Don’t Let An Amusement Park Injury Slide
Florida is home to a lot of amusement parks. There’s Disneyworld and Universal Studios, of course, but you can find plenty of other places to ride roller coasters, race down waterslides, and otherwise have the time of your life.
Unfortunately, sometimes those fun times can end in a hurry. Not every amusement park maintains its rides at the same quality level as Disneyworld, and not every park keeps its walking areas as clean as they need to be. Thrill rides and roller coasters have a large number of safety features and backups to keep passengers safe, but that doesn’t stop accidents from happening entirely.
Duty Of Care And Duty To Follow Directions
For their part, amusement parks have a responsibility to keep their rides in safe and working condition, and if a ride breaks down they have a responsibility to keep guests from trying to ride it anyway. This is called the “duty of care,” which means that if you own something dangerous it’s your responsibility to keep people safe while it’s in use.
On the other hand, guests have a duty of their own: they have to follow the instructions given by park employees and signs. If a ride says you have to be a certain height, it’s because the restraints don’t work right when a person is too short.
The sign is there for your safety and the ride operator enforces it for the same reason, so if you sneak on anyway and get injured you only have yourself to blame. For the same reason, if the operator says to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times and you hurt your arm when you swing it out wide, that’s on you.
Licensee, Invitee, And Trespasser
Premises liability laws have three categories people can fall into. Licensees can come and go when they like, and for amusement parks this category applies to the staff. “Invitees” applies to the guests, and premises owners have a high degree of responsibility to keep invitees safe.
But then there’s that third category, “trespasser.” Trespassers go where they aren’t supposed to and cross a warning sign or a barrier to do so, which means they’re already ignoring the owner’s instructions and entering a place that may be unsafe. If a trespasser winds up injured, the premises owner has little to no responsibility for the injury. However, this may not be the case if it turns out the barrier or warning sign was missing and the trespasser wandered in by accident.
If a guest ends up injured because of one specific employee’s negligence, that doesn’t mean the amusement park is free from all responsibility. The famous phrase “The buck stops here” describes the fact that every leader is responsible for what his or her subordinates do, and that’s true even if a subordinate does something completely foolish like forget to rope off a backstage part of the park.
Park employers are responsible because they (or their representatives) pick out the employees for the park, and they have a responsibility to choose wisely and to train the employees to do their jobs correctly. If the employee forgets the arms and legs warning and the rider hurts his left hand, that’s the fault of the employee and therefore the amusement park owners who didn’t train the employee well enough.
If you’ve been injured at a Florida amusement park and you think you have a solid case against the owner, consider contacting the law offices of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh. We represent clients in personal injury lawsuits of every description, and if you take our help we’ll do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve.