Amusement park injuries are no laughing matter

There’s nothing amusing at all about an amusement park injury — but people often don’t realize how much they’re at risk when they attend anything from the local summer fair to the final weekend of the season at the nearest major theme park.

Statistics from several of the nation’s major theme parks indicate that injuries are on the rise. For example, patrons at Disneyland experienced 132 serious injuries in 2016 — which was 45 more than they had in 2015. At Six Flags, there were 445 major injuries in the same year — an increase of 95 injuries over the previous year.

What could be contributing to the rising figures? Recent reports suggest that there are a number of possible reasons:

  • Rides and attractions may have grown increasingly dangerous in an attempt to satisfy thrill-seekers who would otherwise be disinterested. Poor engineering may contribute to deaths and injuries alike.
  • Some of the older rides may not be as well-maintained as they should be — which can lead to mechanical failures that cause injuries.
  • Guests can be injured because they either ignore the rules for an attraction or the rules are not widely enforced by staff.
  • There’s a total lack of federal oversight at theme parks. While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with looking into any injuries at fairs and carnivals, each state has its own rules regarding theme parks.
  • Reports from theme parks and other attractions often lack specific details that would help investigators sort out the cause of an injury or illness. For example, a teen who suffered a brain bleed after riding one amusement park attraction was only reported as feeling “ill.”
  • Inspections by insurers and state agencies can be irregular — which means minor problems can be overlooked until they lead to major injury.

If you suffered a serious injury at a major theme park or a state carnival or fair and you believe it was due to the negligence of those in charge, a personal injury attorney can discuss with you the possibility of a case for compensation.

Source: Amusement Safety Organization, “2016 Annual Injury Numbers,” accessed July 19, 2017

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