Thousands Hurt Every Year at Popular Amusement Parks

Theme Park Accidents

Amusement parks have been among the most popular forms of entertainment for several generations of Americans. Some 290 million people visit the more than 400 amusement parks across the country every year – and most people are unaware of the dangers posed by these parks.

According to the National Safety Council, there were more than 30,000 people who suffered an amusement park-related injury in 2012 that was serious enough to require emergency room treatment.

Those who are involved in accidents at amusement parks often secure substantial recoveries as a result of their injuries. For example:

  • A Californian family was awarded $3.3 million, when a Yo Yo carnival ride collapsed at a county fair and their 14-year old daughter suffered head injuries which have left her with severe learning disabilities. Their other three children were also injured. The ride owners had failed to maintain the ride and a washer failed, causing two lock nuts to come loose, which caused the crash.
  • The family of a 29-year old woman killed at a Pennsylvania amusement park, received a $1.9 million settlement. The roof covering the ride collapsed, pushing her into a fence and crushing her.

According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, more than 92,000 children were injured on roller coasters and in amusement park-related incidents between 1990 and 2010 – an average of almost 4,000 injuries per year. In addition, a theme park survey from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (or IAAPA) shows that 1,204 people were injured on rides at nearly 400 U.S. amusement parks in 2011. To put those numbers in perspective, less than half of the theme parks responded and critics claim they provided incomplete data.

The number of roller coaster deaths are also relatively high. Overall, there were 52 deaths related to amusement park rides in general between 1990 and 2004 based upon a 2005 report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This means there was an average of 0.27 deaths per year. Unfortunately, the CPSC no longer tracks the number of theme park deaths, so there is not any current data.

Serious injuries associated with amusement parks can include:

  • Deadly falls.
  • Carotid artery dissection (cad) and stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injury.
  • Drowning in wave pools.
  • Lacerations, broken bones and torn ligaments.
  • Emotional injuries and distress.

If you or someone you know has been injured at an amusement park, please use our directory to look up a personal injury lawyer near you.

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