Question for Attorney Carbone: Who is Responsible for My Son’s Amusement Park Injury?
Question: My husband and I took our 8-year-old son to a local carnival this weekend. While he was riding one of the kiddie rides, the bolt holding the safety bar in place had come out and caused my son to be flung back and forth during the ride, injuring his neck and head. How are we going to pay for the injury? Shouldn’t the carnival pay for the injury?
Answer: We’re sorry to hear about your son and hope for a speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, amusement park accidents happen all the time. According to a 2013 study from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, between 1990 and 2010, 92,885 children under the age of 18 were treated at emergency rooms across the country for amusement ride-related injuries. More than 70 percent of those injuries occurred during summer months where on average, emergency rooms saw 20 injuries per day.
Unfortunately, there are many deficiencies with how these parks are regulated, especially when it comes to fairs and carnivals. Although the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for investigating these injuries, many of these standards are considered voluntary. Not only that, but the agency is underfunded and undermanned, so it’s hard to keep up with the numerous fairs and carnivals that travel throughout the country.
Despite its temporary nature, carnivals and fairs are just as responsible for any negligence that occurs. In the case you described above, it sounds like there was a mechanical failure which means the fault does lie with the owners of the carnival. It’s considered a product liability claim since the carnival’s product, i.e. a defective ride, is the cause of your son’s injury.
According to New Jersey law, your first step is to provide the carnival with a written notice, including all the details of the incident that involved injury within 90 days. Failure to do so could mean you risk failure to bring a lawsuit against the organization.
If you are in need of your claim against the carnival, we can lend a hand. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.