Amusement Park Accidents
Approximately 290 million people visited a theme park in the United States in 2010; and in 2011, more than 1,200 people were injured at amusement parks. Florida receives the majority of its tourism at its many amusement parks throughout the state. Disney World alone had 51.4 million visitors in 2013, and with so many people walking through the park, riding the plethora of rides available and goofing off with friends and family, the possibility for injury or death is real.
Amusement Park Accidents in Florida
Amusement parks are marketed as family-friendly, relaxing yet exhilarating micro-worlds of adventure. Some amusement parks tout the most rides available in one spot anywhere on the planet, while others specialize in water slides or roller coasters. And for many visitors, the more thrills and adrenaline rushes they experience, the more they enjoy the park.
But it’s important to remember that roller coasters, carousels and any other mechanized ride can pose a serious threat of injury or death due to improper park maintenance or failure to comply with safety instructions and precautions.
While guest safety should always be a top concern for owners and operators of parks, negligence can, and does, still occur due to carelessness or misconstrued priorities and even negligent security. Some of the most common issues that have led to amusement park injuries include:
- Improper ride maintenance
- Poorly maintained buildings, sidewalks and parking lots
- Areas that are dimly lit
- Restricted areas improperly closed off or left unguarded
- Ill-placed equipment that blocks sidewalks and paths
- Operators under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances
- Parks that admit over the maximum capacity of guests
- Defective products
Amusement Park Ride Accidents
The majority of amusement park injuries occur at fixed-site parks. However, thousands of injuries occur every year at mobile parks, such as carnivals and fairs. And personal-use entertainment rides such as inflatable bounce houses can be equally dangerous. But it can be almost impossible for guests to determine whether amusement park rides, water slides, and inflatable bounce structures have been properly maintained and are safe. An unspoken understanding is at play when guests enter the park that rides which are open and operated are therefore safe.
Florida is one of 44 states that regulates amusement parks, and there is not a designated federal oversight committee or agency that regulates or inspects parks in the United States. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the recognized international trade association for fixed-site amusement parks worldwide, and it promotes safe operations and development through its advocacy. While the IAAPA promotes safety guidelines and training to its members, as well as update strict safety and maintenance standards for rides, the bulk of regulation and oversight must come from park owners and operators. When those employees fail to recognize an issue or voice a concern, then the possibility for an amusement park accident rises.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida amusement park accident, theme park accident, water park accident or carnival accident, contact a Gainesville attorney at our personal injury law firm today.
Florida Injury Attorneys
Florida is home to some of the best amusements parks in the United States, and some may argue, in the world. This draw for tourism is a source of pride for the state, but it can also be a source for concern. At Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A., we want to ensure that every guest has a pleasant, and most importantly, safe visit to the state’s many amusement parks, including Busch Gardens, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and Walt Disney World Resort. It’s always disheartening to see frightened guests on the news due to a malfunctioning ride, and want to help our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
If you or a family member has been injured while visiting an amusement park in Florida, we urge you to act quickly. Contact our personal injury lawyers so that we can aid you in this difficult time by investigating the situation and ensuring that you aren’t bullied or harassed by park associates. Don’t wait until you’re feeling better to address the situation, and don’t allow amusement park lawyers to trivialize your injuries. Call our amusement park accident attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts to protect your rights.