Amusement Park Accident Lawyers in Austin
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the number of people that are seriously injured on amusement park rides is increasing each year. In 2000, there were an estimated 10,580 emergency-room treated injuries associated with fix-site and mobile amusement rides. Some speculate that as technology develops, the demand for more intense and daring rides escalates. When water rides, drop tower rides, Ferris wheels and roller coasters are made faster and more dangerous, accidents can result. As a popular state for tourists, Texas boasts a wide range of exciting theme parks for thrill-seekers which includes:
- Joyland Amusement Park
- Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort
- Schlitterbahn Galveston Island
- Kemah Boardwalk
- Kiddie Acres
- Kiddie Park
- Sandy Lake Amusment Park
- SeaWorld Adventure Park
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- Six Flags Over Texas
- Western Playland
- Wonderland Park
- Wonder World Park
- ZDT's Amusement Park
In fact, in September 2012, Amusement Today magazine rated Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort the winner in the "Best Water Park" category for the 15th year in a row. Schlitterbahn contains the world's longest water park ride. Schlitterbahn Galveston Island won "Best Indoor Waterpark."
When a Park Can Be Held Liable
While theme parks are a great place for friends and family to congregate, a magical time can quickly turn miserable when an accident occurs. Many injuries that passengers sustain are due to their own reckless acts (not staying in their seat, not keeping their head and hands in the car, etc.) but at other times, an amusement park is negligent in providing security, training its staff, maintaining rides and posting warnings. An amusement park ride is "any mechanical device which carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted route within a defined area for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement." There are many factors that can cause amusement park accidents and these include:
- Poor inspection
- Defect in the design of the ride
- Defect in the manufacturing of the ride
- Unreasonable care in construction and management
- Unsafe conditions such as: poor lighting, lack of handrails, broken stairs, uneven pavement, limited handicap access and parking lot conditions
Factors That Could Make You Liable
If you went on a ride that exceeded your limits, interfered with safety operations, did not use the safety devices provided, disconnected or disabled safety devices, used the controls that only a ride operator should use, threw objects while on a ride, got on or off a ride at an undesignated time or if you were on a ride where you had to conduct the speed or direction of the ride (for example, tea cups) and you did so in a dangerous manner.
If you were injured and you believe that the amusement park was liable, however, you should report the injury to amusement park authorities, record the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses, seek medical attention and do not volunteer any information until you talk with an injury attorney.
Across the country, state courts have ruled that "Operators of roller coasters and other amusement park rides must be held to the same safety standards that apply to buses, planes and other modes of public transport." Because amusement park rides are "common carriers," they are legally liable to provide the same degree of safety and care required by other common carriers. In Texas, amusement ride safety is governed by Insurance Code, Article 21.60. Amusement Ride Safety Inspection & Insurance Act 28 TAC, Subchapter J. §5.9001-5.9014, Rules to Implement the Amusement Ride Safety & Inspection Act. If you or a loved one were injured at an amusement park, you should contact Zinda Law Group today to find out if you could be entitled to compensation and to learn how to file a personal injury claim with the help of a Personal Injury Lawyer.