Amusement Park Accidents
Amusement parks can be a lot of fun, but they can also cause serious injuries and even death. Guest safety should be of paramount importance to the owners of amusement parks and their employees, but unfortunately this is not always the case. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Florida amusement park accident, the Pembroke Pines premises liability attorneys at Cohn & Smith are here to guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and costs.
Although any amusement or theme park ride is capable of hurting patrons if it is not properly operated or if a mechanical failure occurs, so-called “thrill” rides like roller coasters and other risky, high-speed attractions are particularly problematic. These rides are capable of causing brain injuries, neck injuries, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, aneurysms, severed limbs, amputations, contusions, lacerations, and other catastrophic injuries. Bumper cars, water rides, and swings are also much more dangerous than amusement park operators would like guests to believe.Seeking Compensation for an Amusement Park Accident in South Florida
If an injured guest or the family of someone who died as a result of an amusement park accident can establish a negligence claim against the defendant amusement park, the guest or family may be entitled to compensation. The four elements of negligence are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The plaintiff has the burden of proving each of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence. This means only that they are more likely than not to be true. In many instances, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages from an amusement park based on a theory of vicarious liability if an accident resulted from an employee’s negligence. Vicarious liability holds employers accountable for careless conduct by their employees in the scope of the job.
Under Florida law, the defendant in a negligence case may be able to argue that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident. The doctrine of pure comparative fault may operate to reduce a plaintiff’s compensation award in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to him or her by the jury. For example, if the jury determines that the amusement park (individually or through an employee) was 80% at fault and that the plaintiff was 20% at fault, the plaintiff still will be able to receive compensation for 80% of the total damages that he or she sustained.
If a defendant is found to have behaved in a reckless manner, it may be possible for the plaintiff to receive a judgment for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. However, punitive damages are generally available only in the most egregious cases.Discuss Your Premises Liability Claim with a Pembroke Pines Attorney
If someone in your family has been harmed by a negligent or reckless amusement park owner or employee, you should seek an injury attorney’s advice as soon as possible. You can expect that the park’s insurance company will have an adjuster, an attorney, and other professionals working on the case within hours of the amusement park accident. To schedule a free consultation with a Pembroke Pines lawyer, call Cohn & Smith today at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online. We represent victims and their families throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Weston, Sunrise, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Aventura, and communities throughout North Dade County.