Amusement parks: When fun is dangerous

It’s fair season. States and counties all across the country are pulling out the stops to celebrate the industries and the people who make them unique. One thing that tends to be common to them all, however, is the amusement park.

There is an art to this particular industry. The gauge of success, according to one legacy carnival operator, is how well he gives you the means to “stare the Grim Reaper in the eye,” while ensuring that you land “back down on the ground and not have any hair out of place.”

Fun can turn to tragedy when an amusement park ride fails

Unfortunately, sometimes all the fun turns to tragedy when a bolt breaks, a shock absorber bursts or a safety chain gives way. When that happens, catastrophic and even fatal injury can occur. Victims of such misfortune have a right to seek compensation for their losses, whether it is to cover necessary medical care, replace lost wages or earning ability, or to recognize the loss of a loved one.

There are those who may try to argue that anyone who seeks out the thrills of a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, twirling ride or water park slide know the risks and accept them by buying a ticket. However, providers of these rides, like any business, have a duty to keep their patrons safe. Indeed, while laws vary, nearly every state has statutes requiring amusement park rides to meet certain safety standards.

Here in Indiana, state officials recently exercised their enforcement authority ahead of the 17-day state fair. A team of 13 inspectors scoured through every one of the more than 50 rides checking for potential hazards. By the time the fair opened, all the rides were reportedly approved for operation.

Such is not always the case, though. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that as many as 4,800 people visited emergency rooms with injuries caused by amusement park rides between 1997 and 2003. It also reported 55 deaths between 1987 and 2001.

Safety laws covering amusement parks are complex

Clams agains amusement parks are complex. You will need an attorney to research the many statutes covering safety standards for amusement parks. In addition, you will need expert testimony regarding what caused the accident. It makes sense to hire an experienced injury attorney to help you find your way through these obstacles.

Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

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