Central Florida has some of the largest amusement parks in the world, including the following locations:
- Walt Disney World Resort, including:
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Universal Studios Florida
- Islands of Adventure
- SeaWorld Orlando
- Discovery Cove
- Legoland Florida
However, when these theme parks are not carefully monitored, accidents may cause serious bodily harm (and even death). At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., our accident attorneys represent Florida residents, visitors and even snowbirds when amusement park accidents result in preventable harm.
Amusement park accidents in Florida
Whether enjoying a speedy roller coaster ride or nibbling on fantastic desserts and food, the last thing people expect is an accident at an amusement park. Unfortunately, amusement park accidents occur more often than you may think. There are many different types of amusement park accidents that result from numerous errors. A Florida premises liability lawyer can help you navigate the legal field after falling victim to any of these types of accidents.
The leading contributors of amusement park accidents in the state of Florida include the following:
Most amusement parks have roller coasters that travel rapidly and abruptly, turning at sharp angles. Such speeds and vast changes in momentum require continual maintenance and upkeep, especially when the weather conditions in Florida (humidity, precipitation) may break down the structural elements of a particular roller coaster. Mechanical failures can include structural detachments, mid-ride breaks or general failure of parts. Such errors should be properly predicted and avoided through careful planning and construction to ensure public safety and well-being.
In general, theme park rides are operated by the park's employees. These individuals are trained to understand and operate the equipment. Therefore, a significant amount of trust is placed into these employees. They are expected to perform their job well and ensure the safety of the people on the ride. When employees fail to adhere to basic instructions, fail to thoroughly check that each passenger is properly seated/arranged/belted in, or fail to stop or begin the ride in a careful manner, accidents resulting in great injury may occur.
Failure to warn/advise
It is vital that rides contain warning messages, instructions and side effects that are clearly visible to the public. People must be informed of what to expect from a ride and if any existing health conditions may be threatened by going on the ride. Proper disclaimers and warnings may prevent people who should not be on certain types of rides from becoming injured.
In some rare cases, whether it is due to any of the factors mentioned above or something else, rides may be dangerous in nature. The structure of the ride or the types of movements of the ride may be challenging to manage and may present consistent obstacles that make general upkeep impossible. Such rides should be banned from public use.
Lastly, a contributor to amusement park accidents is the misuse and disobedience of passengers. If there are clear and visible signs around the amusement park, the public are expected to adhere to the rules, procedures and warnings. When passengers lift their children above seatbelt lines, unlatch their seatbelts, sit improperly, stand up mid-way through a ride and/or touch objects, props and surroundings that they are advised not to touch, they inflict harm on themselves.
Any of these types of amusement park accidents may contribute to a passenger drowning (e.g., if on a water slide), being hit by falling detached objects, being rapidly whipped, being thrown or pushed by the force of a ride, or falling out of a ride. No matter what type of amusement park accident it may be, a law firm is necessary to help hurt passengers receive compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.
Who is at fault?
Amusement park accidents can result in serious injuries including head, neck and spinal injuries, strokes, paralysis, aneurysms, torn ligaments, broken bones, lung damage and even death. When such unfortunate injuries occur, passengers are rightfully owed benefits and compensation. Determining fault of an accident at an amusement/theme park can be tricky.
- Employees may be at fault if they failed to operate the motors properly.
- The park's administration may be at fault if clear warning signs were not placed in visible places.
- The manufacturers, engineers and even designers of a given ride may be held responsible if foreseeable structural changes could have been made to prevent errors and manual defect.
- Suppliers may be held responsible if the products utilized for a given ride were inadequate.
However, passengers should be aware that they also play a role in their own safety. If park visitors fail to follow instructions and warnings, they may not be eligible for benefits as they would be perceived as contributors to their own injuries and damages in a court of law. Safety at amusement parks requires a two-way street - however, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue a favorable outcome no matter what the details of your unique situation may be.
Significance of amusement park accident attorneys
Whether you are a Florida resident, visitor, tourist or snowbird looking for adventure and fun, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., are pleased to represent you. Our law firm has four offices located throughout Central Florida - in Tavares, Inverness, The Villages and Clermont. These areas in Florida are particularly relevant to amusement park accidents due to their close proximity to a number of popular theme parks. Theme/amusement park operators have a responsibility to uphold the safety and well-being of the public, especially when thousands of tourists flock to Florida just to experience amusement park life.
If you have been injured or harmed because of an amusement park accident in Florida, contact an amusement park attorney at our law firm for assistance. Most amusement parks are owned by large corporations that fight aggressively and attempt to avoid making payments to the public as much as possible. With aggressive legal representation from Brent C. Miller and his associates at the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., you can trust that all your needs will be taken care of via strong negotiation techniques and stubborn advocacy.
Amusement park accident FAQs
What do I do if I'm injured while on vacation?
If you sustain an injury at an amusement park while on vacation, it is important that you seek the help of a personal injury law firm. It is likely that the theme park will offer you a fast settlement and require you to sign a release form to receive the money. Doing so without an attorney could lead to low compensation from the theme park. Once you collect the money, however, you waive your right to pursue more compensation through a lawsuit. Having a Tavares injury attorney by your side will provide you with counsel to make the best decisions that will lead to the most compensation.
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How can fault be determined in an amusement park accident?
There are various parties who could be responsible for your injury at a theme park such as the amusement park's owner, the designer, the manufacturer, or another company entirely. Depending on your type of injury and what caused it, your attorney will conduct an investigation to determine who is at fault for your injuries. That is why it is important to rely on experienced Florida accident attorneys.
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What are common types of amusement park injuries?
Common amusement park injuries that could occur due to the negligence of a party involved include:
- Broken bones
- Slip and fall accidents
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Head trauma
- Internal injuries
- Heart attacks
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What claims can be filed after an amusement park accident?
Depending on the type of injuries you sustained and the type of accident that caused them, you could file claims such as personal injury, slip and fall, negligence, and wrongful death. An accident lawyer in Central Florida can help you determine which claim to file.
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What do I do if a family member died in an amusement park accident?
If one of your family members died either at the amusement park or due to injuries sustained at the amusement park, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This will depend on what caused the death and whether it was due to the negligence of the park owner, the operator, a staff member or any other party involved.
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Do theme park owners have a legal responsibility to guests?
Theme park owners have the legal responsibility to ensure that the premises - and the attractions - are properly maintained, free from any hazards and in a safe condition. Theme park owners also have the responsibility to ensure that the necessary steps are taken during rides to prevent injuries from occurring. This includes proper training of the staff and having proper safety equipment installed.
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Do I need a lawyer if I'm injured at an amusement park?
A personal injury attorney is an invaluable asset when dealing with injuries sustained at an amusement park. An experienced attorney can help you determine the right claim to file, collect the necessary evidence, offer you counsel every step of the way, and fight for your fair compensation. When dealing with big amusement parks that have a lot of money, fighting for yourself can leave you at a huge disadvantage. An attorney is a way for you to even the playing field and protect your rights.
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