Seasonal fairs are wildly popular in Fairfield County during the late summer and early fall months. Thanks to seasonable temperatures and no shortage of things to do, it's not uncommon to see people of all ages enjoying food, drink and countless activities on Fairfield County fairgrounds.
Our personal injury lawyers in Fairfield County understand that thousands of people flock to the area to visit amusement parks, festivals and county fairs each year, from Westport's Blues, Views & BBQ Festival and Stamford's Stars Fest to the thrills of Lake Compounce. While visitors go to have fun and generally don't think about getting seriously injured or killed, they do face risks of getting hurt or worse. Owners and management of amusement parks and fairs have a responsibility to keep visitors safe from harm.
When the operators of rides or the managers who hire them are negligent, accidents can happen in a matter of seconds at amusement parks and carnivals and spark a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. And as a recent Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study revealed, these accidents appear to becoming more common across the United States.
Staying Safe at Carnivals, Fairs and Amusement Parks
According to Market Watch, the study - conducted by the CPSC's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System - found that emergency room visits for amusement ride-related injuries nearly doubled between 2005 and 2012.
In 2005, the estimated amount of emergency room visits for ride-related injuries was 15,412. Emergency room visits increased every year, the study revealed, before peaking in 2012 with 20,342 hospital visits. Despite these eye-opening statistics, Market Watch reports that state and federal officials have done little to regulate theme parks and carnivals throughout the country.
Officials from the Consumer Federation of America told Market Watch that there is little indication before an accident about whether a ride poses a risk, and park visitors don't believe they will be severely injured or killed while visiting a carnival or theme park.
Market Watch offered the following safety tips to park-goers to avoid serious accidents at amusement parks and carnivals:
- Always follow instructions, including keeping safety belts fastened and hands or feet inside the ride as directed.
- Make sure ride operators are paying attention.
- Make sure ride operators adhere to ride instruction such as height requirements.
- Search for visible ride inspection stickers and make sure safety harnesses work properly.
What Causes Amusement Park and Carnival Injuries and Fatalities?
New England Cable News reported that a popular New Hampshire theme park recently shut down its newest ride for the 'foreseeable future' in light of a number of mechanical issues.
According to the article, officials at Canobie Lake Park made the choice to shut down popular ride Equinox - which relies on three mechanical arms that swing, twist and lift participants up to 75 feet in the air - after employees said mechanical problems left the ride inoperable.
Park officials said safety was not an issue in choosing to shut down the ride. There was no one specific cause for the lack of the ride's regular operation. However, park officials chose to shut down the ride less than two years after its opening in light of multiple shut-downs since its inception.
Many amusement park and carnival accidents don't just happen on rides. Accidents may be linked to slip and falls or to robberies or assaults because of inadequate security. In any accident, someone can suffer a traumatic brain injury or other serious injury that may have a long-term physical, emotional and financial impact. Whatever the nature of the accident, people injured at theme parks through no fault of their own should contact an attorney to evaluate their legal options.
If you've been injured or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident at a fair, carnival or amusement park, don't hesitate to contact Vishno Law Firm today. Call 888-222-1688 or visit www.vishnolawfirm.com for a free case consultation.