As we head into the final month of summer, there is sure to be an increase in attendance at amusement parks and water parks all over Texas. Popular destinations include Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and the Kemah Boardwalk outside Houston to Six Flags theme parks in San Antonio and Arlington.
Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy roller coasters and other attractions at these entertainment destinations every year without issue, but there are occasions in which accidents occur. Depending on the type of ride on which an accident happens, the injuries a person sustains can be catastrophic or even fatal. If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed at an amusement or water park in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation if the accident was the result of negligence of the theme park or one of its employees.
Some examples of amusement park injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Injury During a Ride (Roller Coaster Deaths) — The Consumer Product Safety Commission no longer tracks amusement park deaths, but NBC News reported last month that a survey by industry trade group the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions found that more than 1,200 people were injured on rides at about 400 American amusement parks in 2011. Last July, a 52-year-old woman fell about 75 feet to her death while riding the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. The park and the manufacturer of the roller coaster train cars blamed one another for the accident, according to the Dallas Morning News. Some of the reasons an individual might sustain injuries on a roller coaster or other ride include, but are not limited to ride operator error, mechanical failure of rides due to age and poor maintenance, or poorly designed or defective rides.
- Slip and Fall Accidents — While most of us think of theme park injuries as being exclusively the result of roller coasters and thrill rides, the truth is that several people are actually injured in slip and fall accidents on amusement park property. These cases might include, but are not limited to unmarked hazards, defective benches or other seating, failure to clean up slick surfaces, broken stair railings.
- On-Premises Assaults and Robberies Due to Negligent Security — Visitors enter amusement parks to escape and enjoy themselves, but there are also individuals who go precisely to take advantage of those who momentarily let their guards down. Sometimes park officials catch individuals in the act, like when security guards caught a 41-year-old man using a video camera to capture improper, unauthorized images of young girls and women at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Incidents on amusement park property can include, but are not limited to assault, sexual assault, battery, mugging, robbery, shooting, stabbing, or other acts of violence resulting from inadequate security or poor lighting.
Because the statute of limitations is very short in most of these cases and many serious injuries can lead to increased medical expenses and inability to return to work, it is important to contact an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you or your loved one was significantly hurt at Galveston Pleasure Pier, the Kemah Boardwalk, or any other Texas amusement park, you should immediately seek legal representation.