Summer is the time for fun with family and friends. Many people venture to amusement parks, including water parks, to share thrills, food, and good times. However, despite their allure, these parks also present hidden dangers. Negligent operations, poor maintenance, and bad design all contribute to injuries at theme parks and if you plan on visiting a park this summer, keep in mind the legal issues.
A recent 2014 accident at a California theme park illustrates the dangers of theme parks. In this case, a rollercoaster derailed, leading to serious injuries. Thankfully, no one was killed, but rollercoaster accidents are potentially deadly. Wrongful death suits are filed in these cases; these suits focus on negligent operation of the ride, the construction of unsafe rides, or improper maintenance of critical ride components. Similarly, water slide accidents fall under the same legal guidelines.
Some parks present animal shows or petting zoos. If you are bitten, there may be grounds for lawsuit. Additionally, if you witness an attack you may suffer emotional distress to a degree that is worthy of a lawsuit.
Most theme parks offer a wide-variety of dining experiences and the food experience provided falls under the same legal umbrella as any restaurant. If you suffer food poisoning, you may have the foundation of a lawsuit. Theme parks must comply with all health and safety standards.
A final area of concern at a theme park is the safety of your belongings. If your car is broken into or your personal belongings are stolen you may be able to sue under a theory of premises liability. For example, if you can prove that the theme park operators knew their parking lot or storage lockers were prone to theft and failed to offer proper security, you may be able to successfully sue.
In the end, theme parks are about having fun with family and friends. Hopefully when you visit, your experience is joyful and full of good memories. However, should you encounter problems, know if you have a legal foundation for a lawsuit. You can then rest easy and enjoy your vacation.