Study Evaluates Dangers of Amusement Park Rides
Roller coasters less dangerous than bouncing attractions, study finds
Amusement park deaths and injuries have gotten a lot of attention in the legal community over the past few years, as two tragic cases made national headlines. Both of these cases involved deadly falls. In one case, an 11-year-old girl fell from a Ferris wheel, and in the other a 52-year-old woman fell from a roller coaster. Litigation to determine liability for these wrongful deaths is still ongoing.
However, despite the attention given to amusement park accidents in the media, these types of accidents are rare. A recent study actually found that the odds of being seriously injured or killed while on a traditional amusement park ride such as a roller coaster are much lower than the odds of injury associated with bouncing attractions.
The study was conducted by researchers at Ryerson University in Canada, using data from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The researchers collected hospital injury reports where amusement rides were mentioned. Of these reports, 42 percent cited inflatable bounce castle type attractions and 20 percent cited roller coasters as the cause of the injuries. Carousels and bumper cars were also common causes of injuries.
The idea of bounce castles causing a significant portion of amusement park related injuries is not surprising. Like trampolines, bounce castles expose patrons to risk of serious head and neck injuries should they collapse or should the patrons fall from the protected area or collide with another person. In fact, a recent news investigation in Denver found that fractures, concussions, and neck injuries were common at local trampoline parks.
Injured victims and their families are increasingly seeking compensation from amusement park operators through personal injury lawsuits. For example, a trampoline park in Houston is currently facing litigation from the family of a boy who fell through a rip in the canvas and struck his head on concrete, causing brain injuries that have impaired his mental capacity.
Preventing Amusement Park Injuries
Amusement park operators are expected to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of their patrons. When they fail in this duty, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries and losses. Of course, it would be preferable not to expose yourself or your loved ones to risk and danger at all. While it is difficult for a layperson to assess the safety of a roller coaster or Ferris wheel, inspecting a trampoline or bounce castle for obvious defects is a bit easier. Before you let your kids on one of these attractions, look for obvious signs of disrepair like torn safety netting and patches or tape on bouncing surfaces. Also beware of structures that seem in any way unstable.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one does suffer a brain injury, spine injury, fracture, or other serious injury at an amusement park, contact an expert personal injury attorney immediately for help building your case.