Water Slides & Amusement Parks Accidents — Miami Personal Injury Lawyer: Sean M. Cleary
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How Can We Help You with Your Theme Park Injury Case?
When you call our office, we will ask you for basic information about yourself and what happened, and we will also ask you for the evidence involved in your claim.
Sean M. Cleary
IAAPA statistics revealed 1,343 ride-related injuries throughout U.S. in 2008 only. 80 of these injuries were serious, meaning the victims needed to spend the night in a hospital for treatment (and not just observation). Not all injuries are noticeable immediately after the incident. For example, someone could suffer an apparent minor neck injury after an adventurous ride and only after a few days discover he/she has whiplash. Or while on a ride, you could experience a minor stomach pain and later discover that you have suffered internal injuries.
Between 1990-2010, around 93,000 kids received treatment for injuries caused by theme park rides
According to a 2013 Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio study, 20 children a day were treated at an emergency ward somewhere in the U.S. for amusement park rides injuries. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) states that the chance of being seriously injured is one in 24 million. In the meantime, according to the Ohio report, between 1990 and 2010, around 93,000 kids received emergency room treatment for injuries caused by theme park rides. Around 11,000 of those injuries happened on small, coin-operated rides at the mall and the victims were under the age of five. The mall rides are even more dangerous if you consider:
they don't have restraints
they are set up in malls with hard cement floors
children have more difficult time balancing themselves on these rides.
How Can the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help?
Amusement or theme parks, state fairs, and water parks have always been important attraction points for children and adults of all ages. Frequented by a large number of people, these places oriented towards recreation are wonderful playgrounds where beautiful buildings and landscapes mix with other attractions such as roller coasters, train rides, dark or water rides, Ferris wheels, etc. Even though it's always a blast to spend time in such entertainment areas, quite often accidents happen. Serious injuries and even deaths are consistently reported to the local authorities, most of them being a consequence of visitor's negligence of not respecting the park's safety policies. Ride operators can also be responsible for this kind of accidents, as they are sometimes carelessly manipulating the machines or the riding vehicles.
If you have unfortunately suffered injuries while having fun in the water or amusement park, you should contact an experienced lawyer who has the necessary expertise to investigate what went wrong and provide the necessary legal consultancy.
At the Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary in Miami, we are always ready to tackle any amusement or water park accident. Starting with the initial investigation of the circumstances where the incident occurred and continuing our communication with the victim and any other witnesses, we do our best to make a complete investigation to find out who carries the fault.
We know from our vast experience in dealing with such cases that it is no surprise that the resort employees act with negligence and don't provide the necessary safety guidelines to visitors. Other times, the vehicles or water ride constructions can have certain unnoticed defects due to negligent safety revisions or inspections. Our attorneys have established a strong network of experts in structural engineering who can thoroughly analyze and determine the cause of these accidents. We certainly know that these measures lead to stronger evidence in court by building a solid ground for a substantial settlement agreement. In Florida, the time frame (statute of limitations) for filing a lawsuit in an amusement park accident is four years from the date the incident occurred.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Theme Park Legal Claim?
Depending on the circumstances, the legal responsibility for the injuries caused by an amusement park accident could be attributed to:
the amusement park owner
the ride operator
a concession stands owner
the ride designer or manufacturer.
Responsibility for amusement park injury cases may fall under:
Most of the amusement park injury cases are settled out of court because the operators try to conceal them from the public audience.
Water park attractions call for extra care from the equipment manufacturers, owners or operators when it comes to ensuring the safety of visitors and minimizing any risk of injury and drowning. Product liability cases are not based on negligence but strict liability, and they address accidents caused by:
unreasonably dangerous design
or description of the product (insufficiently marked for danger).
If any of these issues caused injuries to a visitor, he or she might have a product liability claim.
For a successful case, it's not necessary to prove manufacturer or seller's fault. The key is to show that the defective attraction or component was being used as intended and that the design (or a part of the ride) was defective, and this malfunction injured the victim. Defective product claims have to prove a direct connection between the defective part and the injury.
Theme park workers and their legal rights in case of accidents
Amusement parks and carnivals function based on outsourced workers who maintain the grounds and operate the rides. Such jobs include:
ride and game operators
All the contracted workers are susceptible to injury while performing their tasks. Most of the times they don't have the regular compensation coverage as regular employees. In the unfortunate event of an accident caused by a carnival owner or operator's negligence, they may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Animal parks workers are also at high risk of injuries. Animals are unpredictable and can suddenly harm their caregivers or groundskeepers (for example in 2012, a trainer died after an orca whale dragged her under the water).
Amusement park operators or owners are responsible for the safety of the working environment. In other words, this means ensuring that:
employees and outsource workers are properly trained to operate the rides
the appropriate security controls and measures are in place
machines and other equipment are properly functional.
If they fail to do so, the amusement park owners and operators are liable for any injuries that appear as a result.
My wife and I were referred to Sean Cleary by another Attorney. He was very highly recommended and, I must say, very deservedly so. Sean is very diligent in his work; his preparation is phenomenal, and his presentations are something to behold. He is very accessible if you have any questions. He always takes the time to fully explain in language you can understand. We highly recommend anyone needing help...talk to Sean Cleary.
According to a spokesman for the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, inflatables, such as bounce houses, are the most dangerous amusement devices. Inflatables cause more injuries than any other ride, even more than roller coasters.
In 2013, a total of 357 U.S fixed-site amusement facilities were invited to...
Amusement park injury cases have a complex nature, as several areas of state and federal law may come into play. A case like this is most likely a combination of product liability, negligence, and premises liability. Most amusement park...