Theme Park Accident Personal Injury
Filing Insurance Claims for Injuries From Theme Park Accidents
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 fun memories with friends and family.
However, no one expects one of these memories to be an injury. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, emergency rooms saw an estimated 30,000 injuries that were connected to amusement parks. With the alarming amount of injuries taking place in amusement parks, it is important for guests to learn their rights if they were or have been involved in a theme park accident. If you were harmed in a theme park accident and would like to file a premises liability claim, 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.
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 them about the risks associated with the ride. 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 Department 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 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.
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 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 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
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 were only incorporated in 5 percent 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.