The June 2007 amusement park accident at Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville that severed a young girl's feet brought national attention to the safety of amusement park rides. Ever since the accident, her parents have been lobbying the federal government for stricter control over amusement park rides. However, even if laws are passed requiring more oversight of the nation's theme parks, it may not cover some of the other rides that kids encounter.
There are basically three types of amusement rides. "Fixed rides" are those found in amusement parks. They are built on a particular site and never move. "Mobile rides" are taken to carnivals and festivals for a week or two, then are partially disassembled and moved to another location. The last category is "mall rides," which is fairly self-explanatory. These smaller rides are sprinkled throughout malls and grocery stores as entertainment for kids who have been dragged along on a shopping trip. The last two categories of rides are generally tamer than those found at permanent amusement parks, but they can still lead to injury.
One of the leading causes of injuries on mobile rides is the very fact that they are mobile. The constant taking down and putting back up allows for plenty of opportunities for something to be incorrectly installed. It also creates additional wear and tear on certain components of a ride. Mall rides, which are generally geared toward very young children are dangerous simply because they seem so safe. Unsuspecting parents may put their child on a ride without even noticing there is no safety belt to keep the child in place or realizing that their child will hit a very hard floor if they do fall off.
If a child is injured on an amusement ride, it can often be difficult to determine who was at fault. Even if the injury occurs at an amusement park, the park itself, the company that maintained the ride, the individual who was operating the ride, and company that designed it may all be at least partially at fault. The same applies to rides at carnivals and festivals, except it would be the venue, rather than an amusement park, that could be held liable. Mall rides are generally not operated by anyone other than the parent, so that would most likely leave the mall, the vendor that owns the rides, and the company that maintains them as possible defendants in a claim.
When cases involve numerous defendants, people often result to finger-pointing and saying "not me." This is why an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney can be a huge asset to your case. They can track multiple cases involving numerous documents and file claims where necessary, all while you tend to your injured child. If you have questions regarding this type of case or other Kentucky personal injury matter, contact an attorney at the offices of Miller & Falkner.
Amusement park, mall rides injuring thousands of U.S. kids each year; CBS News; Ryan Jaslow; May 1, 2013