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Amusement Park Rides

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New Jersey Unsafe Amusement Park Rides Attorneys

Legal representation for victims of injuries on amusement park and carnival rides

Millions of Americans flock to amusement parks each year, but the twists and turns of an amusement park ride come at a risk. Every year, thousands of patrons are injured at amusement parks. For an unlucky few, a trip to an amusement park may even end in tragedy. In the majority of amusement park accidents, most injuries and deaths are attributable to negligence by amusement park staff or owners.

One of the most commonly cited causes of amusement park accidents involves a failure to detect malfunctioning rides or ride parts. Regardless of who or what is to blame for an amusement park accident, it is important that families of injured victims seek legal representation. The New Jersey premises liability attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP are here for you, bringing decades of combined legal experience to the table.

Statistics about safety and amusement park rides

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) maintains a databased called the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). This database, updated annually, summarizes national injury data by product groups, age, and sex. In 2019, amusement attractions and rides were responsible for 44,334 injuries and 1,321 people hospitalized or deceased.

Children and adolescents are those most likely to require medical attention following an amusement park accident. One study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy estimates that nearly 4,500 amusement park patrons under the age of 18 visit emergency rooms for injuries sustained at an amusement park each year.

Children are most often injured when they fall off, on, or against a ride. However, the most serious types of injuries to children often happen  when they are struck by a ride or are struck by a foreign object during a ride. Twenty-eight percent of all amusement park accidents involving a child or adolescent result in brain or spinal cord injuries.

Who is most at risk for NJ amusement park ride accidents?

The statistics are sobering and cause for alarm, but many of these accidents are entirely avoidable. Because children and adolescents are among the most vulnerable at an amusement park, it is imperative that staff adhere to height and weight restrictions for all rides. Similarly, when a ride is off-limits to children who are unaccompanied by an adult, the rule must be enforced. Amusement park staff is also responsible for ensuring that all safety belts are securely fastened before operating a ride. Failure to do so can give rise to a personal injury claim if a rider is hurt.

Children are not the only ones at risk, as adults are frequently injured in amusement park accidents as well. Liability can arise when park owners fail to provide patrons with adequate warnings about the dangers posed by a ride. Rides that involve high speeds, sharp turns and centrifugal force must be advertised accordingly, as they place patrons who are pregnant or suffer from a heart condition at an increased risk of injury. Amusement park officials must securely cordon off all amusement park rides to prevent passersby from venturing into harm’s way. Additionally, all rides must be routinely inspected and immediately decommissioned when a defect is discovered.

Local amusement parks in New Jersey

The Garden State has its fair share of amusement parks, carnivals and traveling fairs, all with their own rides and permanent or temporary setups. These parks include:

  • Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, NJ
  • Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Point Pleasant, NJ
  • Land of Make Believe, Hope, NJ
  • Nickelodeon Universe, East Rutherford, NJ
  • NJ State Fair, Meadowlands, NJ
  • Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
  • The Funplex, various locations, NJ

If you or a loved one are injured at a park or fair, talk to the attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP as soon as possible to weigh your options.

What are some of the top causes of NJ amusement part accidents?

Although sometimes there is no way to avoid freak accidents, many amusement park ride injuries occur due to negligence. Some of the common reasons people suffer injuries on rides and attractions include:

  • Improper ride operation. Negligent or untrained ride operators may cause accidents by making mistakes like stopping the ride too early, at the wrong location, or improperly securing passengers into the ride.
  • Mechanical failure. Manufacturing defects or ride malfunctions can lead to tragic results, like lap bars unlocking during the ride, cars detaching during a rollercoaster ride, or failures in the structure of the ride.
  • Passenger negligence. Passengers can also suffer injury by fellow riders, who can cause accidents by failing to follow instructions. Intentionally rocking a car, standing up, undoing restraints, or otherwise behaving recklessly can cause injury to themselves and others.
  • Inherent risks of the ride itself. Some rides are just simply dangerous due to the way they are designed. Passengers should be made aware of the risks of a ride or attraction and determine whether or not it may exacerbate an existing condition. Certain rides have been known to cause dizziness, unconsciousness, back problems, or even retinal hemorrhage.
  • Improper design. Poorly designed rides can lead to severed feet, decapitations, drownings, and falls. They can also lead to head, shoulder, and neck injuries.
  • Failure to warn. Some rides have signs that say, “You must be this tall to ride this ride.” Those signs exist because failing to warn guests about potential risks can lead to liability. If rides or amusements pose any possible dangers – to children, to pregnant women, to people with seizure disorders, and so forth – the park can be liable for the injuries you sustain.

Our central NJ attorneys will investigate your case to find out exactly what caused your accident and injuries, as well as who or what was responsible.

Common amusement park and carnival ride injuries

Unfortunately, there are a number of ways adults and children can suffer injury on an amusement park ride. Some of the more common include:

  • Broken bones and lacerations from trips and falls or other causes
  • Death from falling from heights or being thrown from a ride
  • Drownings and injuries from water rides, like lazy rivers or water slides
  • Neck and back injuries from rides like rollercoasters or bumper cars, where the body is whipped around.
  • Strokes from trauma to the neck
  • Traumatic brain injury from G-force on rides with rapid speed, or if a rider is struck on the head with an object

What is my amusement park accident case worth?

Even a minor injury can result in serious medical bills. A visit to the emergency room, follow-up appointments with your doctor, and even just a few days off work can make a huge dent in most New Jersians’ bank accounts. If your accident was due to another’s negligence, you are likely eligible for compensation. The lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can help you build a strong case.

We help you seek compensation for the following:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

In cases of wrongful death, we also seek funeral and burial expenses for your loved one.

Am I still eligible for compensation if I am partly to blame for my injuries?

It should be noted that an injury may be compensable even when a patron’s own actions contributed to their fate. According to New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence Act, damages are subject to a reduction when a plaintiff is at least partly to blame for their injuries, such as when a rider fails to obey a posted weight limit or fails to keep his or her arms and legs inside a moving ride as instructed.

However, if an amusement park owner or staff member is found by a judge or jury to be more than 50 percent responsible for an amusement park accident, the plaintiff’s actions cannot serve as an outright bar to compensation.

Premises liability attorneys seeking justice for injured riders

If you or a loved one has been injured in an amusement park accident, the amusement park accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP will seek compensation on your behalf. From offices in Edison, Red Bank and Toms River, our lawyers advise and represent clients in personal injury and wrongful death litigation matters throughout New Jersey. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to request a free consultation.