Is a Theme Park Liable for the Personal Injuries Suffered by a Child Visiting the Theme Park?
In Florida and other states there are theme parks, amusement parks, sports facilities, and other areas in which children play. These facilities know that children will be in the area and actually welcome and solicit the business of children and their families. Because it is known ahead of time the children will be visiting these areas, it is important that the attractions, rides, facilities, and common areas are designed for use by children. In addition, it is important for theme parks and amusement parks to be well-maintained and staffed appropriately to monitor staff, volunteers, visitors, and, yes, children at the theme park / amusement park. Generally speaking, theme parks and amusement parks should operate the business with safety over profits as the priority.
At times, a child is injured a scene park, amusement park, sports facility, or other area. As a Florida Child Injury Lawyer I am ask the following question:
Can a parent pursue a case or claim on behalf of my injured child?
The answer to this question like many others is "It depends." Each incident involving a personal injury at a theme park, amusement park, sports facility, or other area should be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances.
Generally, there must be four elements proved to establish a case against a business or property owner:
- Breach of Duty;
- Damages; and
These elements must be linked together. Just because a legal case established does not mean that there will be a settlement or a favorable verdict on behalf of the injured child. There are also practical considerations involved with every case. The property owner and business can defend the case by arguing that the theme park or amusement park was safe, well maintained, well staffed, and otherwise took reasonable precautions to prevent injuries or accidents from taking place. The property or business may further argue that, at times, accidents and injuries happen and some incidents simply are not foreseeable or preventable even with reasonable safety precautions in place. It should be noted that amusement park, theme park, business owner and others are not Insurers for the safety of children and other guests on the property. This means that a business or property owner is not liable for the injuries of a child just for the mere fact that the injury takes place on the property. Many people are under the mistaken belief that the site or location of the injury constitutes entire case and that a well-funded defendant will open up its pocketbook just for the asking. This is far from the way in which cases or claims are evaluated.
The book titled - The ABCs of Child Injury - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Every Parent Should Know - has chapters on Amusement and Theme Park Injuries, Playground Injuries, School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.