Carnival to Courtroom: The Dark Side of Carnival Attractions


The thrill of carnivals and amusement parks holds undeniable appeal; the smell of cotton candy in the air, bright lights illuminating happy faces, and most notably, the exhilarating rides that promise a rush like no other.

Yet behind this joy and excitement lies a potentially serious issue: the dangers linked to these rides. From high-speed roller coasters to spinning teacups, these popular attractions also come with risks that you might not have considered.

Understanding these dangers is crucial for ensuring your safety and preserving the enjoyable nature of carnivals. With knowledge and precautionary measures in hand, you can minimize risks while maximizing fun.

This article will discuss the risks associated with carnival and amusement park rides, shed light on the potential injuries that might result, and guide you through steps to take if you experience such an incident.

5 Common Causes of Carnival Ride Accidents

Learning about the causes of carnival ride accidents is crucial for understanding their potential risks. Some of the most common causes include:

1.Mechanical Failures

Mechanical failures often top the list. They can result from simple wear and tear or lack of appropriate maintenance. Over time, these rides can rapidly deteriorate due to the continuous stress placed on them by constant usage. This is incredibly dangerous if the rides aren't properly maintained.

2. Operator Error

Operator error also plays a significant role in ensuring ride safety. Any lapse in attention or mismanagement could lead to serious accidents. It's an unfortunate yet inescapable reality that a large number of accidents are often attributed to human errors.

3. Design Flaws

In an industry where the goal is to offer maximum thrill and excitement, sometimes safety considerations take a backseat. Design flaws, which are often a result of prioritizing fun and excitement over security, can cause serious accidents at carnivals and amusement parks.

4. Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also pose significant risks for these rides. The unpredictability of weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy rain, can make even the safest rides dangerous. Other unexpected situations such as power outages can lead to serious mishaps.

5. Lack of Seat Belts and Other Safety Mechanisms

Inadequate safety mechanisms, such as a broken seat belt or lack of seat belts are other major contributors to carnival ride accidents. At times, some rides may lack proper restraints, leaving passengers vulnerable to potential falls or injuries. Even if seat belts exist, they require regular inspections and replacements for wear and tear. Unfortunately, this is a responsibility that is frequently overlooked, often leading to unfortunate consequences.

By understanding these causes and the risks associated with carnival rides, you’re better equipped to enjoy them safely and determine rides that you might want to skip.

Real-Life Incidents of Carnival Ride Accidents

While amusement park ride accidents do not occur that often, the consequences can be devastating and even deadly when they happen. Here are several unfortunate instances where these types of accidents have occurred:

Consider Tyre Sampson's tragic case. On March 24, he fell to his death from almost 400 feet while on one of the tallest freestanding drop towers globally in ICON Park. Sampson was not properly secured in his seat, and he tragically slipped out of his seat as the ride descended.

In another distressing incident, a six-year-old child suffered injuries at an Orlando-area theme park after falling off a roller coaster. Although his injuries were not life-threatening, this incident will likely haunt him and his family for many years to come.

Years ago, we handled a case where a woman who was walking on the metal deck of a ride. The deck was slippery when wet. There were no warning signs. Since we handle a lot of slip and fall and trip and fall accidents, we took it on and we got a very good result for the person whom we represented. Believe it or not, that was about 41 years ago. We’ve handled probably at least 1,000 trip and slip and fall accidents since then.

These cases serve as reminders of the dangers that could be involved in carnival and amusement park rides.

Legal Recourse After Carnival Accidents

If you've been a victim of a carnival ride accident, remember that you may be able to seek financial compensation for any injuries or damages done to you or your family.

Economic Damages

These damages include specific monetary losses that come from an injury, such as medical expenses, loss of income or earning capacity, property damage, and any other out-of-pocket costs related to your accident and injuries. In the most unfortunate situations, this could also include funeral and burial expenses.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages recognize the losses that don’t have a monetary value attached to them. This usually includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life caused by the accident and injuries. It's difficult to put these damages into monetary terms, but with the right lawyer, they can help you determine what you're entitled to.

Monetary compensation can't reverse your loss or physical injuries, but it can provide you with the means to seek necessary therapy, cover medical bills, and offer a path towards closure. Ultimately, this financial relief allows you to gradually move forward and receive the appropriate care needed on your journey to recovery.

Proving Liability in Carnival Ride Accidents

Proving liability, which involves establishing who is legally responsible for a carnival ride accident can seem overwhelming. However, this process is crucial because the party found liable (or their insurance company) will typically be the one paying any damages owed to you. Most carnival ride accidents are due to around negligence or product liability.

Proving Negligence

Most personal injury cases involve proving negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise proper care and safety precautions expected under the circumstances. Some examples of evidence that could help prove negligence can include testimony about faulty rides, proof of improper maintenance or staff training, and evidence of violations of ride operating standards.

Product Liability

In cases where a defect, such as faulty seatbelts, causes an accident leading, liability may fall on designers, manufacturers, distributors, or suppliers. These parties would be responsible for your damages.

Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney

Having an experienced personal injury attorney familiar with carnival ride and amusement park cases will help steer your case towards success. If you or a loved one were recently involved in a carnival or amusement ride accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Our team of reputable Florida personal injury attorneys serves the greater areas of Coral Springs, Tamarac, Lauderhill, Coconut Creek, Lauderdale Lakes, Plantation, Sunrise, and the entire State of Florida. Schedule your free consultation with the Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. today.