Amusement parks in the United States is a relatively a safe way to have fun with family and friends.
Amusement park rides are tested under the standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) before it is even allowed for public use.
However, even with all these precautions, there are still amusement ride injuries and fatalities every year.
The average number of deaths related to amusement rides is just 2-3 every year; however, there are still thousands of injuries that are caused by amusement ride accidents annually.
The causes of amusement ride accidents are generally divided into two, which are machine defects and human negligence.
For machine defects, it is usually due to:
- Mechanical failure â€“ this can be caused by improper or insufficient maintenance of the amusement park ride. Mechanical failure can also occur by using an amusement park ride beyond its safe condition. Like other vehicles, these rides deteriorate with time and frequent use.
- Manufacturing and design defect â€“ this can occur on the designing and production phase of the amusement park ride. Normally these defects are discovered on tests but there are cases where the defects are found only after an accident occurred.
Human negligence, on the other hand, can be due to the actions (or inaction) of the rides operator or the customer's own irresponsible behavior.
- Operator negligence â€“ Some of the actions f the operator that can lead to amusement ride accidents include non-maintenance of rides, ill-timed stoppage of the ride, not following safety protocols such as checking if all riders are strapped in, and not using safety equipments.
- Customer behavior â€“ There are a lot of amusement park ride accident that are actually caused by the rider's own negligence. Most rides do have warnings and safety instructions but there are a lot of people who ignore these warnings.
So if there is an amusement ride injury or death, the liable party can be the ride manufacturer or the amusement park owner and ride operator.
If the case is in a comparative negligence state like California, the level of the victim's own negligence will also come into play and may severely affect the amount of settlement or damages awarded.
The victim should also remember that the burden of proof will fall upon him, which means that he has to present clear and compelling evidence to win the case.
A personal injury lawyer should be able to help the victim through the claims process and represent him if it turns into a lawsuit.