If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on an Amusement Park Ride in Nevada, our experienced premises liability attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call a Las Vegas amusement park accident lawyer today for a free case review.
What’s the Problem?
Western-style amusement parks are a popular vacation destination for many families in Las Vegas; however, amusement park rides can be dangerous. In fact, there have been several deaths as a result of accidents on these kinds of rides (especially at Six Flags). Injury lawyers in Las Vegas warn that the “amusement park experience” is only as safe as the ride operators allow it to be.
To understand current practices at amusement parks, it’s important to know a few things about rides themselves.
Rides are designed to cause fear and excitement
The statistics are startling: Each year, about 300 people are injured severely enough by amusement park rides that they seek emergency medical treatment. Senior citizens and children are the most frequent victims of these accidents, according to injury attorneys in Nevada. It’s been estimated that more than 10,000 people will be injured this year as a result of amusement park rides.
Roller Coasters Accidents
Most amusement park accidents occur on roller coasters, which are among the most popular rides at parks in Las Vegas and elsewhere because they’re exciting – and scary. Unfortunately, some people become injured even before they get on the coaster itself. The first problem with many of these accidents is that the people riding the coasters don’t understand how to use them safely. In other words, they’re riding improperly and putting themselves at risk for injury. Their ignorance about roller coaster safety leads to accidents.
How Many People Are Injured by Amusement Park Attractions?
In 2017, approximately 31,000 emergency room visits were the result of amusement park ride injuries. That’s down from 2014, when more than 36,000 people sought emergency care after suffering an injury at a theme park in Nevada. While there has been some improvement in safety since then, roller coaster accidents continue to be a serious problem.
The most common kind of accident occurs when a person gets on a ride and doesn’t know the proper way to use it. For example, they might not understand how many people are allowed on each car, or that lap bars must be locked in place before the ride is pushed out of its loading area.
In other cases, people are injured because they try to exit an amusement ride while it’s still moving. Roller coasters are really fast, and people might not understand the danger they’re in if they try to leave a still-running coaster car.
Other Accident Causes at Amusement Parks
Amusement park accidents in Las Vegas can also occur as a result of mechanical failures or because of operator error. A person might also be injured if a ride malfunctions, or because of a maintenance problem.
Many amusement park rides are designed to spin and twist with great force; anyone who has ever ridden on them knows how much fun they can be – but they’re also potentially very dangerous.
Types of Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement park rides cause a variety of injuries, including head and back injuries. Falls are also common. For example, someone might be standing at the base of a ride when it begins moving or suddenly drops from its normal height. This type of fall can lead to substantial injury, especially if the person’s head hits the ground.
Sometimes, people become sick while riding on a hotly spinning amusement park ride. These types of illnesses are called cyclic vomiting syndrome, and they’re not uncommon among roller coaster riders.
Many amusement park deaths get reported as “heart attacks” or some other kind of medical condition that doesn’t require rides to be shut down. However, since the cause of death is often a heart attack or some other kind of problem that wouldn’t have happened if the person had not been on the roller coaster, it’s important for amusement park owners to understand the risks posed by their attractions and adjust accordingly.
Amusement Park Injuries Can Lead to Serious Problems
Amusement park injuries can often be severe, and they’re not always easy to resolve. For example, if an injury leads to a back problem or some other type of long-term physical impairment, it can make life difficult for the person who was hurt. They might need ongoing treatment for months or years after their amusement park accident in Las Vegas.
- Whiplash – Yes, whiplash is not only a condition that can be caused in car accidents, but can be a condition caused by amusement park rides.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – It doesn’t matter if you are a baby or an elderly adult, spinal cord injuries can happen to any one of us in Nevada.
- Amusement park rides can cause broken vertebrae, and even the snapping of the spinal cord itself.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – It doesn’t matter if you are a baby or an elderly adult, spinal cord injuries can happen to any one of us in Nevada. Amusement park rides can cause broken vertebrae, and even the snapping of the spinal cord itself.
- Broken Bones – Shockingly enough, not only bumps and bruises can be caused by amusement park rides. Bones can get broken or fractured in a matter of seconds.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – You might be able to make it through the day without anything so severe as brain damage, but traumatic brain injuries are still common when people ride amusement park rides and fall off, hit their head on something else, or have some other type of accident while they are on the ride.
- Amusement park rides can also lead to other kinds of injury, including eye injuries and burns.
- Lacerations – Lacerations and other types of minor injuries are common among amusement park riders. Not only are they likely to be hurt by the amusement park ride itself, but they’re also more likely to get hurt in accidents involving other people who were also riding on the same ride.
- Torn Ligaments – You might be able to get back on the ride after a torn ligament, but this type of injury can prevent you from doing other normal activities.
- Animal Bites – Some people bring their dogs and pets along when they go to an amusement park. However, animals aren’t always friendly; even if they are normally very docile, someone could get bit by a creature that wasn’t used to being around people.
- Drowning – Yes, people can drown in pools and water parks just like they can drown in any other kind of body of water.
- Burns – There are also burns that get caused by too much sun exposure or flammable liquids, such as the gasoline used to power some kinds of amusement park rides.
- Motion Sickness – Car sickness can get worse when you’re in a roller coaster or some other kind of amusement park ride. Motion sickness and problems with balance can even lead to more serious problems, such as multiple sclerosis.
Why People Get Hurt at Amusement Parks While Riding Rides
People get hurt on rides because there’s too much G-force pressure on their bodies.
When the part of the ride known as G-force pressure is too great, people can damage their organs and other parts of their body.
Injury Settlements in Amusement Park Accident Cases
If you’re injured at an amusement park in Las Vegas, it’s important that you understand how much your case is worth. The value of an amusement park accident case depends on many factors, including the severity of your injuries, how long you will continue to be injured or impaired, and other aspects of your health. Damage awards in injury cases can range from tens of thousands of dollars to millions or more depending on all these things.
Licensing Amusement Parks in Las Vegas, NV
Nevada law requires anyone who wants to operate an amusement park or other recreational facility that features rides in the state at a commercial level (for profit) to obtain a license. The Nevada Amusement Ride Safety Law was established in 1989, and its purpose is to protect residents who use amusement ride facilities all over the state.
Amusement Ride Accidents Creating Personal Injury Claims – Injuries Caused by Defects in Amusement Ride Design
In recent years, there have been a number of accidents at Las Vegas amusement parks caused by defective rides or ride designs. Some of these cases have received widespread media attention and created awareness about the potential dangers associated with amusement rides.
The most serious accident that happened on a roller coaster in the recent past occurred on a coaster at Six Flags in New Jersey. In 2009, the roller coaster malfunctioned and flew off its tracks, killing several people and injuring many more. When investigators looked into the accident, they determined that it was caused by faulty design and maintenance procedures.
Amusement Ride Accidents Caused by Maintenance Violations
Another amusement ride accident in New Jersey, this one even more recent than the one mentioned above, was caused by a faulty maintenance procedure. In 2013, a rider on an amusement park ride called “The Flying Unicorn” claimed that she had her headset microphone yanked out of her hand and thrown into the air while she was riding it because operators did not follow maintenance procedures. The woman was severely injured in the accident and sued the amusement park for negligence, claiming that she would not have been injured if workers had properly followed maintenance instructions.
Amusement Ride Accidents Caused by Inadequate Safety Protocols
Here’s another recent example of an amusement ride accident caused by a breakdown in procedures at an amusement park. Back in 2014, a 12-year-old boy on a water ride was killed because he fell off of the ride and drowned in the water below. The amusement park operator had violated safety protocols by putting too many riders on one section of the ride at once, so when it came to a stop and some children were thrown overboard, there was no safe way for the operators to rescue them.
Amusement Park Injury Lawsuits – Inevitable Accidents and Negligence
Even if you take every precaution to prevent injuries at an amusement park in Las Vegas, accidents can happen. Sometimes they occur because of mistakes made by employees of the amusement park or ride manufacturer; other times they’re the result of an inherent flaw in the design or operation of an amusement park ride.
Amusement Park Accidents Caused by Defective Rides
A major accident such as the one at Six Flags will create a lot of attention and scrutiny for any amusement ride manufacturer it affects because people will be wondering how something like that could have been allowed to happen on a ride. This is exactly what happened when the accident at Six Flags occurred in 2009: people began to question how it was possible that such a serious problem could have developed with one of their rides.
Inadequate Safety Protocols and Poor Maintenance Procedures
An amusement park operator isn’t normally affiliated with the manufacturer of an amusement park ride, but it’s still possible for them to be taken to task for violations of safety protocols or inadequate maintenance procedures.
Amusement Park Injury Lawsuits in Las Vegas and the State of Nevada
If you’ve been injured while at a theme park or amusement park in Las Vegas or any other part of the state, don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at Shook & Stone. We have over two decades of experience helping injured clients in Nevada recover compensation for their losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical expenses and more.
Because of the severity of these kinds of injuries, it’s important for people to seek legal help as soon as possible after an incident occurs. They should not wait to find out if their injuries will be covered by insurance. A Las Vegas amusement park accident attorney can sometimes reach a settlement with amusement park owners or operators while a case is still in its early stages.
Proving Liability in an Amusement Park Injury Claim
It’s important to understand that the definition of “negligence” is different when it comes to amusement park rides. Since these types of parks are considered entertainment venues, they have a duty to maximize safety for their patrons, but this duty doesn’t mean they need to make their rides absolutely foolproof.
When determining whether or not an amusement park owner or operator was negligent, a court will consider the safety practices used at other parks in the area. It will also consider how safe that particular ride is when compared to similar rides across the country.
If you believe you’ve been injured by an unsafe amusement park ride, you’ll want to consider talking with a qualified Las Vegas attorney right away. These cases can often be difficult to resolve, especially if the owner of the amusement park doesn’t want to own up to its liability for your injuries.
Be sure you consult an experienced theme park injury attorney in Las Vegas before signing any papers that would release the amusement park from liability in your case. It’s also a good idea to talk with an attorney even if you’ve already done so, just to make sure you’re getting the best possible advice and assistance.
An injury lawyer in Nevada can use this kind of information about amusement park practices to build a personal injury case. The lawyers at Shook & Stone are on the job for you: we provide free consultations and we don’t get paid unless you do!
Speak With a Las Vegas Amusement Park Accident Attorney Now
Every year, 335 million people visit amusement parks in the U.S. Given this heavy traffic, you would think that the strictest of safety standards would be in place to keep ride goers safe.
However, some states don’t even have safety regulations for amusement park rides.
Regulations or not, amusement park attraction owners, manufacturers, and operators have a responsibility to ensure their rides are reasonably safe and don’t harm patrons. If you were hurt, contact a Las Vegas amusement park accident lawyer right away.