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Injuries From Theme Park Accidents, Explained by the Top Premise Liability Lawyers


As one of the largest tourist and entertainment capitals, Southern California, is home to some of the most heavyweight amusement parks, including Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Disneyland. When vacationers visit these theme parks their intention is to create many shared memories with family and friends

However, no one expects one of these memories to be of an injury. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the amount of amusement park injuries has doubled in the year 2000, reaching about 7,260 injuries. When injured in a premises liability case, West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to defend you against intimidating corporations who may try to weaken your insurance settlement. We are always here to answer any questions you may have about premises liability claims.

Examples:

  • July 20th, 2019, a woman was found dead at Cobb Estate, a property just north of Pasadena often used as a “haunted woods” theme park attraction. Detectives suggest the death was an accident.
  • 10 people were injured in a Disneyland roller coaster ride. A single man died and the rest were taken to the University of California Irvine Medical Center to recover.

The property owner usually bears a responsibility to his or her customers by providing a reasonably safe and controlled environment. If it is found that an amusement park did not act with reasonable care, then they can be held liable for the injuries they caused.

An example of this would be an injury caused by a piece of rusted equipment, or an amusement park worker forgetting to check a rider’s seat belt. Since the employers are responsible for the actions of their workers, liability would likely fall on the park itself. The park is also responsible for teaching their employees to give customers proper warnings, check height requirements, and inform about the risks. In addition, most theme parks reinforce their safety policies by adding visible signage.

However, even when accidents do happen, fault can sometimes be hard to find.

Such as the 2019 case where a family of 3 were all injured at the California theme park, Castle Park, following an overturned log. Castle Park released the following statement: “Safety is our number one priority and we have begun conducting a full investigation. At approximately 4:30 pm, an incident occurred on the Log Ride at Castle Park. Three guests were injured. One was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The cause of the incident is under investigation and has not yet been determined. California Dept. of Safety and Health will conduct a thorough investigation of the cause."

After an inspection, however, Castle Park announced that there was nothing wrong with the ride itself.

Negligence


The property owner usually bears a responsibility to his or her customers by providing a reasonably safe and controlled environment. If it is found that an amusement park did not act with reasonable care, then they can be held liable for the injuries they caused.

An example of this would be an injury caused by a piece of rusted equipment, or an amusement park worker forgetting to check a rider’s seat belt. Since the employers are responsible for the actions of their workers, liability would likely fall on the park itself. The park is also responsible for teaching their employees to give customers proper warnings, check height requirements, and inform about the risks. In addition, most theme parks reinforce their safety policies by adding visible signage.

However, even when accidents do happen, fault can sometimes be hard to find.
Such as the 2019 case where a family of 3 were all injured at the California theme park, Castle Park, following an overturned log. Castle Park released the following statement: “Safety is our number one priority and we have begun conducting a full investigation. At approximately 4:30 pm, an incident occurred on the Log Ride at Castle Park. Three guests were injured. One was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. The cause of the incident is under investigation and has not yet been determined. California Dept. of Safety and Health will conduct a thorough investigation of the cause."

After an inspection, however, Castle Park announced that there was nothing wrong with the ride itself.

Product Liability


Product liability claims occur when a person is injured or killed by a broken or defective ride. An example of this is a rusted chain snapping or a busted cable causing injury or harm to a rider.

There are also product liability cases, such as when the manufacturer of a machine has a design defect or flaw. In such situations, the victim can sue both the manufacturer and the park itself. As always it is the burden of the victim to prove liability.

Assumption of Risk


When a person voluntarily participates in a dangerous activity, but fully understands the risk they have assumed the risk of that activity. Depending on the state, different rules may apply.

California offers an “expressed assumption of risk” or a waiver that alleviates the company of liability. Often done with sports and other physical activities, this also applies to theme parks, haunted houses and other potentially dangerous environments where someone with a weak heart, for example, assumes the risk of riding a rollercoaster. Although there is an assumption of risk when engaging in certain activities due diligence is still required on behalf of the property owner to provide a reasonably safe space.

Available Damages


Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers to find out how we can help


If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a premises liability accident, an attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (213) 927-3700 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

CONTACT WEST COAST TRIAL LAWYERS TODAY


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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