No doubt you’ve heard all the horror stories about theme park injuries, and perhaps felt terrified at the thought of ever stepping onto a ferris wheel ever again. Stories of limbs being crushed or severed burst blood vessels in the brain, or people choking to death on an undercooked chilli dog. It should come as no surprise that you should believe everything you read or see on the internet, especially as it has a tendency to get a little over excited about everything at the best of times.
Keeping a sober and measured perspective of the reality of theme park injuries is essential if you’re ever considering a theoretical lawsuit when attending a theme park. As the extent of the injuries suffered will determine the compensation received, knowing what to expect will help you plan more effectively.
Keeping A Level Head
The problem with stories about any sort of calamity such as theme park injuries is that you’ll hear the worst more than any other kind of injury. A roller coaster running off its track and causing the deaths or injury of a few score people is far more newsworthy than an emergency stop causing someone to chip their teeth on the lap bar. This skews perspective a little, giving the impression that any injury suffered on a coaster (or any other ride) is fairly grievous.
The truth of the matter is, major disasters like that are exceedingly rare.
Keep in mind that all theme parks that you want to visit must be kept up to fairly strict health and safety codes. This is not just a matter of state or federal law, but also self-interest on the part of the park’s owners. They do not want the expense of a lawsuit because a ride was shown to be dangerous to its riders. So for the most part, you can rest assured that any ride you visit at a theme park has been rigorously tested for safety, and has numerous mechanisms in place to bring the ride to a safe stop if something should go wrong.
Usually, when you see a major accident, or even a death, at a theme park, it’s because one of those safety measures suffered a colossal and (freak) failure, or someone failed to properly follow safety protocols.
However, this does not, quite naturally, cover travelling fairs or cheaper, more questionable parks. In these cases, you should probably exercise more caution. While again there’s an interest in the ride’s owner to keep it safe, it’s unlikely to be as rigorously protected and tested as a ride at an established theme park.
Thus, whenever you visit a theme park, the injuries you’re most likely to experience are probably going to be relatively minor. Expect such mundane things such as:
Trips and falls on steps
Bruised ribs or limbs from loose or over-tight restraints
Chipped, cracked, or knocked out teeth
Bruised or fractured bones
Light lacerations or abrasions
Illness caused by ill-prepared food
Broken limbs are also a possibility, however, that’s getting to the rarer end of the spectrum.
Protecting Yourself and Others
Be aware that every ride at a respectable theme park will have listed instructions on how to behave while on a ride. These will be listed throughout the queueing area and on the loading bay of the ride itself. This is the usual “Please remain seated, and keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times” spiel that should be fairly familiar to you. To prevent injury, and potentially death, while at a theme park, make sure you follow those safety instructions closely.
“I’ve Suffered an Injury, What Should I Do?”
Should you suffer an injury at a theme park despite your best efforts, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Immediately after your injury – as in while the blood is still cooling on the tarmac – make sure you start gathering evidence for your case. Contact a reputable attorney who deals with theme park injury cases, such as David Heil, a Walt Disney World accident attorney.