If amusement parks are your deal, Florida is the state for you. In fact, Florida’s world-class amusement parks are one of the state’s biggest attractions (out of a long list of stellar attractions). While amusement parks are – by definition – all about fun and games, dangerous accidents do happen, and when they do, the claims tend to be exceptionally complicated. If an amusement park accident leaves you or someone you love injured, don’t delay consulting with an experienced Florida amusement park accident lawyer.
According to The New York Times
According to The New York Times, amusement parks in the United States are not governed by federal regulations, and supervision of these sprawling parks is left to each state. In fact, there are six states that implement no oversight at all. Fortunately, however, Florida is not one of these states. Generally, accidents and other incidents related to safety are reported by the amusement parks themselves. In the early 1980s, a massive sweep of lobbying by park operators kept the wolf – in the form of the federal oversight conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission – from the door. Again in 1999, a House member attempted to implement federal oversight and called the current state of affairs a gigantic regulatory black hole for park visitors. That doesn’t sound good.
While this legislation was reintroduced yearly for more than a decade, Disney and its competitors were able to keep the legislation at bay by claiming that (i)t seeks to address a problem that does not exist. As a result, oversight is patchy at best. Somewhat ironically, the mobile parks that pack up and hit the road – for destinations like state fairs and carnivals – have less political gravitas, and as such, do experience federal oversight.
Florida Amusement Park Safety Regulations
Florida’s menagerie of amusement parks is subject to state guidelines that require all the following:
- Annual permits must be obtained.
- Employees must have appropriate training.
- Regularly scheduled inspections are required.
- Ride components must be in good working order.
- Ride controls, including those for speed and stopping, must be in good working order.
- Rides must incorporate devices that limit maximum speeds (as applicable).
- Ride parts that patrons come in contact with must be absent sharp or rough edges and corners – with no projecting studs, bolts, or screws and with no bent or distorted parts.
- Parts must all be properly aligned and regularly lubricated (as applicable)
- Rides cannot be open to the public until they are shown to be stable in all operating conditions.
- Dangerous open components of the ride must be fenced or barricaded from the public.
- Rides must clearly display signs that state all safety requirements, including any age, height, health, and/or weight restrictions (or any other special limitations – such as for pregnant women).
Common Amusement Park Accidents
When amusement parks fail to follow the necessary safety rules, regulations, and restrictions, dangerous accidents can ensue. Some of the most common ride-related injuries include:
- Broken, fractured, or crushed bones
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
- Limb loss or injuries that require amputation
Some of the most common injuries at amusement parks, however, are premises liability claims, such as slip and fall accidents caused by inadequate maintenance.
Your Amusement Park Accident Claim
In order to bring a successful amusement park accident claim, there are several elements that must be present.
A Duty of Care Was Owed to Your
When you go to a store, to a restaurant, to a business, or to an amusement park, you are owed a duty of care that amounts to the property owner or manager is responsible for maintaining the property in the reasonably safe condition that other reasonable property managers maintain in similar situations. When the property in question is an amusement park, all the park safety requirements identified above are part of the duty of care owed. Suffice to say that, when you enter an amusement park in Florida, you are owed a duty of care.
The Duty of Care Owed to You Was Breached
If the amusement park in question failed to live up to each of the expectations outlined in the safety regulations or otherwise failed to maintain the property in the reasonably safe condition necessary, it amounts to a breach in the duty of care owed to you and to every other guest in the park.
This Breach Caused You to Be Injured
The park’s breach of duty – or negligence – must have been the direct cause of the accident that caused you to be injured. For example, if you slip on a staircase near a water ride that has no handrails or slip-resistant floor covering, the park’s negligence can likely be shown to have directly caused your injuries.
You Suffered Damages
Finally, in order to recover on your losses in an amusement park accident claim, you must have experienced legal damages, which can include:
- Medical Expenses – Your medical expenses are likely to start with emergency care and extend to surgical care, hospitalization, pain management, rehabilitation, and beyond.
- Lost Earnings – While you focus on regaining your health and well-being, you can expect to experience lost earnings that are associated with lost hours on the job. If your earning power is affected, it makes your financial loss that much more serious.
- Pain and Suffering – The pain and suffering associated with being injured at an amusement park (where the entire focus is on fun and good times) can be especially profound.
Look to an Experienced Florida Amusement Park Accident Attorney for the Legal Help You Need
The accomplished amusement park accident lawyers at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – are committed to employing the full force of their impressive experience in their efforts to secure the best possible case resolution for every client we take on. We’re here to pick up your call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today.