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Amusement Park Accidents and Injuries

Author: Portner & Shure

More than 290 million people visited a theme park in the U.S. in 2010, enjoying 1.7 billion rides. According to the National Safety Council's most recent survey of conditions at parks,1,299 people were injured. That figure included injuries like twisted ankles and scraped knees

Roller coasters are sophisticated machines with thousands of coordinated moving parts, elaborate computer programs, and advanced safety features. Most roller coasters employ multiple layers of safety technology, such as:

  • Physical rider restraints such as lap bars, shoulder harnesses, and seat belts
  • Sensors to track each coaster's position in relation to the overall track layout
  • Multiple braking systems throughout the track
  • Redundant physical safety systems such as anti-rollback devices and pressurized brakes

Despite these sophisticated safety systems, accidents can happen on roller coasters. While technological failures do account for some of these mishaps, rider errors are also responsible for many problems. Some of the most common causes of injuries at theme parks include:

  • Mechanical failures (due to missing safety pins, broken welds, overstressed structural components, exposed wires, malfunctioning safety restraints and other examples of poor maintenance)
  • Operator error (carelessness, poor training, stopping rides too abruptly and failing to inspect the ride's condition regularly throughout the day are all examples of this)
  • Reckless behavior by other guests (park employees should be trained in how to respond when guests jeopardize the safety of others through reckless conduct)

Amusement park accident claims can involve several responsible parties, multiple insurers and a variety of complex legal issues. The highly-experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure work closely with engineering and safety experts to prove exactly how and why the amusement park accidents that injured our clients actually happened.

We manage our caseloads carefully to ensure that each individual or family we represent gets the personal attention, responsiveness, and support they may need from us throughout the legal process -- including the help they need to resolve medical care and insurance-related issues.

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