Chicago Amusement Park Accident Lawyer Serving People Across Illinois
Amusement rides are exciting and fun with their high speeds, climbing hills, and breathtaking drops. But they can also result in dangerous and sometimes deadly accidents when rides malfunction or are operated improperly.
Children are particularly susceptible to being injured at amusement parks, carnivals, and water parks due to inadequate supervision, insufficient maintenance, or faulty design.
The personal injury attorneys at the Chicago law firm of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent victims injured on amusement park rides due to mechanical failure, park owner negligence, or violence. Contact our premises liability lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation for legal advice. Our law firm is here to help.
Young Children Most at Risk for Serious Injuries at Carnivals and Amusements
Half of all amusement ride accidents and three-quarters of events where a rider is ejected or falls from the equipment involve toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school-age children. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that two-thirds of all amusement-related injuries involve children.
Whether at a small carnival that travels with a handful of rides or a large-scale theme park, carnival rides can pose a serious threat to every child and adult who sees the rides only as a source of great fun and entertainment, without fully appreciating the potential dangers.
Illinois Laws to Protect the Public From Harm on Rides
Some states that recognize the dangers to carnival riders have begun implementing strict policies to protect riders. For example, in Illinois, all amusement parks and rides open to the public must be inspected and obtain a permit before the first operation and must be re-certified yearly after that.
The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is responsible for these inspections and inspects about 5,000 rides annually. Operating amusement rides open to the public without a current Illinois permit is a Class A misdemeanor with fines up to $2,500.
Amusement park facilities that require inspection include:
- Carnival rides
- Ride simulators
- Roller Coasters
- Ski lifts
- Ferris wheels
- Bumper cars
- Rope tows
- Water slides
- Mechanical bulls
- Go-kart tracks
- Haunted houses
- Traveling carnivals
- Check for a current IDOL permit sticker
- Read and obey rules about height, weight, and age
- Listen to the ride operator and follow instructions
- Do not run around the equipment
- Always use suggested protection equipment
- Keep arms and legs inside the moving equipment
- Talk to each child so that they know what to expect while riding
- Stay seated until instructed
- Immediately report unsafe conditions or rides without a current IDOL permit to the police and IDOL at (217) 782-9347
Responsibility of Rider Designers, Owners, and Operators to Protect the Public
The amusement company, ride designers, operators, park owners, and parents must promote safety and reduce harm.
Particularly on rides marketed geared for younger riders, designers and engineers have a responsibility to design additional safeguard precautions, especially on rides geared towards young children, taking into account their size and whether they should be allowed to ride alone.
Ride operators should ensure every child has proper supervision, and they should not operate the equipment if they cannot maintain safe behavior. Also, parents need to provide better supervision, follow safety instructions, and decide which rides each child may use.
Parents need to be aware of the safeguard requirements and pay attention to make decisions on which rides are safe for every family member to ride. Many youngsters may become excited or scared on amusement rides and may not always act responsibly. Teach every child how to be safe riders and provide supervision.
Bounce Houses and Inflatables: Taking Carnival Ride Danger Into the Backyard
Bounce houses have quickly become the newest form of fun and injury for small children. A new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics shows that injuries from these inflatable novelties have increased 15 times since 1995.
In 1995, there were 702 emergency room visits recorded due to injuries from inflatable bouncers. By 2010, this number had jumped to 11,311. About one-third of all youngsters brought in with injuries are under five, about half were between 6-12 years of age. The injuries resulted in hospitalization about 3% of the time, which is comparable to trampoline injuries.
The most common types of inflatable bounce house and amusement park injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Bruises and contusions
Backyard bounce house/trampoline injuries may involve multiple liable parties that could include the operator, ride manufacturer, property owner, and others. An attorney working on behalf of the victim can build an amusement park injury claim based on operator error or lap bar malfunction.
Amusement Park Accidents FAQs
Our Chicago amusement park accident attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions about holding carnival and amusement parks responsible for causing the victim harm. A personal injury lawyer has answered some of those questions below.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation and discuss your premises liability case. Your Chicago, IL amusement park accident attorney is here to help.
What Theme Park Has The Most Accidents?
Data maintained by the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions revealed the top five most dangerous American theme parks that include:
- New Jersey’s Action Park is deemed the “most dangerous ever,” with a reported 110 casualties occurring annually involving ten fractures and forty-five head injuries
- New York’s Rye Playland is famous for multiple deaths, including two seven-year-old girls thrown from a ride in 2004 and 2005, a choking death in 1988, and a supervisor’s death caused by not wearing a seatbelt in 2007
- Six Flags amusement parks in Kentucky, Georgia, and New Jersey, involving multiple deaths, including the decapitation of a 17 y.o. male. Ohio’s Kings Island is known for its deadly incident in 1991 when a Park visitor fell into water. The visitor and the two people attempting to rescue him all died from an electrical shock
- Florida’s Sea World and Discovery Cove for a bull orca who pulled a Sea world animal trainer into the water and drowned her
How Common Are Amusement Park Accidents?
Research shows that over fifty people died between 1990 and 2004 on amusement park rides. Florida has ranked first in the number of amusement park severe incidents. However, the deadliest events have occurred in New Jersey (Action Park), New York (Rye Playland), and Ohio (Kings Island).
In many incidents, the victims suffer a horrific personal injury including broken bones, head trauma, or death from the amusement park accident.
Which Amusement Park Has the Most Deaths?
News reports show that Vernon, New Jersey Action Park has had the most deaths in US history. In the first seven years after opening, six people died in separate incidents that included drownings, electrical shock, fatal heart attacks, and a ride malfunction when the car jumped the track.
Has Anyone Died on a Roller Coaster?
A US Consumer Product Safety Commission published a report in 2005 identifying fifty-two individuals who lost their lives on amusement park rides, primarily roller coasters.
One of the most horrific amusement ride wrongful deaths occurred in 2003 in Anaheim, California when a Disneyland visitor died on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The accident occurred when the locomotive's wheel assembly fell off while riding.
Another deadly accident occurred at the Massachusetts Six Flags New England amusement park in 2004 when a fifty-five-year-old man lost his life. The victim fell from the Superman Ride of Steel Roller Coaster, hitting the rides rail and falling to the ground.
What Is the Most Dangerous Carnival Ride?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, steel roller coasters are the most dangerous carnival rides with nearly 500 serious injuries and wrongful death events. Water slides are ranked second most dangerous rides posing serious risks to users.
Lastly, wooden roller coasters, water park playgrounds, Alpine slides, bumper car rides, and carousels rank high in serious injuries at Carnival’s and amusement parks.
Rides that operate in the dark pose a significant risk to park-goers as do wrapping rides and simulators causing personal injury including lacerations, bruises, whiplash, torn ligaments, spinal cord damage, drowning or near-drowning, brain aneurysms, stroke, and wrongful death.
What Are the Chances of Dying on a Fair Ride?
According to an article in USA Today, party-goers and Carnival visitors have a one and 1.2 million chance of dying on carnival and fair equipment. Statistics revealed only a single death at all US amusement parks in 2019.
However, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of individuals are injured every year on fair rides ranging from minor to severe injuries.
Free Legal Consultation With an Experienced Chicago Amusement Park Accident Attorney
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents toddlers, tweens, teens, and adults who have been harmed while riding on carnival rides, water parks, or amusement parks in Chicago and in cities and towns throughout Illinois across the Midwest.
Our Chicago, IL team of Illinois personal injury attorneys has experience representing people injured on carnival rides. We are available to discuss your amusement park injury with you — free of charge.
Were you injured in a fall accident or lost a loved one through wrongful death? If so, call us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
A lawyer from our Chicago law firm currently represents clients in numerous practice areas, including premises liability, car and truck accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, nursing home abuse, harmful medications, and wrongful death.