If there was a ride that had the phrase “super death” in its description, would you avoid that ride like the plague or be the first in line to try it? Well, fortunately for some daredevils, there is a ride in Japan that is known for its “super death” acceleration.
The Do-Dodonpa, a roller coaster located in Fuji-Q Highland Park in Japan, is able to hit 112 miles per hour in about 1.5 seconds. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the ride is currently shut down after several riders sustained serious bone fractures. According to several news reports, there were six total cases of fractures connected to the roller coaster, with four cases reporting fractures in the back and neck.
Fuji-Q Highland Park is also receiving backlash for failing to report these cases to the government in a timely manner. The four cases of fractures in the back and neck have been categorized as significant injuries, with two of the cases including a cervical fracture and a thoracic spine fracture. The total recovery time for the riders to recover will take about three months. Although incidents like these can be extreme, injuries from amusement parks occur more often than people care to think about.
What makes amusement rides so dangerous?
What makes amusement rides so dangerous are the very same things that attract many people to amusement rides – the thrill and excitement. Many amusement park rides are designed with the intent to challenge safety and gravity, and many people – particularly children – are encouraged by the risks that are associated with the rides.
However, despite the instructions and safety tips provided by the management staff, riders are still at risk of sustaining injuries from amusement park rides. The park management and staff have a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for all patrons of the amusement park. Failing to provide a safe environment for all patrons can make the amusement park liable for any injuries sustained from patrons.
What are some examples of negligence by amusement park management and staff?
Because the amusement park is liable for all of the actions of its employees, patrons can sue the amusement park when the management or staff acts negligently in regard to the patrons’ safety. One of the ways that amusement park management and staff can cause serious injuries to patrons is failing to operate the machinery in a proper and safe manner or inspect and maintain the safety of the ride.
This type of negligence occurs when the management or staff fails to notice a manufacturing defect in the amusement park ride or fails to provide the adequate safety instructions to riders. If a lap bar is damaged, for example, and a person is ejected from the ride and dies, that is an example of failing to maintain the ride.
Another common cause for injury to patrons is the failure of the management to properly train their staff on operating the amusement park rides properly. Some common examples of failing to operate the rides properly are when ride operators fail to correct the seat belts for riders, failing to secure the harnesses properly as a result of rushing, or stopping the ride at the most inappropriate times, such as when the amusement park ride is in mid-air.
Giving the incorrect instructions to riders can also be categorized as another form of negligence on the part of the amusement park staff. Riders must follow all safety precautions and instructions to avoid a serious injury from the rides, and when ride operators provide the wrong sets of instructions (or fail to provide the correct set of instructions), it can put the patron(s) at a greater chance of sustaining an injury.
What are some of the common injuries from amusement park rides?
The negligence of the amusement park management and staff can cause serious injuries for patrons. Aside from immediate death from falling off of an amusement park ride, some of the common injuries sustained from amusement park rides include broken bones, concussions, neck injuries such as whiplash, and back and spinal cord injuries.
If the trauma to the neck is extreme, some patrons can be at risk of experiencing a stroke due to damage to the ligaments in the neck. Sometimes the intense nature of the ride is enough to cause a significant injury to a rider. Patrons can experience lacerations and muscle strains from the impact sustained from a ride. When it comes to any water rides and slides, drowning accidents are likely to occur.
Can patrons sustain injuries outside of amusement park rides?
Although injuries from the amusement park rides are the most severe types of injuries patrons can sustain, there are other forms of negligence on the part of the amusement park management and staff that can lead to sustaining injuries outside of the rides. For example, when an amusement park has poor lighting or poor security, these types of factors can lead to crimes such as assault or robbery, particularly if the amusement park has a parking lot. Another type of injury that can cause serious injuries for patrons includes a slip and fall accident. These types of accidents can occur when amusement park management and staff fail to post warning signs such as a wet floor sign or warn patrons to avoid slippery surfaces.
How can a personal injury attorney help a victim of an amusement park accident?
An Oklahoma City personal injury attorney can help a victim of an amusement park accident by taking advantage of several legal claims that the victim can make against the amusement park. In addition to negligence, the attorney can help raise a product liability claim against the amusement park if the rides were discovered to be defective. A premises liability claim can also be raised against the amusement park for failing to provide a reasonably safe environment.
If you were injured because of a property defect or a defective product, a personal injury lawyer at our firm can help you seek compensation from property owners directly. Our Oklahoma City accident attorneys understand the serious effects that amusement park accidents can have on your health and well-being, and we take every case seriously to get you the compensation you need. To learn more about how we assist accident victims, contact Cunningham & Mears or call (405) 232-1212, today for a free initial consultation. Complete the contact form and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More