Florida is perhaps best known for its amusement parks. Every summer, tourists from all over the world flock to Florida’s legendary theme parks.
However, tens of thousands of visitors are injured in those parks annually, many of them seriously. These injuries can not only ruin a family vacation, but can also become a major financial burden.
If you get hurt at a Florida amusement park it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. So, today’s post covers what you need to know if you’ve suffered a Florida amusement park injury.
Types of Florida Amusement Park Injuries
Amusement park injuries can occur due to a number of causes, including improper park maintenance or cleaning, ride malfunctions, or improper operation of the ride. The most common injuries from amusement park accidents include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Head, neck and back injuries from jerky movements
- Death as a result of being thrown or falling from a ride
- Stroke from trauma to neck ligaments
- Brain aneurysms from roller coasters or other fast rides
- Traumatic brain injuries from high-speed rides or loose objects hitting a rider’s head
- Drownings on water features
- Food poisoning from vendors
These types of injuries can cost you thousands in medical treatment, time out of work, and in some circumstances, even mental anguish. When you seek damages to help cover your out-of-pocket costs, it’s important to know exactly who is responsible.
Who Is Responsible for an Amusement Park Injury under Florida Law?
Depending on the cause of the accident, liability may fall to the amusement park owner, ride manufacturer or designer, concession stand owner, or another entity entirely. Sometimes, more than one entity may be responsible for the injury.
If you opt to file an amusement park injury claim, your attorney will gather as much information as possible about the accident, and determine which parties should be held liable for the injuries.
The answer to this question is extremely important because if you sue the wrong party, your claim may be thrown out entirely. Next we’ll look at a few other rules of thumb in these personal injury cases.
How Amusement Park Lawsuits Work in Florida
Amusement park lawsuits typically take shape as negligence claims or product liability suits. That said, each case is one of prompt filing, and typically either negligence or defect. Let’s take a closer look.
Time Is Ticking
If you’re considering recovering damages for an amusement park injury, it’s also important to be aware that the clock is ticking. The statute of limitations, or amount of time you’ll have to file suit, is four years from the date of the accident.
Moreover, if you wait several years to file suit, the severity of your injuries may come under fire, too. This is why it’s important to act promptly.
Most amusement park lawsuits are filed on the basis of negligence. This means that the amusement park, or other company operating within the park, breached its duty of care to provide a reasonably safe environment for park guests.
Common examples of negligence include improper maintenance, improperly trained employees, improper operation of a ride or providing incorrect instructions to riders.
In negligence claims, the victim must prove that something the park or other entity did, or failed to do, breached the duty of care to park guests, and that this resulted in the accident and injury.
Product Liability Suits
Some amusement park injuries are caused by defective rides. In this case, the victim would file a product liability suit against the ride manufacturer or designer, or for the manufacturer of a defective part.
In product liability suits, the victim must be able to prove that the equipment or part was defective, and that the defect caused the accident and injury to the victim.
Ultimately, if you’re injured at an amusement park, it’s most important to be advised of your rights, and act promptly if you opt to recover damages.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.