Texas Amusement Park Accidents

Amusement Park Accident Lawyers Serving Clients Nationwide From Our Texas Offices in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Austin

Amusement parks can be a great way to spend time with your young children. However, the park staff must ensure that they are following age, height, and other requirements to protect your child from harm and the park must maintain their rides to keep kids safe.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and serious injuries can occur as a result.

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Causes of Amusement Park Accidents

According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports, the most common causes of amusement park accidents include mechanical failures, operator behavior, and consumer behavior.

If your child has been injured at an amusement park, three types of law may apply – negligence, premises liability, and product liability law. A number of factors may be involved and a variety of responsible parties could be liable for your child’s injury. Thus, it is important that you seek immediate help from an experienced child injury attorney.

The “Roller Coaster Loophole”

The “Roller Coaster Loophole” refers to wording that was added to the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1981 that prevents federal safety experts from investigating fixed-site roller coaster accidents. This means that any amusement ride that is permanently attached to the ground is subject to state regulation. Mobile amusement rides however are subject to federal regulation. Often times you will find that fixed-site amusement ride regulations are often overlooked due to oversight from state officials.

Injured in an Amusement Park Accident? Contact an Experienced Injury Attorney

Amusement parks are intended to give families a fun, entertaining venue to have fun and relax. The last thing people should worry about when at an amusement park is their safety and the safety of their children. Regulation and oversight of fixed-site amusement parks can be lacking, which could lead to unsafe rides and experiences. If you or a loved one were injured while at an amusement park, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free case review.

Our experienced amusement park injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to take your call. Thomas J. Henry has offices located in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin, serving clients across Texas and nationwide.

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Your Amusement Park Accident Questions Answered

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you make critical decisions, navigate legal process and help you get justice.

Following an amusement park accident, there are always more questions than answers. At Thomas J. Henry, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your injury case.

If you or a loved one were injured on someone’s property and believe your injury was the result of the property owner’s failure to provide reasonable protection, following these steps may help build your product liability case.

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries
  • Ensure that you or loved ones’ well being is taken care of before taking any other actions
  • Report the incident to the owner or manager of the property
  • Make sure to get a copy of the incident report
  • Take pictures of the area where the accident happened
  • Photos with a date and time are important, because evidence could be removed
  • Get names and phone numbers of any people who witnessed the accident
  • Witnesses will help prove your story in the future
  • Call an experienced injury attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has the experience and resources necessary to retrieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries

In most situations, a property owner owes a general duty of care toward those injured on his property. How far this duty of care extends is dependent on the relationship between the property owner and the injured person. In most premises liability cases, plaintiffs will fall into one of three categories:

  • Licensee: A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits expressly or implicitly to be on his property without a contractual relationship or trade of benefits. A houseguest is normally considered a licensee.
  • Invitee: An invitee is an individual who visits a property for a reason that benefits both the visitor and the property owner. A common example of an invitee is a shopper visiting a grocery store. In this instance, the shopper benefits from getting groceries and the store benefits from the shopper spending their money. A residential example of an invitee would include a contractor hired by a homeowner to complete repairs on a property. While a transfer of money is common in invitee situations, it is not required.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is a visitor who comes onto a property without permission of the property owner.

If you are visiting a business as a customer, then you are considered an invitee and the property owner owes you a duty of care. Part of this duty of care is that the owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe for invitees. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about as well as inspecting the property and either fixing or warning invitees about any dangerous conditions.

For example, in a situation in which liquid was spilled, the store would either have to clean up the spill in a timely manner or provide notification, such as a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign, to invitees provided the spill was known about or should have reasonably been known about.

If you feel that your injury was the result of a business owner’s failure to fulfill a reasonable duty of care, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Whether you can sue a property owner depends whether the property owner owed you a duty of care and whether the property owner breached that duty of care. The duty of care owed to you by the property owner depends on your relationship with the property owner. Typically, you as a visitor will fall into one of three categories:

  • Licensee: A licensee is a visitor whom the property owner permits expressly or implicitly to be on his property without a contractual relationship or trade of benefits. A houseguest is normally considered a licensee.
  • Invitee: An invitee is an individual who visits a property for a reason that benefits both the visitor and the property owner. A common example of an invitee is a shopper visiting a grocery store. In this instance, the shopper benefits from getting groceries and the store benefits from the shopper spending their money. A residential example of an invitee would include a contractor hired by a homeowner to complete repairs on a property. While a transfer of money is common in invitee situations, it is not required.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is a visitor who comes onto a property without permission of the property owner.

Once that is established, your attorney will begin to look at the duty of care owed:

  • Duty of Care Owed to Licensees: The property owner is usually only liable for willful or wanton injury to a licensee. This means the property owner must exercise enough care to prevent injury to a visitor who is known to be or could reasonably be expected to be within the range of a dangerous act or condition (i.e. warn the licensee of a known hazard). However, the property owner is not required to inspect the premises or to immediately fix dangerous conditions.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Invitees: The property owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that is commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers: Because there is now true relationship between a trespasser or property owner, the law is much more lenient when it comes to the duty of care owed by the property owner. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse in order to catch trespassers.

If it is determined that the plaintiff was an invitee of the business owner, then the business owner has a legal duty to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe for that invitee. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about as well as regularly inspecting the property in order to fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions.

Situations involving invitees in which a business owner may have failed to provide a duty of ordinary care and may be liable for a visitor’s injuries include:

  • Injuries caused by a defective sliding door
  • Injuries caused by improperly assembled shelves
  • Injuries caused by improperly assembled and/or poorly maintained ceilings
  • A business owner failing to provide a safe parking lot for customers
  • Slip and fall injuries caused by a wet floor

However, even if a visitor is determined to be a trespasser, a business owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by the trespasser if it is determined that the business owner created dangerous conditions on his property or attempted to make known dangerous conditions worse in order to catch or punish trespassers.

After determining which category an injured falls into, a court will analyze what duty of care is owed by the property owner.  Generally, the duty of care will be as follows:

  • Duty of Care Owed to Licensees: The property owner is usually only liable for willful or wanton injury to a licensee. This means the property owner must exercise enough care to prevent injury to a visitor who is known to be or could reasonably be expected to be within the range of a dangerous act or condition (i.e. warn the licensee of a known hazard). However, the property owner is not required to inspect the premises or to immediately fix dangerous conditions.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Invitees: The property owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about. The property owner must also inspect the property and must either fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions. An example of this is the “Caution: Wet Floor” signs that is commonly used in retail and grocery stores.
  • Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers: Because there is now true relationship between a trespasser or property owner, the law is much more lenient when it comes to the duty of care owed by the property owner. The property owner is not required to fix any dangerous conditions nor must the property owner warn trespassers about potential hazards. However, a property owner can be held liable for creating dangerous conditions on his property or making dangers conditions worse in order to catch trespassers.

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