Hundreds of millions of thrill-seekers visit amusement parks across the U.S. every year. But crowded parks and high-speed attractions can create serious injury risks.
If you have been hurt, contact the California amusement park accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase to find out if you could win compensation.
Theme park owners and operators have a duty to make sure their visitors are safe, but accidents happen more often than many people know. They happen more frequently in California because we have a huge number of outstanding amusement parks. These include:
- California Adventure
- Universal Studios
- Knott’s Berry Farm
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
This is just a snapshot of the biggest parks in California, but there are plenty more, not to mention the wide range of roving carnivals and fairs.
We are lucky to have such incredible entertainment options, but rides can break down and accidents can and have happened at even the biggest and best parks. Contact the California amusement park accident attorneys of Bisnar Chase for top-quality legal help now.
CA. Amusement Park Accident Resources
Types of Theme Park Accidents
There are plenty of ways a visitor can be injured at an amusement park. Some of the most common theme park accidents include:
➤ Ride malfunction
Amusement park rides are complicated bits of machinery and are pushed to the limit by constant daily use. If proper care is not taken, electrical components, doors, and safety devices can fail, putting riders in danger.
➤ Ride breakdowns
Sometimes rides break down altogether, often with people onboard. A breakdown could cause riders to be left in uncomfortable or painful positions or settings.
➤ Rollercoaster accident
Typically the fastest and most high-impact rides in amusement parks, rollercoasters can leave riders with injuries due to the violent movements and G-forces involved, even when functioning properly. Rollercoaster malfunctions can be catastrophic.
➤ Slip and falls
Not all amusement park accidents in California involve rides. Trip or slip and fall accidents could result in injuries and lawsuits if they were caused by park operator negligence.
Water parks and water-based rides at amusement parks carry a drowning risk. This could include people falling overboard on rides such as the Grizzly River Run and Pirates of the Caribbean (both at Disneyland California).
Amusement park parking lot accidents usually occur when two cars collide or a vehicle crashes into a pedestrian. They are surprisingly common, especially at larger theme parks where a huge volume of traffic is coming and going all day. There is a high danger of pedestrian accidents, with families and excited young children sometimes running through a roadway.
➤ Animal Bites
While most theme parks ban pets, some amusement parks, fairs, or carnivals might have animal attractions, such as petting zoo areas. Operators are responsible for ensuring visitors can interact with the animals safely.
➤ Other Premises Liability
Premises liability covers any kind of negligence causing a dangerous situation and leading to an injury.
Amusement Park Accident Liability
What causes amusement park accidents and injuries, and who is to blame? There are several potential reasons that an accident could occur. These include:
- Failure to inspect and maintain rides.
- Faulty equipment parts and mechanical failures.
- Poor ride design.
- Slippery surfaces.
- Trip hazards.
- Exposed electronics.
- Lack of attraction supervision by trained operators.
- Failure to follow safety guidelines.
- Lack of training for park employees.
- Insufficient safety signage.
- The violent nature of rides.
Those listed above are some of the top causes of California amusement park accidents and injuries. It is usually the responsibility of park owners and operators to make sure their premises are safe and secure.
Some incidents may be caused by visitor misbehavior, with people failing to follow the safety guidelines. But others are caused by negligence on the part of park operators, in which case a lawsuit could be filed.
For example, if a park does not carry out routine inspections or fix issues when it should, it would be responsible for any injuries occurring as a result.
Park operators could also be found negligent if they do not provide proper safety instructions or regulations, do not train staff properly, do not clear potential hazards promptly, do not add anti-slip surfaces where needed, and have staff who neglect their responsibilities while on duty.
If park owners and operators fail in their duty of care and a patron is injured as a result, the victim could file an amusement park injury lawsuit to make sure they are properly compensated.
Common Amusement Park Injuries
The type of injury a victim suffers will depend on the nature of their accident. These are some of the most common injuries associated with amusement park accidents in California.
- Broken bones: Usually occurring from a fall or harsh impact.
- Lacerations: Cuts, scrapes, and gashes from broken or jagged equipment.
- Whiplash injury: A result of violent motion or improper ride operation.
- Head, neck, back, or spinal cord injuries: Violent rides that throw the body around with extreme force can cause muscle and ligament strains and tears, as well as disc ruptures.
- Stroke: Occurring as a result of significant neck or head trauma.
- Brain aneurysms and traumatic brain injuries: A result of extreme stress and force placed on the head and brain by high-speed rides, or from physical impacts with the head.
- Drowning: Catastrophic intake of water, often after falling overboard in a water ride.
- Death: Amusement park deaths have occurred after visitors have fallen or been thrown from a ride while it is in motion.
If you or a loved one have suffered any of the above injuries, please do not hesitate to contact the California amusement park accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase. We are here to fight for you.
Why You Need an Amusement Park Injury Attorney
If you are injured at a California amusement park it can be daunting to take on the culprit, especially if it is a major organization such as Disney or Universal Studios. Not all parks operate on the same scale as those entertainment giants, but all major parks have significant legal resources at their disposal.
All amusement parks also have a duty of care to visitors. But they can sometimes fail in that duty, from leaving slippery surfaces and trip hazards to failing to carry out proper machinery maintenance. If park operators have been negligent in their duty, they must be held accountable.
The personal injury attorneys of Bisnar Chase have the skill, experience, determination, and resources to take on even the largest corporations.
Our team will handle every aspect of your claim, from gathering evidence to settlement negotiations. Our attorneys are also skilled in the courtroom and are not afraid to go to trial.
With Bisnar Chase, you get:
- A free initial consultation with no obligations.
- A no win no fee promise.
- Costs and fees advanced.
- Trial lawyers with 40+ years of experience.
- Superior representation, with unparalleled passion and care.
We offer a free consultation and a no win no fee guarantee to make sure everyone has access to quality legal help. Beyond that, we have built a reputation by providing superior client representation. We have a 99% success rate, winning more than $650 million for our clients while putting a focus on compassion.
Contact the theme park lawyers at Bisnar Chase now to find out if you have a claim.
California Amusement Parks
At the top of this article, we mentioned some of the biggest and best theme parks across California. But that was only a small snapshot of the attractions on offer here.
Our full list of California’s top amusement parks and attractions includes:
- Disneyland (Anaheim)
- Disney California Adventure (Anaheim)
- California’s Great America (Santa Clara)
- Castle Park (Riverside)
- Adventure City (Stanton)
- Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park)
- Legoland California (Carlsbad)
- Balboa Fun Zone (Newport Beach)
- Belmont Park (San Diego)
- Gilroy Gardens (Gilroy)
- Pacific Park (Santa Monica)
- Playland (Fresno)
- Raging Waters (Sacramento, San Dimas, San Jose)
- Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Santa Cruz)
- SeaWorld (San Diego)
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Vallejo)
- Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia)
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (Concord)
- Universal Studios Hollywood (San Fernando Valley)
- Boomerang Bay Water Park (Santa Clara)
Most amusement parks do not publish visitor numbers, but these venues attract millions of people every year, both locals and visitors. The various Disneyland parks alone combine for more than 30 million visitors a year, including the main park, California Adventure, Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars Land, and Downtown Disney.
With these massive visitor numbers, accidents are bound to happen. Contact the California amusement park injury attorneys of Bisnar Chase for quality legal advice.
The Worst Amusement Park Accidents
There have been some horrific incidents over the years, causing both serious injuries and deaths. Here are some of the worst examples of serious amusement park accidents:
➤ One Death and Ten Injuries on Disneyland Rollercoaster
A deadly accident caused Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to malfunction and derail in 2003.
The open-train rollercoaster is a popular ride that opened in 1970. But on this occasion, the cars separated while the ride was in motion, coming off the tracks. The impact killed one man, while ten other riders were injured.
An investigation was launched into the incident. It was later decided that the crash was caused by Disney staff failing to carry out proper ride maintenance.
➤ Boy Dies in Tower Drop Fall Accident
A 12-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries after slipping out of his safety harness while the ride was plunging toward the ground.
The accident happened on the Drop Zone Stunt Tower ride at California’s Great America park in Santa Clara in 1999. The attraction takes riders up to a 224-foot height, before freefalling straight down at high speed. On this occasion, the young rider fell through his harness and dropped to a tragic death.
An investigation did not reveal any malfunctions or flaws, but new safety systems were fitted to the ride following the accident. The Drop Zone ride is still open today.
➤ Woman Thrown from Rollercoaster in Fatal Accident
A 52-year-old woman suffered catastrophic injuries after being thrown 75 feet from a high-speed rollercoaster at a Six Flags amusement park.
The victim was thrown from the Texas Giant, a massive hybrid wooden and metal rollercoaster at the Six Flags park in Arlington, Texas. It happened in 2013, with the woman flying out of the car during a steep descent at speeds of about 65 miles per hour. She collided with a support beam and later died from her injuries.
The ride was shut down while investigations were carried out. No mechanical faults were found, and it was later reopened with new safety devices. A lawsuit was settled with the victim’s family.
➤ Young Boy Suffered Catastrophic Injuries on Roger Rabbit Ride
A 4-year-old boy suffered major injuries after falling from his car on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride at Disneyland California.
The accident happened in 2000 when the boy fell while the ride was in motion and became trapped under a moving coaster car. He sustained severe injuries, including brain damage and serious internal injuries that required the boy to be placed into an induced coma. He died eight years later.
The ride is still open but underwent major safety upgrades. An investigation also revealed an emergency response failure by the ride operator, who called a supervisor before emergency services.
These are just some of the most serious amusement park ride accidents, including several in California, but there have been plenty of others. These include a boy being decapitated on a giant water slide at a water park in 2016, as well as a rollercoaster derailment as recently as 2018 in Florida when engineering issues and operator error combined to cause several injuries.
Amusement Park Regulations and Laws
Due to the nature of theme park rides and attractions, strict regulations are in place in an attempt to ensure the safety of park visitors.
In most states within the U.S., parks are subject to state and government requirements, laws, codes, and safety inspections. This is the case for venues in California.
However, in addition to local government laws, amusement parks are usually subject to other forms of regulation, including oversight from the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).
- General amusement park standards are set by ASTM’s F24 committee on rides and devices.
- The ASTM committee includes park operators, government officials, ride manufacturers, and other parties.
- ASTM committee members set regulations on ride design, construction processes, testing, inspection, maintenance, operation, and quality control.
- Regulations are consistently updated.
- Park operators also have to cooperate with thorough tests and inspections by insurance companies. Despite these tough regulations, accidents still happen. Park incidents resulting in injuries and deaths are far from a thing of the past.
The good news is that, if you are hurt at a theme park, you can take legal action through a personal injury lawsuit according to California state laws.
Contact the amusement park accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase to give yourself the best chance of success. We will fight to make sure you are properly compensated.
Amusement Park Accident Statistics
Accidents at theme parks in California are relatively rare, especially given the huge number of thrill-seekers who visit these parks annually. But the numbers are probably higher than most people realize.
Some of the statistics below were compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2006, while other stats were recorded by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA):
- Nearly 9,000 people suffered serious injuries that required hospitalization at parks in 2006.
- An additional 3,100 people suffered injuries on water park slides.
- Children are the victims in about half of all ride injury incidents, and 75% of accidents involving falls or ejections from the ride.
- 51 people died between 1987-2000 due to ride accidents.
- Rollercoasters were responsible for more than 30% of all ride deaths.
- About 1.7 billion rides are taken at fixed-site amusement parks alone in North America every year.
- The IAAPA found that there were 0.62 serious injuries suffered per million rides in 2017.
- About 10% of injuries required immediate hospitalization for 24 hours or more, according to the IAAPA.
These statistics refer mainly to amusement park ride accidents. But there are plenty of other incidents involving general premises liability, such as slip and falls.
If you are one of the thousands to suffer an injury at a theme park each year, contact Bisnar Chase. Our amusement park injury attorneys offer a free consultation and expert advice. Call now!
Theme Park Injury Compensation in California
One of the key questions for many amusement park injury victims is how much their case could be worth.
The honest answer is that every case is different. Whether it is decided by an out-of-court settlement or a jury trial, the amount of compensation a victim will receive will depend on the merits of their case.
Factors that can influence the amount you could win include:
- Severity of injury
- Cost of medical treatment
- Level of pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Mental and physical scarring
- Lasting medical conditions (brain damage, disability)
- Loss of ability to work in a chosen field
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Wrongful death losses
- Other out-of-pocket damages
Every accident is different. Consult with the California amusement park injury lawyers of Bisnar Chase to make sure you maximize the value of your case and are fully compensated for your injuries and damages.
Amusement Park Safety Advice
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions has released a series of safety tips to help protect park visitors from injury. Tips include:
- Make sure you observe the ride restrictions, including the weight, height, and health guidelines.
- Follow the instructions of ride operators.
- Always keep your limbs inside the ride vehicle to lessen the risk of serious injury.
- Stay seated in the ride until it comes to a full stop and the safety systems are disengaged.
- Use the safety harnesses properly and as directed.
- Always report any unsafe conditions that you see in an amusement park immediately.
- Be vigilant and report other passenger misbehavior that could put others at risk.
- Do not get onto rides that appear to be in poor condition.
- Secure or store loose items such as cell phones and sunglasses.
- Never force anyone to get on an attraction they do not want to be on.
Observing these guidelines will help to keep you safe. But even when you do everything right, things can go wrong. As personal injury lawyers, it is our job to make sure victims get outstanding representation when the worst happens. Contact Bisnar Chase now for a free consultation.
Amusement Park Lawyers Near Me: Bisnar Chase
We know that California is a hotbed of incredible amusement parks and fantastic attractions, bringing in millions of tourists and locals.
But as we have shown, thousands of amusement park accidents happen every year across the U.S., even at the biggest and supposedly safest parks.
If you have suffered any kind of injury at a theme park, from a ride malfunction to a slip and fall, you should contact Bisnar Chase. Our firm has been operating in Southern California since 1978 and has more than 45 years of experience in winning cases, from premises liability cases to catastrophic injury claims.
Our law firm has a 99% success rate and has won settlements and verdicts totaling more than $750 million. Get a free consultation with no obligations to find out whether you have a case, and let us win for you too.