Theme Park Accidents: When The Theme Is Terror & Pain

Most people have fond memories of going to the theme park as a child or even an adult and experiencing the thrill of reaching great heights, speeding around corners at breakneck speeds, and getting dizzy from spinning for too long. Then, after getting their fill of rides, spending time playing games and eating all sorts of sweets and treats.

But some have much different memories of theme parks and amusement parks – memories filled with darkness, terror, and pain.

Amusement Park Accidents Show Need For Increased Safety

It is completely normal for the victim of any kind of accident to feel like they are completely alone and indeed, it’s hard not to feel that way when you are in physical and emotional pain and the negligent party is denying their involvement. But sadly, hundreds are hurt each year at theme parks due to the negligent acts and decisions of others, leaving them with no option other than to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Waterslide Collapses Injuring Over 30

One hot summer day, a group of high schoolers were visiting a waterpark and had excitedly decided to go down one of the many slides. While they were attempting to climb the structure together, the slide collapsed, sending more than thirty people to the ground below. Nearly everyone was injured, some seriously, and one girl was killed.

Ferris Wheel Dumps Three Girlsferris wheel that may be dangerous

The Ferris Wheels is often considered one of the tamest and most safe rides in any park, however many forget that the buckets holding riders can fail, allowing anyone inside to fall. That’s exactly what happened to three girls in August of 2016. While 45 feet above the ground, the bucket they were incompletely overturned and they fell, bouncing off the metal bridging on the ride before finally hitting the ground. All three sustained serious injuries and were rushed by helicopter and ambulance to the hospital.

Four separate investigators were sent to look into what caused the accident and it was determined the bucket overturned due to a mechanical failure.

Mother Falls 75 Feet To Her Death

In 2013, a 52-year-old woman went on a roller coaster. She let park attendants know that she didn’t think the safety bar had closed properly but they told her it looked fine. Then, when the coaster was about seven stories in the air, she fell.

During her 75-foot descent, which happened with her daughter watching, she hit a part of the ride and the force of the impact split her body in two, killing her instantly.

Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Six Flags and the company that manufactured the seats for the roller coaster, alleging that the issue with a safety restraints should have been caught sooner and should have been addressed when she questioned workers, however, both companies failed to keep her safe and as a result she died. Ultimately, the family accepted a settlement agreement for an undisclosed amount.

These are just a few examples of the many accidents that have left those who were once excited to visit a park fearful, in pain, and often struggling financially. But like the family of the woman who fell from the roller coasters, most of the time victims or their loved ones have the ability to pursue legal action.

Which Rides & Activities Are The Most Dangerous

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Why File A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Vacation accident lawsuits or theme park lawsuits are both forms of a personal injury lawsuit. This is a form of a civil lawsuit, designed to give the victims of another party’s negligence the chance to recover monetary compensation for their losses.

The compensation can all the plaintiff to recover both monetary and non-monetary losses such as:water slide at a theme park

  • physical pain and suffering
  • emotional trauma
  • lost wages
  • medical expenses

For the loved ones of someone who died from their injuries, it can also provide compensation for:

  • funeral and burial expenses
  • loss of consortium
  • loss of inheritance

There are two ways to obtain this compensation – either through a carefully negotiated settlement or from a verdict issued in court.

What Do You Mean By Emotional Trauma?

It’s very common for those who have been injured or those who have watched a loved one sustained serious injuries to suffer from flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. All of these can be just as debilitating as a physical injury and many patients develop physical ailments secondary to the stress these conditions put on their body.

Treatments may include ongoing therapy and medications, as well as various medical treatments for any secondary physical conditions, which can be just as costly as the treatments needed for any physical injuries sustained in the accident.

How Long Will It Take To Recover Compensation?

Lawsuits do take time. First, the accident must be reviewed, inspections and an investigation performed. During this discovery phase, evidence will be collected and witnesses interviewed. At any time during this, the defendant may approach with an offer to settle, which would mean a quicker resolution and faster payment, however that doesn’t’ mean the offer will be appropriate. If the case goes to trial, it will likely take longer due to the fact that the trial will need to be scheduled. Even the quickest resolutions typically take months, but that shouldn’t deter a plaintiff from pursuing legal action. Often, it’s the only way that compensation can be obtained.

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