Amusement parks, particularly in Orlando, are seen as sources of joy and fun. But when things go wrong in these places, they can turn catastrophic and even deadly, as one 14-year-old found out.
In late March of 2022, a 14-year-old visiting Orlando fell to his death from a ride located at ICON Park. No official determination has been made as to the cause of this boy’s tragic death, but the question is out there: Was it the ride that was faulty, was there operator error, or was it something else?
Negligence is a word that often comes up when discussing amusement park accidents. For good reason, it’s often the cause behind a tragedy. Here’s what you need to know about negligence in Florida amusement parks to determine when a park is at fault for injuries you may sustain.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Case
In order to understand if you have a personal injury case against a Florida theme park, it’s important to understand the components of a personal injury case that would entitle you to compensation if they are all met. These elements include:
A Duty of Care
It must first be established that the amusement park had a legal duty of care to the person who was injured.
Breach of Duty
Once the duty of care is established, you must be able to show how that duty of care was breached and how the amusement park acted in a negligent way to bring it about.
You must be able to show that the negligent actions of the amusement park were the root cause of the injuries you sustained.
Finally, you must show that you actually have damages for which you are seeking compensation.
The Causes of Florida Theme Park Accidents
Most people don’t expect to be injured or for a death to occur in a place they associate with fun, but it does happen as proven in ICON Park. Amusement park accidents take place much more often than people may assume. There are usually a few factors that lead to these accidents, such as:
The parks people frequent in Florida have high-speed rollercoasters that turn sharply and stop and start abruptly. Because of this, they require continual maintenance, especially since the hot, humid weather in the state can often break down elements of rides.
Mechanical failures can be avoided through careful planning and maintenance to keep the public safe.
The theme park employees who operate the rides are highly trained and know how to operate the equipment. Still, a lot of trust is placed on these individuals to do their job well and correctly. If they have failed to adhere to protocol, then injury or worse can occur.
Failure to Advise or Warn
Rides have to warn potential riders of the risks they’re taking when they choose to ride. By law, they are required to have side effects from the ride as well as instructions placed clearly in public view. This is how they can best inform the public of what they can expect. This will let anyone with problematic health conditions know that the ride may not be suitable for them. If there are proper disclaimers available, then it saves people from being injured – but failing to do this can lead to injuries.
Sometimes, a person is injured on a ride due to actions they have taken that are the clear misuse of a ride. The public is expected to abide by any visible and clear signs in an amusement park. If they don’t follow the warnings, procedures, or rules given, then it can lead to harm.
Who Is To Blame?
When an amusement park injury occurs, who is to blame? It’s a question that deserves an answer because it could lead to compensation for the person who was injured or to the family of the person who was killed. However, determining fault can be tricky to do.
You must look at every aspect of a case with the help of an experienced attorney. They can determine if it was an employee mistake, the fault of the administration of the park, the fault of the manufacturer, or perhaps even the fault of the supplier of the product that caused the injury. Every avenue must be explored in order to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured at a Florida theme park, and you suspect it was due to negligence, then make sure to discuss it with an experienced attorney as soon as you can.
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, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston 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 2011-2021 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2021, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2021.