If you have been hurt while on a rollercoaster or have been hurt for any other reason at a park or fairground, you should call a Houston amusement park accident lawyer. Talking with an amusement park injury attorney can make it possible to learn more about the types of compensation that you are entitled to, how long you have to pursue your case as well as whether you should choose to settle or go to trial.
Houston Amusement Park Injury Resources
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Injuries that occur at amusement parks often lead to significant setbacks for victims. Information presented by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital indicates that the most common types of injuries that occur include:
Bumps and bruises – 29%
Sprains and strains – 21%
Cuts – 20%
Other injuries – 20%
Fractures – 10%
Data also indicates that the most commonly injured body parts at an amusement park are the head and neck. These are certainly not the only types of injuries that can occur at an amusement park in Houston. If you have any questions about whether or not you have an injury claim against an amusement park operator, we encourage you to reach out to one of our attorneys for a free consultation today.
What Causes Amusement Park Accidents?
Further examining information from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows us some of the more common causes of amusement park injuries in and around the Houston area. This includes the following:
Falling in, off, on, or against the ride
Hitting the body on the ride or hit by something while riding
Getting a body part or clothing caught on the ride
Sustaining an injury while getting on or off the ride
Getting struck by a moving or stationary ride
Those may be the direct and immediate causes of an injury, but it is typical for there to be some underlying fault involved. This can include:
Inappropriate ride operator behavior
Defects when designing construction rides
Uninspected or unrepaired rides
Improper or broken safety locks and restraints
Workers not following height and weight restrictions for rides
Unsafe loading or unloading practices
Failure to post proper warning signs
All of these common causes of amusement park accidents involve the actual rides themselves, but it is also important to look at other common causes of premises liability claims when we examine amusement park injuries. Just like any other business, operators of amusement parks have a responsibility to patrons. This responsibility extends beyond the actual rides themselves. The entire property, including all walkways and other buildings involved, must be regularly inspected and maintained in order to ensure safety. Individuals can sustain slip and fall injuries or be hurt by falling objects or poorly maintained areas just like they can in any other location.
Should I Settle My Case or Go to Trial?
There is no easy answer when it comes to whether you should settle or go to trial to resolve your case. However, your amusement park accident attorney will work with you to help make a decision that is in your best interest. It is important to point out that you are 100 percent in control throughout the entire process.
If you want to settle, your Houston personal injury attorney will work on a settlement agreement even if you may be leaving money on the table. We want you to feel good about your legal representation and feel good about the outcome of your case as it is the first step toward both your physical and mental recovery.
However, it is always in your best interest to talk with an attorney before you decide to accept a settlement. The insurance companies and other interested parties may pressure you to take less than what you may be owed before you are ready to make such a decision. While the offer you receive may be fair, there is no way to know unless you have someone with knowledge of personal injury cases take a look at it first.
What Indicates Fault After a Houston Amusement Park Accident?
In order to recover compensation after an amusement park injury occurs, individuals will have to file a claim or lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. This is typically the company involved with overseeing the amusement park along with any negligent ride operators. However, there may be ride companies or manufacturers also facing a lawsuit in the event a ride was defective.
Determining the liability of these alleged negligent parties is paramount to recovering compensation. An investigation must be conducted into the incident in order to obtain as much evidence as possible to determine what happened. Due to the very nature of an amusement park, the evidence tends to disappear quickly, either intentionally or unintentionally. Proving fault may involve obtaining video surveillance footage of the incident but typically requires taking a deeper dive into the overall operation of the amusement park and workers.
Aside from direct evidence from photographs or video surveillance, other indicators of fault can include shoddy maintenance and inspection records, poor employee training, and statements from workers or other eyewitnesses to the incident.
Who Is Liable for Damages Owed?
One of the most important questions that your amusement park injury attorney in Houston will work with you to answer is who is responsible for your injuries. If you were hurt on a ride, either the person responsible for operating it or the party responsible for maintaining it could be held liable. In some cases, it may be both parties assuming that they both acted in a negligent manner.
The amusement park itself may be liable for your injuries if it didn’t take steps to properly train or oversee its staff. This may mean that a ride operator was allowed to come to work while impaired or wasn’t properly trained to do his or her job. It may also mean that the rides themselves weren’t maintained properly.
You may be able to bolster your case by finding records of previous injuries attributed to a ride or the amusement park itself where you were hurt. Your attorney will comb through maintenance records and other physical evidence available to show that you were not at fault for your injuries and that negligence was a factor in your accident.
How a Houston Amusement Park Injury Attorney Can Help
A skilled amusement park accident lawyer in Houston will play a multifaceted role when it comes to helping clients recover compensation after an injury. We previously mentioned how complex these cases can be, particularly when it comes to gathering evidence. An attorney will step in quickly and begin obtaining as much evidence as possible. This includes getting to the scene of the incident and examining photographs or video surveillance available. An attorney will speak to any eyewitnesses involved in the incident, including other amusement park patrons as well as employees at the amusement park.
Importantly, an attorney will make sure that their client is evaluated by trusted medical and economic professionals. These individuals can help adequately calculate how much compensation the amusement park injury victim should receive. An attorney will then handle all negotiations with other parties, including the insurance carriers, the alleged negligent individual or business, as well as legal teams. If the other parties fail to offer a fair settlement, an attorney will help file a civil personal injury lawsuit and take the case to a jury.
How Much Can I Get From a Settlement or Jury Award?
The amount that you can receive from a settlement depends on a number of factors. For instance, if you are unable to go to work after your injuries, you may be entitled to lost wages and lost future earnings. Those amounts will be based on what you make now and what you could have made in the future based on a number of variables such as your chances of getting a promotion or how many years you would have worked.
You may also be entitled to medical bills incurred because you were hurt in an amusement park. The amount that you are entitled to could very well be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars depending on what you needed to get better. Those who have insurance may also have many of their costs covered or be charged less for services simply because they have insurance.
It is also possible that you will be given punitive damages on top of your actual damages. In theory, there is no limit to what a jury may award, but a judge may reduce that amount depending on relevant factors in your case. All told, you could receive a few thousand dollars if your injuries and other costs are minor or millions of dollars if the injury alters your way of life significantly.
Steps to Follow After an Amusement Park Injury
There are various steps that amusement park injury victims in Houston can take after the incident occurs.
Obtaining medical care. The number one priority after an amusement park injury is seeking medical care. Many amusement parks have medical staff on hand that can help initially treat the injuries, but individuals should also seek treatment from emergency personnel.
Reporting the injury. Individuals should speak to employees or representatives from the amusement park to report the injury. Every amusement park will have an official reporting process, and they do need to know about the injury so they can begin their internal processes and claims.
Obtaining evidence. It may be possible to gather some evidence at the scene of the incident. This can include using a phone to take photographs or video surveillance of the entire area. However, obtaining this evidence may not be possible if the injury is relatively severe. If there were any eyewitnesses to the incident, their names and contact information should be written down so they can be contacted for a statement later on.
Reaching out to an attorney. We encourage you to reach out to a skilled Houston amusement park injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can take over every aspect of the case on behalf of their client.
Continuing medical care. Individuals need to continue all medical treatments recommended by their doctor in order to help ensure their claim is successful.
Speak to a Houston Amusement Park Accident Attorney Today
If you have been hurt at an amusement park, you deserve to be compensated for both physical and mental anguish that you may suffer from. After you have seen a doctor, your next move should be to contact The Doan Law Firm at 1 Riverway, Suite 2500 Houston, Texas 77056. You may also call if you prefer to speak to us by phone at (800) 349-0000.