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Lack of Oversight in Amusement Park Injury Cases

Roller coasters and other amusement park attractions are growing faster, larger and more powerful than ever. Therefore, the risk of injury is also increasing. If you are injured on a water slide, rollercoaster or any other amusement park ride, you may want to contact an amusement park injury attorney immediately. You may be able to learn more about your rights, what types of damages that you can collect and how to go about doing so.

There Is No Federal Regulation of Amusement Parks

Amusement parks are not regulated at all on the federal level. The Consumer Product Safety Commission does inspect portable rides and other attractions that are brought into a park. However, if the ride or attraction cannot be removed, it is exempt from any oversight.

What About Regulation on the State Level?

There are six states that have no government oversight when it comes to the safety of amusement parks or the attractions that those parks provide. In Alabama, there are no laws at all on the books while states such as Arizona, Nevada and North Dakota require that amusement park operators carry insurance.

Even in states where there are regulations, they may not apply to all rides in an amusement park. For instance, Iowa and Illinois only regulate waterslides while Florida only regulates carnivals or small parks. Utah has a rider responsibility law, which means that the park or ride operator may not be held responsible if the rider doesn't follow posted rules.

Each State May Use a Different Department to Monitor Amusement Parks

In Alaska and Arkansas, the Department of Labor oversees and inspects amusement park rides. In Colorado, the Division of Oil and Public Safety is in charge of upholding regulations related to amusement parks, but there is no actual government oversight as it relates to the safety of a particular ride.

Why Is There No Federal Oversight of Amusement Parks?

You may be wondering why amusement parks don't receive more scrutiny considering the fact that rides may pose dangers to riders. The answer has to do with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1981 that stripped the Consumer Product Safety Commission of its authority to regulate any ride that was in a fixed location.

Originally, this lack of oversight was a compromise to get the bill passed, and the intent was to eventually allow the CPSC to regain the authority that it had lost. However, strong lobbying efforts on behalf of interest groups and other parties interested in retaining a relaxed regulatory atmosphere stalled any progress toward doing so.

Does This Mean I Cannot Pursue Damages If I Am Hurt?

Just because there are no federal regulations of amusement park rides doesn't mean that no one is liable if you get hurt. There are still premises liability and defective product laws that protect you and allow you to collect compensation if you are injured.

If a ride had not been properly inspected or was not working properly prior to your injuries, that would imply that the duty of care that an amusement park had to you had been breached. Your amusement park attorney will then work to prove that a duty of care existed and that you suffered damages as a result.

What Can I Do to Stay Safe at an Amusement Park?

There are many things that you can do to prevent injuries at an amusement park. For instance, you should never try to get on a ride or leave a ride while it is moving. If you do not meet certain height or weight requirements, do not attempt to get on a ride.

It is imperative that you do not get on a ride or otherwise use park equipment while you are intoxicated. This could increase your risk of getting hurt through inappropriate use of a ride or safety equipment meant to protect you. It may also eliminate any chance that you have to collect damages.

Keep an Eye on Your Children

If you are a parent, babysitter or otherwise in charge of a minor child, it is a good idea to supervise that child at all times. While the park may have staff who can stop a child from getting hurt, the liability is generally on the parent or guardian to prevent a minor's reckless behavior.

If you or one of your children has been hurt at an amusement park, it is in your best interest to talk with an amusement park lawyer as soon as possible. You can get in touch with an attorney from The Doan Law Firm by calling (800) 349-0000. During the call, we can review your case and answer any questions that you may have.

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