Thousands of children and adults are injured on amusement park rides every year. Children are especially vulnerable to injuries because they are smaller and do not fully understand the risks associated with the ride.
Because of the favourable weather, amusement park ride injuries and fatalities significantly increase during the summer months. Some parks, fairs, and carnivals are only open during this time as well. Of course, this is also the time when children are out of school and have more free time, too. According to one study, there are roughly 20 injuries that occur every day from May to September on amusement park rides.
British Columbia Law Regarding Amusement Park Rides
British Columbia, like every other province, has a statute that regulates amusement park rides and devices. The Safety Standards Act sets out the duty of care that is required of the amusement park regarding those who enter their park. In particular, the park owner has an obligation to ensure that devices are safe and maintained properly. Amusement parks are also required to obtain and maintain occupier’s liability insurance.
British Columbia also has the Amusement Devices Safety Program through the British Columbia Safety Authority, which enforces the technical standards required of amusement park owners. It has the power to prosecute parties that fail to adhere to these standards. Violations of the functional standards can lead to fines and even jail time.
Amusement parks can be liable if they fail to exercise reasonable care regarding their rides and other devices. They can also be held legally responsible for injuries and deaths if they fail to hire and/or train qualified ride operators. Nonetheless, an amusement park’s liability is limited by the fact that users are accepting some level of risk when they get on amusement park rides. Customers that do not follow safety instructions or sign waivers before getting on rides may also be limited in whether they can assert a legal claim against an amusement park.
If You Are Injured at an Amusement Park…
If you or a loved one is injured at an amusement park, you need to take a few important steps to preserve your ability to assert a legal claim.
- Report your injuries to a member of management. Do not leave the park without reporting the incident to a supervisor at the park.
- Ask someone to call emergency services, if necessary.
- Take photos of the ride, if possible. Pay particular attention to the area that caused your injuries, such as a safety strap or bar that failed.
- Take down the names and contact information of any witnesses that may have been nearby. If possible, take notes on what they saw or heard.
- Write down your version of the events as soon as you can. Having this written record will help you recall information in the future when your memory may not be as clear.
- Keep documentation of any medical treatment that you received after the incident. Be sure to also track any injury-related expenses or losses as well.
- Follow the doctor’s orders regarding your care and treatment. Following what the doctor tells you is not only a good idea for your health; it is a good idea for your case as well.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Following up with a lawyer as soon as you can after the incident will help your lawyer build a case, even if you were unable to take photos or talk to witnesses. Lawyers and their teams are extremely skilled at finding and preserving evidence that may be helpful to your case.
Our personal injury team at Diamond and Diamond can be a valuable resource after an amusement park accident. Call 1-800-567-HURT for more information.