We all love theme parks. All of us here at Silverthorne Attorneys enjoy the fun of theme parks, carnivals, county fairs and other events hosting rides and attractions. However, there is a dark side. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission estimates that the number of serious injuries on amusement park rides that warrant a trip to the emergency room have risen to almost 5,000 incidents annually.
If you or a family member was injured at a theme park, contact an Orange County amusement park accident attorney at Silverthorne Attorneys today to discuss your matter at (949) 234-6034. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses and damages depending on the unique circumstances of the incident. We have offices in Ladera Ranch, Huntington Beach and Anaheim to serve you.
Taking Action After a Theme Park Accident
Few of those who sue a theme park rush into it. Three-fourths of the plaintiffs claiming injuries waited more than a year before filing a lawsuit. Almost one in every five waited until just before the statute of limitations expired. Many people spend years trying to negotiate an injury claim short of suing. Most of them just want their medical bills paid. Contact Silverthorne Attorneys Now!
Once sued, a theme park rarely backs down quickly. More than two-thirds of the cases filed against a theme remained active in court for at least a year. Some cases from 2007 were still active at the start of 2012.
Most lawsuits are settled out of court. Of the 477 cases, 117 were still pending as of March 15. Of the 360 cases filed since the start of 2009 that have been resolved, only seven went to trial and reached a jury verdict — and the theme parks won all seven. Two-thirds of the rest were either settled officially or concluded with private agreements that stop short of using the word “settlement.” Another 27 percent were dismissed by a judge with no indication of a deal. The tiny percentage of theme-park cases that went to trial is not unusual for personal-injury suits generally in California courts, but the parks have won nearly every single verdict in recent years.
Most settlements are secret. Of the 246 cases filed since 2008 that have already ended in some sort of agreement, only six reported dollar amounts: three with Universal, two with Disney and one with Six Flags Entertainment. Those deals ranged from a low of $4,300 — offered to the family of a boy injured on an escalator at Universal — to a high of $145,000 — offered to the family of a toddler run over by a taxicab at a Disney hotel.
Plaintiffs who lose sometimes end up footing the theme parks’ legal bills. The theme-park companies can, and do, go after unsuccessful plaintiffs, seeking reimbursement for their legal expenses. Anyone who sues anyone else over a personal injury faces this possibility. If the defendant offers a settlement but the plaintiff rejects it and then loses the case (or, in some circumstances, even if the plaintiff wins the case), the defendant can demand the plaintiff pay the defendant’s legal bills. Do not hesitate! Your case is important and needs expert lawyers now. Some common negligence issues that lead to injuries include:
Common Causes of Theme Park, Amusement Park & Water Park Accidents:
- Consumer behavior
- Operator behavior
- Mechanical failure
- Design defects or limitations.
- Slippery surface areas
- Equipment or other articles that obstruct walkways
- Unlocked doors or gates that can permit access to dangerous areas
- Poorly maintained rides or buildings
- Ride operators under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Guest safety in any amusement park setting should always come first and be at the top of the establishment’s list of priorities. Unfortunately this is not always the case and when careless actions or efforts are carried out by owners or employees, people get hurt.
It seems simple, but Silverthorne Attorneys knows that amusement park ride injuries are far more sophisticated than the rides themselves. Liability for amusement park accidents and theme park injuries involves three different types of law – negligence or tort law, product liability law and premises liability law. These laws are quite complex and require the expertise of a personal injury lawyer with experience handling amusement park accident injury cases. You have come to the right place. Silverthorne Attorneys are experts at amusement park ride injuries.
Theme Park Accident Statistics
Keep in mind that not all injuries at theme parks, county fairs and carnivals occur on the rides. A full 46% of injuries occur aside from the rides, usually slip and fall injuries. Theme park lawsuits can seem overwhelming since it involves numerous areas of laws such as premise liability, product liability and personal injury. It is our hope that we may use our experience and expertise in this area of law to help protect the rights of people injured at theme parks.
Are rides safe? They generally are in the permanent amusement parks. In 2011, approximately 290 million guests visited U.S. amusement facilities and safely enjoyed 1.7 billion rides. An estimated 1,207 ride related injuries occurred in 2011. Only 59 of the injuries in 2011 were reported as “serious”, meaning they required some form of overnight treatment at a hospital; this comprised only 5 percent of all ride injuries.
However, if it happens to you, it is not a minor situation. Call the experts at Silverthorne Attorneys immediately if you are injured at an amusement park in Orange County.
Theme Park Accident Resources
- Permanent Amusement Ride Safety Inspection Program