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Amusement Park Accidents

Amusement Park Accidents and Injuries

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.


The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) says over 335 million people visit one of the more than 400 amusement parks in the United States every year. An average of 7,000 of these people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries they sustained in amusement park ride accidents.

  • In 2002, mobile amusement rides accounted for an estimated 3,000 non-occupational injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms.
  • In 2000, there were an estimated 10,580 emergency room-treated injuries associated with both fixed-site and mobile amusement rides. From 1993 through 2000, there was a statistically significant increase in the total number of amusement ride injuries.
  • Most injuries occurred to children 10-14 years old (17.9%), with children 5-9 (12.6%) and 15-19 years old (13.8%) next, but with many victims 0-4 years old (6.3%).
  • Females (60.8%) were injured about 1.5 times more often than males (39.2%), and this difference held across ride sites, age groups, injured body parts, and diagnoses.


According to 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.


Injuries suffered at amusement parks can range from minor to life-altering. Depending on the cause and nature of the accident, your or a loved one may suffer from:

  • Traumatic head or brain injury
  • Neck and spinal cord damage (whiplash)
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Lacerations and soft tissue injuries
  • Drownings
  • Wrongful death

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.


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