Amusement parks are not only enjoyable for young people, but for adults as well. The shooting galleries, the playground, the indoor shows, and fried foods all make it a lot of fun. But the rides are the real attraction, especially those that spike your adrenaline levels to the max. The perceived danger of zipping through snake-like rails at high speeds or going up to dizzying heights generates a rush of fear hormones that gives you a sense of euphoria that is hard to resist.
However, the element of danger in amusement park rides becomes much too real. The statistics on amusement park injuries in Canada are sketchy at best, but the reality is that they happen. For those experiencing the trauma of an amusement park accident, the question is always why it happened at all.
Amusement parks in Canada are regulated by the provinces and territories. In Ontario, ride installation and licensing fall under the aegis of The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), which was created by the Technical Standards Safety Act, so most rides come under close scrutiny. However, amusement ride accidents, due to negligence, still occur, and when they do, the impact on the victims can be devastating.
Negligence in Amusement Parks
Rigorous regulation and oversight are not proof against employees’ inattention or carelessness when maintaining and overseeing the rides. Because park owners and operators owe a duty of care to their customers, the onus is on them to take reasonable precautions under all circumstances to ensure customers’ safety. Failure to do so can result in lawsuits against the amusement park if injuries or fatalities occur.
An amusement park lawsuit for negligence may be appropriate if an accident occurs, resulting in injuries or fatalities due to an act or omission by the park owner or an employee. Among these acts include but are not limited to the following:
- Failure to post warning signs prohibiting people with certain conditions (pregnancy, heart condition, amputees) from going on certain rides
- Failure to provide workers with proper training when operating a ride
- Failure of operators to ensure that riders safely exit and enter the ride and are secure during the ride
- Failure of operators to provide riders with safety rules
- Failure to perform regular maintenance of the ride to ensure safe operation
- Failure of the park owner to ensure the premises are safe for visitors, e.g., non-slippery surfaces
Riders also bear some responsibility for their own safety. However, if they follow safety rules and behave appropriately during the ride and still get into an accident, the park owners and operators are mostly responsible. In such cases, victims should report their amusement park ride injuries immediately to the proper authorities.
Injuries Sustained From Amusement Park Ride Accidents
Major injuries sustained during an amusement park ride, such as fractures (broken bones) and bleeding lacerations, are common and hard to miss. However, some injuries that might not be so obvious include the following:
- Head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Emotional and psychological trauma
A visitor to an amusement park can hold the park owner liable for any injuries resulting from negligence, even if the injury is not a result of a ride. This is because the Occupiers’ Liability Act of Ontario states that an amusement park owner has control over the conditions of the premises and, therefore, owes a duty of care to its visitors. When you sustain an injury in an amusement park, the premises liability principle kicks in against the park owner.
Making Claims on Amusement Park Injuries
However, making claims for amusement park injuries can be complicated. If you sustain such injuries and want to make a claim, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The reason for the caution is park owners typically have ticket case liability waivers, which is a legal contract printed on the back of the ticket essentially absolving them of liability for any injuries sustained on the premises. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that park owners in Ontario may restrict their liability in such a manner but must “take reasonable steps to bring such restriction, modification or exclusion to the attention of the person to whom the duty is owed.”
The claims process begins immediately after an incident with the gathering of evidence. All data about the accident must be preserved, including photos of the scene, medical records of the injury, witness accounts, and anything else that might prove negligence. Here are more steps you should take if you or a loved one sustains amusement park injuries.
The next step is to consult with a personal injury lawyer, who will set out to prove that the liability waiver is not binding because amusement park visitors expect that they will be safe while enjoying their time in an amusement park. Unless the park owner made reasonable efforts to bring the liability waiver to the attention of the injured visitor, the waiver is not enforceable.
If the injury results from a ride, it usually means an immediate investigation by the operator and the relevant government agency to determine the cause. The results of such an investigation may also help prove negligence if it shows that a malfunction or poor maintenance caused the accident.
What to Do After an Amusement Park Injury
Tip 1: Report the injury to the park operator immediately after the incident.
Do not leave the area until you have reported the injury to the manager or the right authority. Provide details on how you sustained your injury, but do not offer any other information or speculate what might have happened. Take photos of the scene to document the incident.
Tip 2: Ask for medical help.
Allow park employees to give you immediate medical attention at the scene. If your injuries are serious, they should arrange for you to go to the nearest hospital. Putting the onus on them to acknowledge and address your injuries will strengthen your case later on.
Tip 3: Find an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Amusement park owners typically print a waiver at the back of tickets that can reduce or eliminate their liability for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will know how to handle that.
If you’re involved in an amusement park accident, consult the expert lawyers from Diamond & Diamond as soon as possible to get started with your legal action.
Did you know?
“Document everything when you’re with someone injured in an amusement park to help them build their case.”
– Diamond & Diamond
Need Help With Your Amusement Park Injury Lawsuit?
No one goes to an amusement park expecting to sustain injuries, or worse, due to the negligence of the park owner and operators. Amusement parks and their rides are for the public’s enjoyment, so it is reasonable to expect that they will be safe from harm while on the premises. The park owner has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure visitors’ safety and can be liable for injuries or deaths when they fail to do so.
Suppose you or someone you love sustains amusement park injuries because of park-owner or operator negligence. In that case, you should immediately get in touch with the personal injury experts at Diamond & Diamond Lawyers. The firm regularly helps clients get the compensation they deserve. This will help them recover from injuries due to negligence in Toronto and most of Ontario. Diamond & Diamond Law has been in the business of assisting people in getting compensation for 40 years.
Time is of the essence for amusement park injuries and personal injury cases, so don’t wait. Call for a free consultation about your case right now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain when you work with Diamond & Diamond Lawyers.