A few months ago, many of us in Florida were reminded of the dangers at amusement parks when a roller coaster derailed at a park in Daytona Beach. As CNN reports, the “Sand Blaster” ride at Daytona Beach Boardwalk had actually passed an inspection on the morning of the accident. However, a post-inspection accident revealed that it had a “structural integrity” deficiency. The derailment sent two riders falling 34 feet to the ground and left two others dangling from one of the ride’s cars.
The accident underscores the importance of knowing the steps you can take if you or a loved one suffer injuries at an amusement park in Florida through no fault of your own. As we explain below, a personal injury lawyer can play an important role when it comes to protecting your rights and pursuing compensation that you deserve after such an incident.
Common Amusement Park Injuries
A roller coaster accident is just one of the many premises liability cases that can arise at amusement parks in Florida and elsewhere. These accidents tend to occur due to the negligence of the companies or individuals who own and operate these parks. They can result in devastating injuries such as fractures, back and spine injuries, traumatic brain injury, tearing or crushing injuries, burns, scarring, disfigurement and even death.
Generally, amusement park (or theme park) owners in Florida owe the highest level of care to their lawful visitors. They must inspect their premises, warn of any dangerous conditions and take security measures to prevent accidents such as falls, derailments or loose objects striking visitors.
For example, if the owner fails to inspect and repair a roller coaster with a defective part, or at the very least, to put the ride out of commission until it is fixed, that could be an example of negligence. It may also be negligence if a theme park owner fails to warn about G-forces, strobe lights or other aspects of a ride which could cause certain visitors with health conditions to suffer seizures or cardiac arrest.
What To Do If You Suffer an Amusement Park Injury
If you get hurt due to the negligence of an amusement park owner in Florida, you should take steps that include the following:
- Collect evidence from the scene. You should try to take photos of the accident scene, including the ride or attraction that was involved. You should also get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed what happened.
- Report the accident. You should speak with a park manager and/or submit an accident report form that the park provides. Make sure to state the date, time, specific ride or attraction involved and give a brief description of what happened.
- Get medical treatment. Your health should be your top priority. A doctor can examine you, diagnose any injuries you have and start your treatment. If you wait too long to see a doctor, you may endanger your health. Also, the amusement park may try to use the delay in getting treatment to argue that your injuries were not caused by an accident or as severe as you claim.
- Talk to a lawyer before you speak with an insurance company. Amusement park accidents are like any other accident. A company that insures an amusement park will look for ways to pay the lowest amount for an injury claim or to avoid paying it altogether. For this reason, you should never give a statement to an insurer or accept a settlement offer until you talk with a lawyer first.
Our Brooksville and Lutz Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries at an amusement park or theme park in Florida, you should contact Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, as soon as possible. We are experienced, aggressive litigators with a proven record of success, including recovering more than $95 million on behalf of our clients between 2006 and 2017. We will review your case in a free consultation.