Amusement Park Rides and Legal Fault for Injuries in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has more amusement park rides than any other state, and parks like Hershey and Kennywood attract residents and visitors from all over the nation. For family-friendly fun and excitement, people flock to the the carousels, roller coasters, and other attractions. While these rides scare and thrill, they can also lead to injuries. Many amusement park ride injuries involve falls, and the causes range from mechanical failure to operator error.
When the carelessness of an amusement park or a park employee has led to injuries, the victim may allege legal fault and seek damages for all of their accident-related costs. All amusement parks are considered to be responsible for the actions taken by their employees. When an employee is negligent, the park may be liable for the employee’s conduct. An example of negligent conduct would be a park failing to post a clear sign that individuals with heart problems should not go on a certain ride. If a rider suffering from a heart condition is injured while on the ride, they may file a claim for damages against the park, since the failure to place this sign directly led to the resulting injuries.
In some situations, the legal defense of assumption of risk may apply in an amusement park ride injury lawsuit. The defendant in a legal claim would allege that the injured individual had knowledge of the risk involved and voluntarily accepted this risk. By going on rides that are inherently dangerous, the park may argue, the participant “assumed the risk.”
Assumption of risk is not a blanket defense, and it may not apply in all situations. For example, a rider would not be considered to assume the risk of a loose screw in a roller coaster ride. Nor would a rider have assumed the risk of getting onto a ride operated by an employee who was not properly trained.
Regarding liability issues, all theme parks have a duty to visitors to ensure that rides are in safe operating condition. It may be negligent to breach this duty in a variety of ways. For example, amusement park ride operators must be properly trained before operating machinery. If an injured victim presents evidence that the employee who operated their ride had not undergone appropriate training, they may have a legal claim against the park. In addition to negligence or vicarious liability claims, people who have been injured on an amusement park ride may bring a claim for product liability.
When a defective ride or a component of a ride has led to an accident and resulting injuries, the victim may have a product liability claim. Design defects or structural issues in the ride can lead to defective product claims, and in some cases, plaintiffs will need to prove the part was defective and specifically caused their injury.
The personal injury attorneys at Needle Law Firm help injured individuals and their families throughout Pennsylvania. Our compassionate legal representation begins with helping people understand their legal rights and obligations. To speak with a skilled premises liability attorney and schedule a free, confidential consultation, call our office at (570) 344-1266 or complete our online form.