For most, summer fun means the lake, the pool, zoos, and amusement parks. Each of these locales have their own set of risks, but when it comes to injuries and accidents, amusement parks seem to garner the most attention. So is the thrill really worth the risk? Or are fun parks just a huge liability?
Amusement Park Injury and Accident Rates
Few studies have examined the injury rates at amusement parks in depth. Those that have determined that:
- An estimated 300 million people visit amusement parks in the United States each year;
- In 2009, nearly 280 million visitors rode 1.7 billion rides with 1,181 reported injuries;
- The majority of injuries occur at fixed amusement parks;
- 92,885 children under the age of 18 received emergency room care for amusement park-related injuries between 1990 and 2010. That averages out to 4,423 child injuries at amusement parks per year;
- Of the injuries sustained by children, soft tissue injuries were the most common, followed by strains and sprains, cuts, and broken bones (29, 21, 20, and 10 percent, respectively);
- Most injuries sustained at amusement parks do not require hospitalization, but in the summer months, a child is hospitalized once every three days.
Media Coverage on Rides Gone Wrong
While the statistics suggest that the overall risk of personal injury at an amusement park is low, the media frequently covers accidents, even if no one is actually injured. Here are just a few of the highlights from 2015:
- At Mt. Olympus Theme Park and Resort, the bungee cords on one side of “The Catapult” snapped. No one was injured, but the backlash reportedly left a hole in the concrete;
- At California's Great America Amusement Park, a park guest riding “Flight Deck” coaster went to the hospital for a hand injury, and a park employee was hospitalized;
- A 10-year-old girl was found unconscious after riding the “Revolution” roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. It is unclear if her death was related to the ride or due to some other cause;
- Four people in London were seriously injured, and 16 others were left dangling in the air while riding “The Smiler” at Alton Towers.
When Injuries Happen, Seek Professional Help
In some instances, injuries or deaths sustained at an amusement park may be unrelated to the park itself. There are, however, instances in which the park or its employees could be at fault. When an amusement park is at fault for an injury, either because of faulty equipment or negligence, you are entitled to personal injury compensation.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have more than 20 years of experience representing victims of premises liability, and we are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve. Contact [[title]] for a free consultation at [[phone]].