Millions of people visit amusement parks every year. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission estimates that 5,000 injuries requiring a trip to the hospital occur annually.
These injuries are due to one of four broad types of faults. Consumer behavior, operator behavior, mechanical failure, and design defects or limitations. Consumer behavior includes such actions intentionally rocking cars, standing up, defeating safety restraints, sitting improperly, and holding a child above the safety restraint. Operator behavior includes such actions as abruptly stopping the ride and improperly assembling or maintaining the ride.
Mechanical failure is a broad category. It includes missing safety pins, broken welds or structural components, exposed electrical wires, malfunctioning lap bars or other safety restraints, and a failure to shut off. Design defects or limitations mainly affect rides that injure people while they are apparently functioning correctly without any unusual behavior on the part of the consumer or operator.
Amusement parks and insurance companies have a vested interest in people having fun at their parks. Generally, that means people aren’t getting hurt. Because they have this vested interest, amusement parks generally self inspect. Unfortunately, there is no one to oversee fixed amusement parks.
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission, while they can inspect mobile amusement parks at carnivals, they cannot inspect rides that are fixed to one spot. This is part of the “roller coaster” loophole of the Consumer Product Safety act of 1981. Because of this, there is also no known way to arrive at the actual number of injuries in amusement parks.
If you have been injured in an amusement park, please contact the Lake Geneva amusement park injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to discuss your situation and to determine your legal options.