MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. In just the last month, 6 children have been hurt or killed on amusement park rides. While the risk of getting killed on an amusement park ride remain small, the recent injuries have many wondering whether parks and riders are safe. And, while the risk of dying on an amusement park ride are lower than getting struck by lightning, these statistics change dramatically when one considers the number of people injured on rides. According to the National Safety Council, 1,146 people were injured on amusement park rides. 111 of these injuries were serious. In fact, annually, over 1,000 people are hurt on amusement park rides.
Families go to amusement parks to have fun. If you or a loved one was hurt on an amusement park ride, you may have the right to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who helps families facing diverse personal injury cases.
According to CNN, every year approximately 355 million guests visit amusement parks. And, while these parks serve millions every year, many may be shocked to learn that the parks are not subject to federal oversight. Oversight of safety of the parks is often left to the state and local level. Some states currently don’t regulate amusement parks. In the states that do regulate the parks, different agencies may be responsible. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the Department of Agriculture regulates amusement parks. Inspections may also be irregular or not happen at all. Some parks only undergo electrical inspections, while others may be required to submit to annual or bi-annual inspections.
So, are rides really safe? And what can families do to protect themselves before they take the plunge or strap themselves in? There are some simple things families can do to prepare for their next trip to the amusement park.
- Have a safety plan in place. Review park rules with your children. Climbing fences and entering restricted areas are clearly off limits, but the dangers of running and ignoring park employees should also be discussed.
- Know your child’s swimming limits. Water parks are fun, but they don’t always have life guards on duty. Many accidents happen when children who don’t know how to swim end up in the water. Either make sure your child gets proper swimming lessons before going to the water park or have a plan in place to ensure that your child is supervised at all times.
- Make sure your child meets height and weight requirements before riding. It’s never fun to tell your child he or she is too young or too small to ride, but the height and weight limits are in place to ensure that your child will fit into the harness and safety equipment. Ignoring park rules can put your children at risk.
- Teach your children to check safety latches and to speak up if the bar isn’t locked. Some accidents occur because the latch didn’t lock or the ride attendant failed to properly lock the restraints. Teach your children about the importance of following park employee’s instructions and about speaking up if the restraints aren’t working.
For most families, a trip to the amusement park is a great escape for the summer. Yet, every year, many are hurt. Some of these accidents could have been prevented with proper care, maintenance, and employee training. If you or a loved one was hurt in an amusement park, contact a Minneapolis, Minnesota personal injury lawyer today to protect your rights. Visit www.martinmontilino.com to learn more.