The California Supreme Court recently ruled that liability for amusement parks
are limited, when passengers or customers are injured on rides
. This decision from the high court limits liability for an amusement park when you are injured on their rides
as a result of the negligence of a third party. The courts reasoned that it was because the rides are entered into “voluntarily” then the rider/passenger understands the potential risks.
However, this does not mean that park or amusement park operators are not liable when the rides fail due to improper maintenance. Ironically enough the same day that The California Supreme Court handed down there decision-December 31, 2012-was the same day that 3 Knott’s Berry Farm passengers were injured
In the Knott’s Berry Farm incident three passengers were taken to the hospital after suffering injuries when the ride malfunctioned. According to reports a stagecoach ride carrying passengers tipped when the back wheel dislodged. This is the second time the in a single year where injuries have taken place at the park.
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Legally speaking it would not be likely for Knott’s to hide behind The Supreme Court’s decision, as it is not applicable in this case. That decision applied to injuries when the passenger voluntarily gets on a ride and suffers injuries i.e. whiplash. However, Knott’s will not be able to argue that passengers assumed liability for the ride to malfunction
and subsequently injure them.
While it is not clear whether the three passengers will file a lawsuit for injuries, it is certain that amusement parks will attempt to take advantage of this recent decision. If you have been injured in an amusement park
, seek medical attention for your injuries. In the event that you decide to file a lawsuit, consult with a amusement park attorney Los Angeles. Our office handles claims against amusement parks in and around Southern California.
Theme Park Incidents
When we visit theme parks, be it Knott’s Berry Farm
or any other park, we expect to have a good time with our friends and families before we call it a day and go back home. We never expect that we will suffer any sort of injuries while getting on the rides. Without a doubt, by getting on rides, we accept some of the risks
– some safety restraints can cause bruising and some rides can cause whiplash, for example. We even accept the risk of the ride getting stuck for an extended period (riders are stuck but not in immediate danger).
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On average, there are approximately 4 amusement ride-related deaths every year
. On average, there are approximately 20 injuries (suffered by underage guests) every day. Even if we are aware of these numbers, we never expect to be involved in an incident. Unfortunately, these accidents happen – and they have the potential to cause significant harm.
Some of the potential harm suffered in amusement park ride incidents
include but are not limited to the following: head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, spinal cord injuries
, lacerations, severed limbs, and decapitation, for example.
Liability for Amusement Park Accidents
Based on premise liability
, property owners have a duty of care towards their guests. Specifically, they have the duty to keep their guests safe while on their premises. The entire premises must be kept free of any hazards that could potentially result in harm to unsuspecting and innocent guests. In amusement parks, this translates to the duty to ensure that all rides and attractions are safe and functional. All rides and attractions must be routinely inspected, maintained, and repaired to ensure that they do not represent a hazard to guests.
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When hazards are not identified or addressed, innocent guests could suffer harm. Consider the following example. An amusement park is aware of a rattling noise coming from one of its most famous attractions. Instead of temporarily closing the ride and investigating the cause of the noise, the amusement park ignores the possible issue and continues to operate the ride
. The ride never received any sort of maintenance or repairs. One day, while operating, a part of the ride suddenly collapses and a cart carrying four park guests falls of the rails, crashing down below and resulting in serious injuries. In this example, the amusement park could be liable
for all harm suffered by victims of the accident, since the accident was directly caused by a breach of duty and failure to identify/address the hazard present in the ride.
Are amusement parks always liable for the harm that their guests suffer? Based on premise liability, property owners could be liable for all the harm suffered on their premises given that they had a duty of care towards guests lawfully on the property. However, there are exceptions based on a previous claim – specifically Nalwa v. Cedar Fair, L.P.
In Nalwa v. Cedar Fair, L.P., the victim suffered a wrist injury while on a bumper car ride at an amusement park. She sued for negligence, but lost her case on the basis of something called the primary assumption of risk doctrine (the plaintiff was aware of the risk of injury when getting on the bumper car ride). The outcome of the case was reversed by the Court of Appeals on the basis that primary assumption of risk did not apply to the bumper car ride. However, the Supreme Court reversed holding the initial ruling – that primary assumption of risk doctrine does apply to bumper car rides as well as other recreational activities and that the defendant’s (the amusement park’s) duty of care to not increase the risk of injury above the inherent risk associated with the activity.
What does this mean?
Some activities come with certain risks. As long as the risk of harm inherent harm is not negligently increased, amusement parks might not be liable for the harm that guests suffer.
If you suffered any sort of harm at Knott’s Berry Farm or any other amusement park
, you might have many questions regarding whether the amusement park is liable for the harm that you suffered. To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of liability, and possibly, your right to sue, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
You Could Be Compensated
Depending on the specific harm that you suffered in an amusement park, you might have grounds to file a claim and fight for the right to receive monetary compensation. Could you really recover compensation for the harm that you suffered? Your right to receive any form of compensation will always be based on the details surrounding the incident (and how you were affected by the incident). Although there is no guarantee regarding the specific type and amount of compensation that you could be eligible to receive, you should be aware of the following categories of compensation that are sometimes available to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages
To learn more about the type and amount of compensation that you might be eligible to receive for the harm that you suffered, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our experts as soon as possible. Our lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that all victims recover the compensation to which they are entitled. Although monetary compensation cannot reverse the damages, it could help you and your family move forward with your life and move past such a traumatic event. When you allow our experts to handle your claim, you can be certain that there will always be someone aggressively fighting for your right to recover the highest amount of compensation available for your claim – do not hesitate to contact our experts today to learn more about the compensation you could recover.
Claims and Statutes of Limitations
All claims are subject to deadlines – statutes of limitations. These deadlines ensure that claims are filed promptly and that all parties have the tools necessary to pursue or deny their claims
. Injury claims in California are usually confined by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that claimants only have two years to file their claims. What happens if claims are not filed on time? When claims are not filed on time, claimants will lose their right to sue. Exceptions could apply based on the details of your claim that could essentially toll or pause the deadline that applies to your claim. For more information about the statute of limitations that applies to your claim, contact us today
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group
If you were involved in an accident at Knott’s Berry Farm, you might be in need of the expertise of a Knotts Berry Farm accident attorney
. If you were injured on a ride or attraction, you might have grounds to pursue a claim
. You should seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm as soon as possible – you might have grounds to sue and receive compensation.
You should contact Downtown L.A. Law Group
as soon as possible – our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims. Our lawyers are dedicated to representing injured victims and their families and to ensuring that they are rightfully compensated for the harm that they suffered. Our amusement park accident lawyers are dedicated to ensuring that all affected parties have access to the representation that they need. Therefore, we offer free legal services.
Our firm offers free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions and address all your concerns. Whether you are interested in starting or continuing your claim, you could be certain that our lawyers will do everything within their reach to ensure that you have access to all the information that you need to reach a successful outcome.
Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee
– a guarantee that you will not have to pay any upfront legal fees. Our firm is also based on contingency; therefore, our lawyers will not be required to pay anything until after winning their claims. If you do not win, you will not be required to pay anything. Are you ready to allow our attorneys to handle your claim against Knott’s Berry Farm? If so, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group