People from all over the world flock to Florida for family vacations throughout the year. Many of these family vacations are centered on our state’s amusement and theme parks. Unfortunately, as experienced injury attorneys many people suffer from the onset of sudden illness, receive injuries, and some die riding the theme parks’ attractions. Our personal injury attorneys report that despite the theme parks and attractions bringing significant revenue to Florida each year, the state do not regulate the safety of its theme parks. Furthermore, a federal agency, and not a state-run organization, regulates carnivals and fairs. Florida’s theme parks must report injuries, illnesses, and deaths quarterly to the Florida Department of Agriculture.
A recent tragic story illustrates the issues with the lack of oversight. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a 67-year-old man died after getting off a ride at an Orlando theme park. The unfortunate man fell ill after riding one of the park’s main attractions. The theme park operators reported that the man died of a heart attack and suffered from a pre-existing condition of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Theme park enthusiasts suffered other injuries and illnesses as well. Seizures, dizziness, stomach pain, chest pain, back pain, and neck pain were some of the injuries people suffered from Florida’s rides. Some people fainted after getting off of a ride. Naturally, some injuries, especially at water parks, are caused by slips and falls. The slip and fall accidents occur when people are getting on and off the rides. Interestingly, in the recent report from the first half of 2016 published by the Orlando Sentinel, the explanation provided by the theme park for the injury or illness of the guest was a pre-existing injury or illness. The parks seem eager to point the finger at the guest rather than the ride for their wounds or sickness.
Some people are calling for heightened regulations and oversight designed to protect theme park thrill seekers. Across the nation, over 37,000 people reported injuries caused by theme park rides. Since 2010, 25 people have died from amusement park rides and five people were killed, including a 10-year-old boy this summer, on waterslide rides. Nearly all of the fatalities reported in Florida were the result of illness or pre-existing condition and not from ride malfunction. Industry experts say that ride malfunction causes only 3 to 5% of all injuries. These experts attribute the remainder of the injuries and illnesses to rider inattention and refusal to follow the rules.
Florida’s theme parks are not exempt from liability. The theme parks have a duty to keep their guests safe and not expose them to any unnecessary dangers. The parks owe their guests an obligation to warn them of hazards of which a guest may not become aware by being careful. Also, the theme parks have a duty of care owed to theme park guests to operate the rides carefully. The parks must properly maintain their rides and attractions and conduct regular inspections. Furthermore, the parks have an obligation to train their employees properly on the ride operation as well as safety procedures. If the park fails to meet those requirements then, the park may be liable for any injuries caused by the park’s negligence. The park is responsible for any economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earnings as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.
South Florida’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help You Recover For Your Theme Park Injuries
Let South Florida’s Top law firm – as voted by the Miami Herald – Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano, handle your personal injury case. The attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, and & Urbano have over 130 years of combined legal experience at your service. They will fight to help you maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Call the South Florida amusement park attorneys at Greenberg, Stone, & Urbano – an AV-rated firm by Martindale-Hubbell – today at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to schedule your free consultation.