New Jersey Theme Parks – Accidents and Regulations

Amusement parks are meant for fun and relaxation – you may choose to board the vehicle with your spouse, children, or siblings and go on a theme park adventure just because you could use a getaway. However, the last thing you probably think about when you go to a theme park is the unfortunate reality that you could be injured in an accident. In New Jersey, people are no stranger to amusement park accidents where a fun day turns into a sour one. In 2014, amusement park incidents were well on the rise again with an outstanding 139 people involved in accidents, which was 113 more than in 2013.

If you are native to New Jersey, you may know about a theme park known as Action Park, that not only hit the news for being advertised as a fun place for kids, but also because it is one of the most dangerous theme parks of all time. The truth of the matter was that many people who found themselves enjoying time at Action Park during the years it was still functioning before its major shut-down, knew that there were risks involved with many of the rides. Action Park was home to three different lands, Motorworld, Waterworld, and The Alpine Center, all of which were best known for the injuries and fatalities that the rides caused.

Of course, there are reasons why Action Park was deemed one of the most dangerous parks along with many other parks in New Jersey and surrounding states. For instance, many parks have inherently dangerous ride designs. At Action Park, one of the biggest issues was the fact that overseers reportedly tried to defy physics when inventing new rides and used humans as test subjects to see if they would work – leading to many injuries that shut down the rides as soon as they hit the park. Another factor that went into many of these accidents was the fact that the employees tended to act recklessly in response to testing out the rides. It is alleged that not many of these young and undertrained employees were able to be concerned with the welfare of hundreds of guests, most of which were also young. General irresponsibility always ends up being a danger in a theme park!


Accidents at Amusement Parks

There are many types of common injuries resulting from amusement park ride accidents as well as many causes of why they happen in the first place. If you have sustained an amusement park injury, you may have received head or neck injuries from whipping around on spinning rides or rollercoasters, injuries or death as a result of being tossed from a ride, stroke from trauma, traumatic brain injury, or even drowning caused by water slides.

The government regulates amusement park rides based on whether or not they are fixed-site or mobile. Fixed-site rides do not travel from one location to another, such as the rides at Disneyland that are seen as a permanent staple. At carnivals, you will often find mobile rides, that can travel from place to place. Mobile amusement park rides are always regulated by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, some states will regulate and conduct inspections of fixed-site rides as well. Here are some of the common causes of amusement park injuries occurring due to rides:

  • Mechanical failure such as a lap bar detachment, caused by a manufacturing defect or failure to maintain
  • Improper operation of the ride due to abrupt stop or other reasons
  • Passenger misuse or failure to follow proper instructions
  • An amusement park ride being inherently dangerous simply because of its nature


Negligence, Product Liability, and Possible Lawsuits

If you have been injured in an amusement park accident, you may wonder how you can bring about a claim. First of all, you must ask yourself: Was somebody being negligent and it caused my injury, or was a product inherently dangerous, causing an accident? If the accident was caused by the carelessness of a park employee, then you must prove that the law required the employee to be careful and that they breached this duty. A park may be held responsible if it has failed to adequately train its operators or maintain equipment in proper condition.

A product liability claim may come about, however, if the ride is just plain defective in nature. In this case, you may take up a liability claim against the manufacturer or the maker of the defective part. However, you must be able to prove that the structure, equipment, or part was defective and that the defect caused your injury.

If you believe you have a case against an amusement park, you may be lost and confused with the details of how to get started on your lawsuit. These accidents can be complicated because you must identify who was responsible for the accident and injuries. Call an attorney you can trust with your case at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. We will be waiting to hear from you!