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California Amusement Park Accidents

Each day the gates fly open on some of California’s best theme parks, water parks, and fun parks. Purchasing tickets supplies us with all the thrills our families can handle, but there are reasons for caution when you turn over your safety to the owners and operators of these parks.

Amusement park accidents are an everyday occurrence at places like Disneyland, Universal Studios in Los Angeles, and on the rides at any boardwalk.

When mishaps take place, getting emergency care for the injured is the most important thing.  But later, victims and their families will have questions about where to turn for support after an amusement park accident in California.

A Free Consultation with a California Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

Knowing who to hold accountable in an insurance claim against a theme park can make a difference of thousands of dollars in the support you’ll receive. In fact, there may be several parties to hold liable after you or a family member are hurt on what was supposed to be a fun day at the park.

There’s no risk in scheduling a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a California Amusement Park Accident Lawyer. Find out how much in compensation you should expect from amusement park owners and operators. You’ll also be informed of every insurance tactic designed to rob you of the support your family needs.

Contact Maison Law of California to schedule a confidential consultation today.

Premises Liability at California Amusement Parks

Places like Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags/Discovery Kingdom owe you more than just the right to hand over your money. Holding season passes or one-day tickets also means the park must show concern for your family’s safety from the moment you enter their parking lots and across your entire day of walking the parks.

This is a legal “duty of care” all businesses owe their visitors. They must make your day as safe as reasonably possible.

Under California’s “premises liability” laws, if you are injured by a hazard that should have been removed or repaired before you had the chance to be injured, you can hold the park financially responsible. They have been negligent in their duty of care owed to you and your family.

California Theme Park Dangers

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, over 18 million people visited Disneyland in Anaheim in 2019. All of those people near so many large, heavy pieces of machinery presents a safety challenge that isn’t always met by park managers and employees.

Even relatively tame rides hide dangers for “crush” injuries and ways for people to suffer “pinch point” injuries and lose fingers and limbs. The rides aren’t the only places you or one of your children could suffer harm.

These are just a few of the ways anyone could be hurt at a theme park:

  • Roller Coasters and Other Rides – A safety device meant to hold you in your seat could malfunction. You could receive a neck injury on a thrill ride. A part may fly off an attraction and hit you even though you aren’t on the ride.
  • Falls and Slip-And-Falls – There are many opportunities to take a dangerous fall from a great height. There are also parkgoers spilling and dropping things all day. Your foot could be taken out from under you to hit the ground and break a bone or take a blow to the head. A trip-and-fall on a pothole while crossing several giant parking lots may do permanent damage to your knee.
  • Shock Hazards – An electrical shock from an exposed wire or an ungrounded piece of machinery can cause a major injury and even death.
  • Exposure to Chemicals – The harmful substances used to maintain a fun park and the fumes emitted may damage your eyes, skin, or lungs.
  • Wrongful Death – In the most tragic of instances, people can lose their lives when amusement park owners and operators neglect their duty to keep people safe. Families are able to file a wrongful death claim to help pay for a funeral, ambulance, and medical expenses. This claim also provides for the family in the future when a loved one’s love and financial support will no longer be available.

Who Can I Sue After an Injury at a California Theme Park?

One of the first things you and your personal injury lawyer will determine is who exactly should be targeted in your injury claim. There may be several parties responsible for what happened to you and a lawsuit filed against the park’s corporate owners may just be the start.

This step is important for victims and their families because business insurance policies that cover theme parks will have their limits. They could pay you until the limit is reached, and you may still have thousands of dollars in medical expenses still unpaid.

Determining other parties to include in a claim or lawsuit gives you a chance to earn support from several insurance providers. This sum of many parts is hopefully enough to cover a full physical and financial recovery.

This is just a partial list of some of the parties that may end up having to provide support to your family through recovery:

  • Theme park owners.
  • Ride manufacturers.
  • Ride operators and other park employees.
  • Contractors working on projects for the park.
  • Property management companies.

Most of these parties will have business liability insurance or be covered by the policies of their employers. The more insurance companies involved, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding paying for any of your recovery out-of-pocket.

What Kind of Damages Can I Sue For After a Park Injury?

The support you’ll require after an injury at a place like Sea World or California’s Great America will go further than just payment of your doctor bills.

With a major injury, your entire life could change and that change may be long-term or even permanent.

A permanent physical disability requires full support from a negligent party over a lifetime. This can include years of medical care, the need for medical equipment, changes in careers, and home renovations.

The severity of your injury and the effect your injury has on your normal life will help determine how much you’ll demand from the owners of a theme park or beach amusement park.

These are just some of the damages that will factor into any settlement award or courtroom judgment you receive:

  • Medical expenses. Those bills you’ve received and medical costs expected in the future.
  • Physical therapy and the cost of specialized equipment.
  • Permanent disfigurement. Plastic surgery and other support to help you resume a normal life.
  • Pain and mental trauma. The pain you suffer and may still suffer and the effects of medication you may be forced to take. The emotional turmoil experienced by you over the changes in your normal life. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms are all possible during amusement park accident recovery and beyond.
  • Loss of consortium. This involves the loss of support and intimacy the partner of an injured victim must endure. The inability to participate in family activities like you once did.
  • Lost paychecks from work. This might include money for job training if you can no longer do your old job.
  • Travel costs when visiting physicians and surgeons both nearby or specialists in another state.

Beware of Theme Park Insurance Tactics

Major companies like Disney or NBCUniversal (a subsidiary of Comcast) are well-practiced in the art of sending their park victims away with little support or nothing at all. Their corporate lawyers and insurance adjusters will work to weaken your resolve and discredit your claim, all to save on the bottom line.

If you don’t have a California Amusement Park Injury Lawyer watching out for your case, you can easily fall for some of the most common insurance strategies out there.

The first tactic you might experience is being kept in a holding pattern. Insurance firms for major theme parks will ignore your claim in the hopes you get more and more desperate for financial help as your bills multiply.

This sets you up for another common ploy…the “lowball offer.” If your injury has your family sinking deeper in debt, you can be tempted to jump at the first settlement offer extended by Six Flags or a place like Belmont Park in San Diego. Don’t do it. Avoid signing any agreement with an amusement park insurance company without having a California personal injury attorney look over it. It may far undervalue the hardships you face.

You should also let a premises liability attorney handle your communications with an amusement park. If you don’t, you can fall into another old trick played by insurance adjusters. They will call you after your accident and attempt to get a recorded statement about what happened. Decline this request. You aren’t legally obligated to give it.

Insurance companies are hoping you’ll say something they can twist around later to find cause to dismiss your case.

Contact an Amusement Park Injury Lawyer Serving California Victims

If you or a family member have been hurt in a theme park accident, don’t trust insurance companies to look out for your best interests. Your family should receive full support as victims heal and attempt to recover financially. Places like Disneyland or Universal don’t always put the well-being of their ticketholders first.

Talk over what happened with attorney Martin Gasparian in a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian gives injured victims and their families a voice after a serious accident. This is true even when a case involves taking on a major corporation behind a theme park or amusement park.

Trust Maison Law to secure the financial support you and your family need to rebuild your lives.

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