Amusement Park Injuries: Who is Responsible?

Amusement Park Injuries - Vancouver Personal Injury LawyersAmusement and water parks are meant to provide an escape from everyday life, offering thrills around every corner in the form of daring roller coasters, rides, and slides. Unfortunately, a fun day at an amusement park can quickly turn dangerous when equipment is improperly maintained or when workers aren’t following important safety protocols. If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park, you may be wondering who should be held responsible and what your legal rights are.

Common Amusement Park Injuries

There are a number of injuries that often occur at amusement parks and water parks. In water parks specifically, some of the more common injuries include:

  • slips and falls
  • diving injuries
  • drowning or near-drowning injuries
  • head, neck, and spinal cord injuries

Some of the more common injuries sustained at amusement and theme parks, on the other hand, include:

  • heart attack
  • whiplash
  • broken bones
  • cuts and lacerations
  • brain injuries

Of course, this is just a sampling of some of the more frequently reported types of injuries at these facilities; if you have suffered from a different injury at an amusement or water park, you may still have a course for legal action.

Who is Responsible?

Determining responsibility for an amusement park injury can be challenging from a legal standpoint. In reality, many of these injuries can be directly attributed to amusement park goers failing to follow posted ride safety signage while enjoying rides and water slides.

In situations where a rider is not responsible for his or her own injury, however, the liability burden generally falls on either the owner of the amusement park or the manufacturer of the specific attraction (roller coaster, water slide, etc.) where the injury occurred. In determining responsibility for an amusement park injury, negligence must be proven. This means that either the park owner or the ride manufacturer failed to act on their duty and that the incident/injury occurred as a direct result of that negligence. For example, if a ride comes to a sudden and unexpected stop, and a rider suffers from whiplash as a result, this could be proven to be the fault of the park owner. This is especially true if a legal team is able to prove that the park failed to properly maintain the ride.

What about Waivers?

One thing that needs to be mentioned is that many amusement parks utilize waivers, which are contracts posted at the gates, or on the back of the tickets, where you agree, as part of the privilege of admission to the park, that you agree not to sue the park for any injuries.  These can prevent you from succeeding in a court case to recover compensation for your injuries, but they need to be considered on a case by case basis.  Waivers often will no apply to children injured in British Columbia due to decisions by the BC Court of Appeal, but again, this needs to be looked at, as there can be indemnity clauses where the parent agrees to pay back the park for any amounts that a court may award to the child.  This is a very technical aspect of law, and advice from an experienced lawyer is required.

When to Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park or water park, it’s always in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to seek legal compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. Specifically, a personal injury attorney with experience litigating against amusement park and ride manufacturer legal teams will provide you with the best chances for a successful outcome. Even if you have already been approached with a settlement offer from an amusement park lawyer, it is important that you consult with a personal injury attorney to find out what your case could be worth before you make a decision.

Contact Becker Lavin & Wessler Today: Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyers

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