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Who Is Liable for Amusement Park Accidents?

Posted on February 22, 2021 in Premises Liability

If someone gets hurt at an amusement park, a related injury lawsuit will involve the laws of negligence and premises liability. Cases against amusement parks can be challenging and complicated for injured victims to understand. Determining liability and fighting for fair financial compensation may take assistance from a Los Angeles premises liability attorney.

Common Amusement Park Accidents and Injuries

Amusement parks are meant to be places of fun and enjoyment for the whole family. Most amusement parks, theme parks and carnivals offer diversions such as rides, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, carousels and fun houses. Unfortunately, not all of these amusements are safe.

Some of the most common amusement park accidents and injuries include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Ride operator error
  • Maintenance issues
  • Mechanical failure
  • Caught-in/between equipment
  • Crush injuries
  • Limb amputations
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Electric shocks or electrocutions
  • Fires and burn injuries
  • Physical or sexual assaults

The less an amusement park focuses on maintenance and visitor safety, the greater the risk of injuries and accidents becomes; yet many amusement parks in California and throughout the country cut corners on maintenance and safety to save money.

Who Is Legally Responsible for Amusement Park Accidents?

Amusement park accidents typically come down to the liability, or legal responsibility, of the company or corporation that owns the park. Theme parks owe a duty of care as a business open to the public. Any business that welcomes customers onto its premises owes duties of care to the safety of its visitors (known by law as invitees).

These duties include searching the amusement park for potential injury hazards, remedying known issues as soon as possible and warning guests of potential injury risks. Even if an amusement park or carnival does not have specific safety regulations from state or local government authorities, they have these duties of care, known as premises liability.

If an amusement park does not fulfill its duties of care to a customer or visitor, and this leads to a preventable injury, the amusement park will be liable for the victim’s losses. If, for example, one of the amusement park’s employees ignored a warning light on a ride, the amusement park could be liable for a related ride malfunction and passenger injury or death. It is the amusement park’s job to properly train its employees, inspect rides and keep guests reasonably safe.

What Must You Prove in a Case Against an Amusement Park?

The injured party, called the plaintiff, bears the burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof is the amount of evidence required to hold the defendant legally responsible for an accident. In personal injury law, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence.

If you act as the plaintiff in a claim against an amusement park, you must prove your case by demonstrating:

  • An unsafe condition at the park caused your injury.
  • The amusement park or one of its employees knew or reasonably should have known about the condition.
  • The amusement park negligently did not remedy the condition.
  • Your injuries would not have occurred but for the amusement park’s negligence.
  • You did not do anything to cause or contribute to your injuries.
  • You suffered compensable losses.

Your attorney will need to prove these elements as more likely to be true than not true (at least a 51% probability). This requires clear and convincing evidence, such as eyewitness reports, videos or photographs, medical records, and expert testimony. An attorney can help you meet your burden of proof during a premises liability claim in LA.

When To Contact an Attorney in Los Angeles

If you were recently injured at an amusement park in Southern California, consult with an attorney about holding one or more parties responsible. Your lawyer can help you prove your case and fight for fair financial compensation. For more information about your rights as the injured victim of an amusement park accident, consult with a premises liability lawyer.