experienced Child-injury Attorney
Amusement-park-injury lawsuits are complex matters requiring expert assistance. Child-injury lawyer Jeff Killino is experienced in obtaining the best possible compensation for families of children injured or killed in these accidents.