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How Common Are Amusement Park Accidents?

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Millions of people go to amusement parks each year to enjoy the rides and excitement they offer. Missouri boasts numerous amusement parks, located in Branson, St. Louis, Kansas City, and more. When people visit amusement parks, they generally expect the facilities to be safe and to maintain their rides and equipment properly at all times. However, people are injured in amusement parks each year. How common are amusement park accidents?

How Common Are Amusement Park Accidents?

How common are amusement park accidents? The statistics vary from park to park. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) commissioned the National Safety Council to compile annual ride accident reports. According to the IAAPA, there were 1,299 ride-related injuries at amusement parks in the U.S. in 2019.

However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that 30,000 injuries that resulted in visits to the emergency room occurred in 2016 alone. The discrepancy between the data provided by the IAAPA and the CPSC can be attributed to the fact that the IAAPA only gathers and reports data about amusement park injuries related to fixed-site rides while the CPSC reports data about injuries related to all types of amusement park rides, including those that move from location to location. For example, the CPSC includes data about rides that are erected for carnivals and fairs while the IAAPA does not.

Common Types of Amusement Park Injuries

When an accident occurs on an amusement park ride, people can suffer serious injuries. Some of the most common types of ride-related injuries include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head, face, and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paraplegia/quadriplegia
  • Severe lacerations
  • Amputations
  • Fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Death

Keep in mind that the majority of amusement park accidents don’t involve rides at all. For example, failure to properly clean around food stands and bathrooms may lead to slip and fall accidents. In other cases, accidents may occur because park management fails to adequately instruct guests regarding the proper use of rides, fails to conduct proper crowd control, fails to control animals during shows, or fails to put up signage warning guests about ongoing construction. With the vast number of people on the premises, any form of employee negligence can lead to significant injuries.

Amusement park owners and operators owe a duty of care to keep their premises and equipment in safe condition to prevent visitors from suffering injuries. When someone is seriously injured on an amusement park ride, the victim might be entitled to pursue compensation through a premises liability claim. The surviving family members of people who are killed in amusement park accidents might similarly be entitled to recover compensation.

Types of Damages in an Amusement Park Accident Claim

The available damages in a claim against an amusement park will vary based on the specific circumstances and facts. This means that the value of this type of claim will vary from case to case. Some of the common types of damages that might be available include the following:

  • Past and future hospital and other related medical expenses
  • Past and future physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • Wage losses and a reduction in earnings capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Psychological/emotional trauma
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life

In a wrongful death claim, the following types of damages might also be recoverable:

  • Medical expenses for the treatment provided before the victim died
  • Financial contributions the victim would have made to the family over their expected lifespan
  • Lost inheritance rights
  • Loss of consortium/guidance
  • Loss of the reasonable value of the household services provided by the victim
  • Loss of benefits the victim would have provided
  • Funeral and burial costs

Deadline for Filing an Amusement Park Accident Claim

If you wait too long to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, your case will be time-barred. This means that the court will likely dismiss your claim, leaving you without legal remedies to recover compensation. The best approach is to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure your attorney will have sufficient time to investigate your case and file your claim.

Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave

If you were injured or lost your loved one in an amusement park accident, you should talk to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave as soon as possible. We provide knowledgeable counsel to our clients and aggressively pursue their claims to maximize compensation. Call us today for a free consultation at 417-322-2222 or contact us online.

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