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Do Summer Amusement or Water Park Fun in Wisconsin Increase Chances of Injury?

Posted on in Personal Injury

amsument-parkBy Attorney Christopher Strohbehn

It is an all too familiar story...what starts out as a chance to create happy family memories ends with a painful or even tragic result. Water parks and amusement facilities are great places to enjoy fun in the Wisconsin sun, but if the rules are not followed, the equipment is not properly maintained and the staff adequately managed, trips to these entertainment areas can spell weeks of recovery or even worse, death.

This past spring, a 63 year old gentleman visiting the Mt. Olympus Indoor Theme Park discovered this truth first hand. According to Fox 6 news, the lap bar of the roller coaster car he was riding in failed to stay closed, causing the victim to plummet nearly 17 feet to the concrete pad below. The victim suffered numerous broken bones as well as severe brain trauma. While the park employees stated that the bar was operational when they ran their safety tests for the day, something went seriously wrong during the victim's ride.

Every year, this scenario seems to play out repeatedly at theme parks across the country, leaving hundreds of innocent victims to suffer the painful consequences. According the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, in 2012, the estimated number of U.S. emergency room visits for amusement ride-related injuries was over 27,000. While it is safe to say the many of these are minor injuries, it still adds up to additional medical expenses for the victims and perhaps weeks and even months of recovery. Despite this fact, millions of people visit entertainment facilities each year, and entrust their safety to the park owners, management and employees.

The main causes of injury at an amusement or waterpark tend to be the following:

  • Defective equipment
  • Improper equipment design
  • Poorly maintained rides
  • Failure to explain risks to park patrons
  • Untrained or undertrained individuals manning attraction
  • Poor water quality
  • Inability to meet safety requirements
  • Poor supervision
  • Unimplemented safety measures
  • Poor management

The thought of a happy day with family and friends ending in such tragedy might cause some to swear off visiting amusement or water parks altogether. While, I do not necessarily suggest such a drastic action, it is important to be vigilant when visiting one of these entertainment facilities. Be sure you are aware of the rules, regulations and risks for each ride and remain cognizant of your surroundings. If you are unsure of the ride or do not feel that it is safe, it is probably best to go with your gut instinct and decline a ride.

If, despite these efforts, you become injured when visiting an entertainment attraction, be sure to contact a lawyer immediately and discuss your case thoroughly. Additionally, make sure that you get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. For more information, feel free to contact the personal injury experts at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP.

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