Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, and that extends beyond movies and TV to the many amusement parks in the area. Amusement parks are supposed to offer customers an exciting, fun experience. Unfortunately, some people may end up with more excitement than they bargained for and certainly no fun.
Slip and fall accidents are common at amusement parks, including some of the biggest locations in the industry, like Disneyland and Universal Studios. While some slip and falls are solely the fault of the injured person, in many instances, negligence on the part of park management or a third party is wholly or partly responsible for the incident.
Whether you had an accident at Disneyland, suffered an injury at Six Flags, or were hurt in a SeaWorld injury, an amusement park slip and fall attorney at Salamati Law can protect your rights and negotiate with the facility’s insurance company on your behalf to make sure you get the full compensation you deserve.
What to Do After a Theme Park Accident
There is no good place to suffer a slip and fall accident, but theme parks are especially problematic. While there may have been numerous witnesses to the accident, the sheer number of people present can make it difficult for first responders to reach the victim of a serious fall. Getting an ambulance through the crowd and to the nearest emergency room also takes valuable time.
If you can, here’s what you need to do in a slip and fall accident:
- If possible, document the accident immediately with photos and videos.
- Photograph the slip hazard (the cause) and your injuries.
- Report the injury immediately to theme park security.
- You should receive a written copy of your report. Try to obtain the names and contact information of eyewitnesses.
- Always seek prompt medical attention.
You may not think you are badly injured and prefer not to interrupt your vacation with a trip to the emergency room or urgent care doctor. That is a mistake. Many injuries are not apparent immediately, and failure to undergo a medical examination right after the incident will harm your claim. The theme park will allege your injury did not happen on their premises, or that it was a pre-existing condition.
Theme Park Fall Injuries
Millions of people from across the globe visit Southern California theme parks each year. Most of them will have the time of their lives. A few, however, will have their trip and life disrupted by a theme park injury.
Theme park injuries caused by negligence on the part of park management may include:
- Broken pavement
- Debris in walkways
- Inadequate lighting
- Wet surfaces in bathrooms and elsewhere
- Failure to block off or place warning signs in hazardous areas
- Negligent amusement park ride operation
- Malfunctioning ride equipment
- Faulty safety equipment
- Uneven surfaces
Duty of Care
Amusement parks owe what is called a “duty of care” to their visitors. This includes providing proper security. Slips and falls can occur when security measures, especially crowd control, are not followed. Amusement parks must also ensure that rides are maintained and operated properly.
The nature of some rides or attractions pose slip and fall hazards. When such hazards exist, the amusement park must adequately warn guests about potential issues. Age, size, and height requirements must be strictly enforced.
Potentially Liable Parties in Amusement Park Accidents
Potentially liable parties in amusement park accidents go beyond the amusement park in question. If the injury resulted due to a defect in the manufacture or design of a ride, the manufacturer may prove liable. This example is not a premises liability case per se but one dealing with product liability.
If an employee was negligent in the performance of their duties, such as being under the influence of alcohol or drugs which contributed to the accident, they may also be held liable.
Theme parks rely on various third-party vendors to operate. For instance, many slip and fall accidents at theme parks take place in restaurants and fast-food sites. If the manager of the dining establishment was negligent in cleaning up spilled food or drink or allowed clutter to remain in a walkway, resulting in a slip and fall, the owner may be held responsible. The same holds true for any third-party vendor whose negligence caused an accident.
Other park guests
Amusement parks in Southern California are full of people, and another visitor may have caused your injury. When lines grow long, tempers grow short. Perhaps you got into an altercation with someone and they shoved you, knocking you to the ground and leaving you seriously hurt. That person may be charged with criminal assault, but you can also pursue a civil personal injury lawsuit against them regardless of whether they are convicted.
Can I Still Sue If the Theme Park Claims I Assumed the Risk of Injury?
It is likely that you signed a liability waiver before entering the theme park. That does not automatically mean you cannot sue the theme park if you get hurt. In California, victims can still sue amusement parks if they can prove their injuries resulted from park negligence.
Much will depend upon the nature and circumstances of your accident. Each situation is unique. Such waivers are not going to protect the amusement park if gross negligence is involved.
As a defense against claims, amusement parks often state that the accident victim assumed the risk of injury when they went on the ride in question. Many theme park rides are inherently risky, but the amusement park must warn patrons of the danger. If the theme park did not warn users of potential risks, this is not a viable defense.
Another tactic used by theme parks is alleging the accident victim did not follow safety procedures and are thus responsible for their injuries. However, if a safety harness has previously malfunctioned and it remained in use, that may breach the theme park’s duty of care.
Amusement Park Slip and Fall Damages
A theme park injury lawyer can determine which parties may prove liable for your accident and, therefore, on the hook for damages. For example, if your slip and fall occurred due to equipment failure, the manufacturer and dealer of the equipment may be held responsible.
Such damages include:
- Medical expenses, present and future
- Lost wages & lost future earnings
- Replacement value of damaged personal property
- Pain and suffering
Whether it is a Disneyland accident, Universal Studios accident, Magic Mountain accident or a trip and fall occurring in any Southern California amusement park, it is up to the plaintiff to prove that the slip and fall resulted from theme park negligence. That is why strong evidence in your slip and fall case is crucial.
Statute of Limitations
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in most situations is two years from the date of the accident. Failure to file a lawsuit by this deadline means your claim cannot go forward.
Critical evidence, such as surveillance video, that supports your claim can vanish if you do not act quickly. Make sure to seek legal counsel after a Los Angeles amusement park injury as soon as possible. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. That may involve consulting engineers and other experts to determine what may have caused a ride malfunction serious enough to result in injury.
Contact a Los Angeles Theme Park Injury Lawyer
Were you badly hurt in a slip and fall accident at a Southern California amusement park, including Disneyland or Universal Studios? Don’t settle for less than the true value of your claim. Call or text a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney at Salamati Law 24/7 to arrange a free consultation. We also offer an easy online contact form.
We can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. There is no fee unless you receive money damages. While the overwhelming majority of premises liability lawsuits against theme parks are settled, we will take your case to court if necessary.