Staying Safe at Theme Parks and Other Outdoor Venues This Summer

Be aware of the potential risks so you and your family can get the most out of a trip to a theme park, carnival, or state fair.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, every
year more than 43,000 Americans are treated for injuries incurred at amusement
parks, and the majority of these injuries affect children and adolescents under
24 years of age.

7 common-sense safety tips

1. Plan ahead

Before you hit your destination, take
some time to review its layout on the internet and plan out things such as
which rides and attractions you want visit. This will economize your time and ensure
that you and your family members know the locations of entries and exits,
restrooms, food and drink stands, as well as information booths. Make sure to
talk about things like what your children should do if they get lost or
separated from the group.

2. Dress for the situation

We all want to look our best, but
also need to think about our safety. Things like long or dangling jewelry, long
loose hair and baggy clothes can get caught in machinery. So leave jewelry at
home, braid long hair and wear fitted clothing. Be sure to wear closed-toed
shoes and dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed.

3. Respect the sun

Nothing can ruin a day faster than
a painful sunburn. Apply sunscreen liberally and be sure to reapply often.
Remember that sweating will reduce sunscreen’s effectiveness and take extra
care with young children and the elderly, who have particularly sensitive skin.

4. Stay hydrated and refuel often

It’s easy to get caught up in the
excitement, but it’s critical to remember to take water and food breaks.
Dehydration can come on fast, so drink water (not soda or juice) throughout the
day and remember to recharge your body with healthy snacks. Consider drinking a
sports drink with electrolytes (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) if you sweat heavily.

5. Buddy-up

When traveling in a group (large
or small), it’s always a good idea to pair up members of the group as buddies. Make
sure the group knows they are responsible for making sure their buddy is still
with the group, staying hydrated, and seems to feel well.

6. Obey the rules

Theme park rides are faster,
higher and more thrilling than ever. That’s why it’s important to listen
carefully to the instructions provided at each ride and abide by them. Make
sure your children also understand and follow the rules and don’t hesitate to
ask questions.

7. Know the common signs of injury

Parents should bring children to a
first aid station immediately if they start to show a sudden-onset severe
headache or significant nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, or
numbness and tingling. These are the biggest warning signs that something might
be wrong. If the symptoms quickly resolve themselves, the child can continue to
enjoy the park.

Common types of injuries

The following are examples of some of the more common ways
guests suffer injuries at theme parks and other outdoor attractions:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents can result in bruising, concussions, broken bones and other orthopedic injuries.
  • Dangerous or broken rides can cause serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations or even decapitations.
  • Unsafe or improperly maintained water rides can lead to drowning deaths and near-drowning accidents.
  • Untrained or unsupervised ride operators can cause malfunctions on otherwise operational theme park rides, leading to accidents and injuries.

Who is responsible if you get injured at a theme park or
similar venue?

Depending on what caused the injury in question, legal
responsibility may rest with the venue’s owner/operator, the designer or
manufacturer of a ride, the owner of a concession stand, or another company
entirely. In addition, more than one party may be held either wholly or
partially responsible for paying compensation to the victim(s). When you file a
legal claim after an injury, your attorney may file the claim against one or
more of these potential defendants depending on the facts surrounding your situation.

Property owners owe patrons a duty of care

Those who operate outdoor entertainment venues have a legal
responsibility to keep their property in reasonably safe condition. If a person
suffers an injury that could have been avoided if the property owner/operator took
reasonable preventative steps, the injured person may be able to sue for compensation
(referred to as premises
liability
).

Even in states without specific regulations for carnivals
and theme parks, there are still duty of care rules for businesses that
serve the public. That means property owners must do everything reasonably
possible to protect visitors from undue harm.

As with all businesses, the defendant (which may be an
individual, but more likely a corporation or other business entity), can also
be held liable for employee negligence. This could involve failing to
adequately instruct patrons about proper use of rides, failing to conduct
proper crowd control, failing to control animals during shows, and more.

You don’t have to go it alone

At GreeningLaw P.C., we know that people want to get out and
enjoy the summer, and we understand that heading out to theme parks, carnivals,
and state fairs are a big part of that enjoyment. Following the tips above can
greatly decrease your chances of an accident or injury, but it’s important to
keep in mind that even if you do everything right, things can still go awry due
to the carelessness and/or negligence of others.

Don’t take it upon yourself to determine if an injury could
have been prevented. GreeningLaw P.C.’s skilled attorneys have years
of experience investigating and litigating these kinds of accident cases. We
know insurance companies for big-name theme parks will fight you every step of
the way, and we understand how to overcome the kinds of arguments they
will present. Our attorneys and investigators work diligently to determine what
really happened and identify any parties who may be liable.

GreeningLaw P.C is recognized as one of the leading personal
injury law firms in Texas for a reason, and we are here to help. We offer free
consultations in which we review the elements of your case, discuss any
possible compensation, and recommend the best course of action.

Call 972.934.8900 or schedule a free consultation
online
and let us handle your case so you can go back to focusing
on the things that matter most to you.

We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and
renewal, and we hope everyone has a fun, safe summer!