Amusement park rides are supposed to be fun, exciting, and thrilling. However, two recent accidents – one of which occurred in California – highlight just how dangerous they can really be. In fact, data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that as many as 45,000 amusement park injuries occurred in 2015. Approximately 30,000 of those injuries were sustained by children. The following will help parents understand the risks, and how they should proceed if their child is injured.
Chasing the Thrill and Rising Injury Rates
In an effort to keep profits up and please park-goers, many amusement parks race to build bigger, faster, more thrilling rides. Unfortunately, this has come at a hefty price – and it is not the price of admission. Some fail to fully test their rides. Others, despite testing, are unable to effectively test for all possible conditions since much of the safety of a ride depends on the size and weight of the rider, and proper fitting of safety devices. That has made these thrilling and exciting rides more dangerous, and it is putting park-attendees at risk.
What parents need to know is that the riders at greatest risk of injury and fatality are, sadly, children. This is due, in part, to their smaller size and the risk of improperly fitted safety devices. Furthermore, parks usually test their rides for the average-sized adult. The velocity and speed, and how that may impact safety, are not generally configured for smaller riders. When paired with a child’s lack of understanding regarding the risk while on the ride (placing hands or feet outside of a ride, etc.), this can become a perfect formula for severe or life-threatening injury.
This risk is clearly indicated in the rising injury and fatality rates at amusement parks. In fact, data shows that, from 1990 to 2010, approximately 4,423 people were injured annually. Though the results from the Consumer Product Safety Commission are only preliminary, these rates are a far cry from the estimated 45,000 injuries sustained at water and amusement parks in 2015.
Most Common Injuries
Around 335 million visitors attend water parks and amusement parks each year. Old data (based on injury rates from 1990 to 2010) found that, of those park goers, approximately 20 each day sustained some sort of injury. The most common injuries are those sustained to the head and neck (28 percent), followed by the arms (24 percent), face (18 percent), and legs (17 percent). Injuries to the soft tissue were the most common type of injury (29 percent), but were closely followed by strains and sprains (21 percent), and cuts (20 percent). Broken bones accounted for only 10 percent of all injuries.
When Injury Happens
Sadly, parents and family members of injured victims often do not know where to turn, or what their rights are once an injury happens. Some simply let their health insurance take care of the cost. Others take a small, monetary settlement from the park itself. If an injury happens to you or your child, do not make these same mistakes. The park can be held liable and, in some situations, you may be able to fully recover compensation for all of losses by pursuing a personal injury claim.
At Martinez & Schill LLP, we have more than 37 years of combined experience. When paired with our dedication to the best interest of our clients, and our willingness to aggressively assert their rights, this gives you a distinct advantage in your personal injury claim. Contact the firm you can trust with your case and increase your chances of obtaining the fair compensation that you and your family deserve. Call 619-512-5995 and schedule a free consultation with our San Diego, California personal injury attorneys today.