Exploring Florida Amusement Park Personal Injury Claims
The following article will discuss some legal theories and potential defenses regarding amusement park personal injury claims in the state of Florida.
Florida amusement park statute
Florida Statute § 616.242 provides a list of requirements that amusement parks must adhere to in the state. Some of these requirements include the following:
- Amusement rides must be properly inspected before use.
- Amusement parks must have permits in order to operate in the state.
- Signs that advise or warn patrons of age restrictions, size restrictions, health restrictions, weight limitations, or any other use restrictions must be prominently displayed.
- Areas in which patrons may be endangered by the operation of an amusement ride must be fenced, barricaded, or otherwise effectively guarded against inadvertent contact.
- Any accident of which the owner or manager has knowledge of (or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have knowledge of) and for which a patron is transported to a hospital, must be reported within 4 hours after the occurrence of the accident and must be followed up by a written report within 24 hours after the occurrence of the accident.
What are some legal theories that an amusement park personal injury claim is based on?
A personal injury claim stemming from amusement park injuries can be based on any of the following legal theories:
- Negligence: Amusement parks are responsible for providing their patrons with a safe environment. If the park fails to act with reasonable care, the amusement park can be found liable for any injuries that result. For example, an amusement park may be found to be negligent if it did not keep a ride in proper condition or failed to inspect equipment or improperly operated a ride. Additionally, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees and as such, the park may be found negligent if it failed to properly train employees to give sufficient warnings to passengers to warn them before they get on the ride.
- Product liability: If a patron is injured from a defective ride, that person will likely have a valid product liability claim. An example of this is when a lap bar comes unlatched during the middle of the ride. An injured victim can sue both the manufacturer of the ride and the park itself for his injuries. However, in order to prevail, the victim has the burden of showing that the defect which caused his injury existed at the time his injury occurred or that an alternative design could have prevented the injury from occurring.
- Premises liability: Amusement park owners are required to manage and maintain the grounds and facilities in a reasonable manner that will not lead to patrons suffering foreseeable injuries. If an amusement park owner fails to do so, he or she can be found liable for any injuries that result.
What are some defenses that can be brought in an amusement park personal injury case?
Before bringing a personal injury suit, you should be aware of the potential defenses that the amusement park may bring up in court:
- Assumption of the risk: If a person voluntarily participates in an activity that he or she knows is inherently dangerous, the person is generally thought to have assumed the risk that injury may result. In order for the amusement park to use this defense, the injured individual must have actually been aware of the risks. As such, if there was an unknown danger, such as a defective ride or an inadequate warning, the defense will not work.
- Not following safety procedures: If the passenger knew the safety rules related to a ride and failed to follow them, the amusement park may use this as a defense. In some cases, this defense may help the park to avoid all liability, while in others, it may only be used to mitigate the amusement park’s liability to some degree.
Were You Recently Injured At An Amusement Park? Contact a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney
If you were recently injured as a result of being bitten by a dog, our firm wants to help. Rosen Injury Law can help you obtain compensation for any damages that you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys.