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Amusement parks are popular recreational destinations for children and their families to visit and enjoy games, rides, and shows. Florida is home to arguably the most popular amusement park in history – Disney World. When rides malfunction or safety precautions are ignored, the consequences can be devastating. The speed, height, and velocity of the rides at amusement parks can make for a day of tragedy if something goes wrong.

Ideally, most would like to believe that amusement park owners and operators thoroughly follow safety regulations and closely monitor park features on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for park owners and operators to value profit over safety, and sometimes corners are cut in an effort to save time and money. If you or someone you love have been injured in an amusement park accident, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today to speak to a Miami personal injury attorney about what your options are for recovering damages.

Miami amusement park accident attorney

Causes and Injuries of Amusement Park Accidents

There are many different factors that have the potential to cause amusement park accidents to occur. Each amusement park is different and features a variety of rides and games. Some amusement parks have mostly water slides and aquatic features, while others are known for tall rollercoasters and thrill rides. Some of the most common causes of amusement park accidents include:

  • Operator error
  • Design defect
  • Mechanical failure of a ride
  • Inherent nature of a ride
  • Animal bites and attacks
  • Slippery floors
  • Falling objects
  • Failure to maintain equipment and rides
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Failure to warn passengers of dangers and restrictions
  • Lack of staff training and/or experience
  • Failure to follow height/weight/age requirements
  • Lack of supervision
  • Food poisoning

Injuries that can be sustained in amusement park accidents range from mild to severe. In some cases, especially when larger rides malfunction, death can even occur. Below is a list of injuries that victims of amusement park accidents have suffered:

Liability for Injuries Incurred at Amusement Parks

When an individual suffers injuries due to any of the factors described above, that person will usually pursue a personal injury claim based on a negligence theory. There are three essential elements that must be established in order for a plaintiff to show that a defendant was negligent. These elements are:

  1. The amusement park owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff;
  2. The amusement park breached this legal duty of care;
  3. As a result of this breach, the plaintiff suffered damages

Florida has a two year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means that a victim has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim in court. Florida also has a two year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. A victim’s family has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim in court.

Damages That May be Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If a judge finds that an amusement park was negligent and thus liable for a plaintiff’s injuries, the plaintiff may collect two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make a plaintiff “whole.” Compensatory damages are divided into two subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Examples of monetary damages include:

  • Present and future lost earnings
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Household services
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Wrongful death damages

Nonmonetary damages are more difficult to calculate but are still recoverable nonetheless. Examples of nonmonetary damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive damages are awarded in cases where a judge finds that a defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious or outrageous such that it shocks the conscience. The purpose of punitive damages is to make an example out of a defendant so as to deter others from committing similar acts in the future. Florida has a cap on the amount of punitive damages a plaintiff can collect in a personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff may collect three times the amount of compensatory damages that were awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Miami Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love have been injured in an amusement park accident, call a personal injury attorney right away. When you are up to your neck in medical bills and paperwork, the prospect of filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Let Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA take some of the weight off of your shoulders and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 for a free and confidential consultation.