Amusement or theme parks are wonderful attractions for family vacations in the spring or summer every year. Many a family memory was forged and cemented from a visit to a theme or amusement park anywhere in the world.
Most everyone loves a good thrill ride at an amusement park. Who doesn’t like having their hearts race or feel like their stomachs are in their throats once in a while? The adrenaline rush is often what helps us make memories and will usually get us coming back again and again.
Unfortunately, what usually comes with that adrenaline is a risk of injury, or worse, should something on the amusement park ride fail. While many people do not think of the risk when they get on such a ride, every once in a while there is a tragic story about injuries or deaths from a ride failure.
If you ever are involved in an accident on a theme park ride that results in injuries or worse to you or a family member, you may ask the inevitable question if you could sue the ride operator and/or the amusement park owner for just compensation.
If you do ask that question, you are making a leap past several steps that need to be addressed before pursuing a lawsuit or legal claim for a theme-park ride accident. Before you file a claim, you should work to get these questions answered, with some consultation and advice from a local attorney:
- What are the extent of the injuries to you or your family members?
- What exactly happened to cause the incident? (Get as many details as you can, especially from other witnesses or those who were involved.)
- Do you have insurance information from the park?
- What is the employment status of the employee operating the ride?
- What is the safety and maintenance record of the ride?
- What was determined to be the cause of the incident?
As you and your attorney investigate the incident and get all the facts, there can be one of two tracks to take based on the answers to these questions, if your attorney deems that there is cause for a claim:
- A negligence claim can be filed, if there is cause to believe that the park or its employees were negligent in their duties to inspect and regularly maintain the ride. The claim may be filed against the employee operating the ride, any mechanics or inspectors and the theme park itself if the cause of the incident was something that could have been easily prevented.
- Defective product. A claim may also be filed if the ride was found to have some defective component. For example, if a restraint bar came loose in the middle of a ride. In this case, the manufacturer of the ride may face a liability claim, as well as the park if there was knowledge of the defect and there were no warnings or cautions for riders.
Theme-park ride accidents are rare and not always tragic, but because there are often so many factors that go into these accidents, unraveling them can be complicated. It is important that you don’t move too fast in bringing a case; getting all the facts and the complete timeline of events will be helpful in determining whether there is cause for a lawsuit, or whether the event was just an unfortunately rare accident that could not have been predicted or avoided.
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y Law. Yosi is an inspired, aggressive and successful advocate for his clients. He is personally committed to making a difference in his clients’ lives. Nothing makes Yosi happier than getting his clients’ lives back on track.
Courtesy: Houston Petting Zoo