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Determining Injury Liability at Amusement Parks

Posted on in Personal Injury

Determining Injury Liability at Amusement ParksAmusement parks and carnivals can be full of excitement for attendees but also rife with dangers. Accidents that occur on the large rides can cause serious and deadly injuries. There is also a possibility of injury at smaller attractions, where attendees can slip or bump into objects. Amusement park injuries often fall under the premises liability section of personal injury law. Illinois law requires ride operators to have liability insurance in case of injuries. Identifying which party is liable for your injuries depends on the cause of the accident.

Owners and Operators

The people who own and run an amusement venue are often most directly liable for any injuries that occur on their premises. Examples of negligence include:

  • Improperly operating the equipment;
  • Lacking safety mechanisms on rides;
  • Not warning patrons of safety hazards that are not apparent;
  • Not securing or properly installing mobile rides and attractions;
  • Listing incorrect height and weight requirements for rides; and
  • Not providing lighting to help patrons see walking hazards.


A ride can malfunction for reasons other than a lack of maintenance or operator error. The company that made the ride may be liable for the personal injury compensation if its design was flawed or equipment was faulty. In some cases, the owner of the amusement park may also be responsible for creating and building the rides. For mobile amusement venues, such as traveling carnivals, it is possible that the owners purchased the ride from a third-party manufacturer.

Patron Liability

Amusement park attendees bare some personal responsibility for their own safety. Park owners are highly aware of the potential for injury liability with certain attractions and often have repeated written and verbal warnings. A patron who blatantly disregards those warnings may be the party who is most liable for his or her own injuries, which could prevent him or her from receiving any injury compensation.

Evaluating Ride Injury Cases

Amusement parks and carnivals can come in many sizes and forms. The stationary theme parks are the largest operators of amusement rides, but community organizations hold smaller events that may last for only a day. Though a village government or park district may host a carnival, an outside vendor is likely running the rides and other attractions.

An amusement company that is liable for your injuries may offer you a settlement instead of allowing your case to go to court. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can evaluate how much compensation you need for your injuries and if it is in your best interest to take a settlement offer. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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