Can I Sue an Amusement Park for Injuries?

Maybe you’re planning a trip Dorney Park or Hershey Park this summer. Most likely you and your family and friends will have a great time, without incident. However, of the millions flocking to amusement parks to enjoy traditional summer fun, some will suffer a personal injury.

Like any other property owner, amusement parks bear responsibility for keeping their property safe for their patrons and employees. If a person is injured while at the park, and the injury could have been avoided if the park had exercised reasonable care for the premises, the injured party will have a valid claim against the park.

Determining Who Is Responsible for the Injury

Depending on the facts of loss, multiple parties may share in the responsibility for the accident. For example, potential defendants will include the park’s owner/operator, the manufacturer/designer of the park’s rides, the entity that sold the ride to the amusement park, and/or a concession stand company or vendor at the park. You will want to defer to your attorney to untangle the complicated matter of liability.

Steep water slides with pipes in water park
Steep water slides with pipes in water park

Preventative Measures to avoid Claims for Personal Injuries at Amusement Parks

·      Slip and Falls – The owner/operator must keep all areas, especially the ride entrances and exits, free of hazards which could cause cuts, concussions and broken bones.

·      Drowning or Near Drowing– It is the responsibility of the park and the rides’ and/or pools’ operators to be diligent about keeping the ride and its surrounding area safe, in part by hiring qualified individuals and providing adequate life guarding staff to enforce rules and supervise activities.

·      Death or Brain Injury – Dangerous and broken park rides- In the worst case, death or a serious brain, spine or bodily injury may result from poorly designed attractions, or rides that are broken. These cases are often highlighted in the news during the summer months. Remember that, although these types of injuries are rare, they do occur.

·      Injuries Resulting from the Negligence of Untrained or Distracted Ride Operators- These jobs are often given to low experience, teenage employees who lack proper training or any commitment to rule enforcement. The jobs may be tedious due to their repetitive nature. It is the park’s responsibility to watch out for the safety of its patrons.

Statute of Limitations for Suing an Amusement Park

It depends on the state, but in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, there are two years to file suit against a theme park. However, you should not wait until the last minute to do so. Quick action is one of the keys to success in personal injury claims.

For some information on staying safe at amusement parks this summer, check out these useful tips.

Scott Bonebrake is a personal injury attorney in Media, PA, and has been a licensed attorney for 24 years. Please feel free to contact Scott if you have any legal questions, including those regarding amusement park injuries. You can reach Scott at 610-892-7700, or at sbonebrake@noelandbonebrake.com.