top of page
Experienced California Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

California is home to the largest collection of amusements parks in the west coast. Every year millions of people visit California Amusement Park. California Amusement Parks are one of the state’s largest sources of tourism. Vacationers come from all over the county and even from abroad to visit Southern California’s many popular theme parks, such as Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Disney’s California Adventure, and Lego Land.

Amusement Park Accidents have been on the rise over the last few years, as park owners seek to attract more visitors by offer newer, faster, taller, and scarier rides. The competition among California Amusement Parks to provide the ultimate thrill ride has led to the creation of faster and riskier roller-coasters and theme rides. As the speed and g-forces increase, so does the risk of serious injury to the riders.


OSHA Amusement Park Regulations


In California the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (“Cal-OSHA”), is one of the California regulatory agencies in charge of regulating and inspecting amusement park rides. While safety measures and regulations exist to minimize the risks to the park visitors, hundreds of amusement park injuries still occur every year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, some of the causes of these injuries include: Operator Negligence, Inadequate Operator Training, Defective Design, Mechanical Failure, and Improper Maintenance.


Statistics for Amusement Park and Roller Coaster Accident and Injury

According to published statistics there are between 10,000 and 12,000 amusement ride injuries happen on an annual basis.

  • The Majority of amusement park injuries take place during the summer months from May to August

  • There have been a reported 50 amusement park ride deaths over the past decade, 15 of them from roller coasters, 5 from water based rides, and 10 from whirling rides


Injuries at such theme parks can often times are serious which cause long term injuries, both physical and psychological.

If you have suffered any injury at a theme park, amusement park, circus attraction or street fair, contact our amusement park injury attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation of your claim.  Based on the type of harm suffered you can recover for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and other related injuries. The statute of limitations in California varies for the type of injury so it is important to immediately file your case in order to preserve your rights.

Injuries Endured from Theme Park Accidents

Theme parks are not required by law to report injuries or fatalities which occur on their property to any single agency. While amusement parks are not considered to be dangerous there are a number of accidents which occur leaving the injured party with long term medical injuries. Whether it is operator negligence or a malfunctioning ride, serious injury are likely to occur. Our research shows that most injuries are related to operator negligence where the ride operator either suddenly stops the ride or fails to stop the ride appropriately. Such injuries generally cause mild to severe neck and spine injuries. Other related injuries include abrupt stopping, restraint malfunctioning or derailed rides.

California Amusement Park Common Injuries

  • Traumatic brain injury from G-forces and stresses imposed on the brain by extremely rapid speeds or from detached objects hitting the rider's head;

  • Brain aneurysms from roller coasters or other fast rides;

  • Falls and ejection mid-ride;

  • Head, neck, spine and back injuries from bumper car rides or from being whipped around on spinning rides and roller coasters

  • Getting into or out of the ride;

  • Illness triggered by riding or restraint injury.

  • Stroke from trauma to ligaments in the neck

  • Patrons body hitting another person or an element inside the vehicle or ride;

  • Pain from the ride’s normal motion;

  • lacerations, broken bones, and torn ligaments, and

  • Drowning on water slides, "lazy river" rides, or other water rides.

  • Death as a result of falling or being thrown from a ride



Popular Amusement Parks in California

California’s major theme parks which are frequently traveled by both residents and tourist include:

  • Disneyland

  • Disney’s California Adventure

  • Manteca Waterslides

  • SeaWorld San Diego

  • Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

  • Universal Studios Hollywood

  • Knott’s Berry Farm

  • Fiesta Village Family Fun Park‎

  • Belmont Park

  • Bonfante Gardens Theme Park

  • Boomers/Camelot/Family Fun Centers

  • Castle Park

  • Knotts Soak City USA

  • Legoland California

  • Mountasia Family Fun Center

  • Mustang Waterslides

  • Pier 39

  • Raging Waters

  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain

  • Wild Rivers

  • Wild Water Adventures


Causes of Amusement Park Injuries

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are several leading contributors to amusement park injuries and fatalities. Most injuries occur due to:

  • Mechanical failure of the ride. For example, the lap bar detaches mid-ride, a roller coaster car detaches, or a structural component breaks. Mechanical failure could be caused by a manufacturing defect or the park's failure to maintain the ride.

  • Improper operation of the ride. For example, the operator abruptly stops the ride or incorrectly latches a seat belt.

  • Passenger misuse or failure to follow instructions. For example, a rider intentionally rocks a car, stands up mid-ride, unlatches safety restraints, sits improperly, or holds a child above the safety restraint.

  • Inherent nature of the ride. Even without any mechanical defect, operation error, or rider misuse, an amusement park ride may still cause an injury simply because of the nature of the ride itself. For example, according to the CPSC, consumers have reported cases of cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, loss of consciousness, headache, and dizziness associated with the extremely rapid spinning of some amusement park rides.


Accidents Caused by Negligence

If an amusement park accident was caused by the carelessness or inattention of the park or a park employee, then the most likely legal claim is for negligence. In a standard negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the law required the defendant to be reasonably careful, that the defendant was not careful, and that this carelessness caused the plaintiff to be injured. 

The amusement park is responsible for the actions of its employees. So if an employee is negligent, injured parties may sue the park for that employee's actions. The park or its employees may be negligent by affirmatively doing something or by failing to do something. Examples include:

  • Failing to post clear warning signs that, for example, patrons with blood pressure or heart problems should not go on a ride

  • Posting signs that don't adequately warn riders of the risks involved

  • Failing to properly train ride operators

  • Failing to maintain equipment in a safe condition

  • Failing to regularly inspect the rides

  • Improperly operating a ride, or

  • Providing incorrect instructions to riders.


Injuries Caused By Product Liability

Some amusement park accidents are caused by defective rides or components and not by improper maintenance, inspection, operation, or use. For example, the faulty design of a lap bar may cause the bar to unlatch mid-ride, so that the rider falls to the ground.

Structural or design defects in the ride itself may give rise to defective product liability claims against the manufacturer of the ride or the maker of the defective part. In these claims, plaintiffs must prove that the structure, equipment, or part was defective and that the defect specifically caused injury or death to the victim. 

Assumption of The Risk

If someone knows that participating in an act or event is inherently dangerous, but chooses to participate anyway, that person is said to have "assumed the risk" associated with that activity. When you visit an amusement park, you realize there are certain risks inherent in riding on the rides and, when you go on those rides, you are assuming those risks.

The legal effect of assumption of the risk depends on the state. In some states, if the park can show that you assumed the risks of a certain ride, the park will not be liable for your injuries. In other states, whether you assumed the risk or not may affect the amount of money you receive should you prevail in a lawsuit. In still other states, assumption of the risk has no affect at all -- the amusement park cannot use it as a defense.

Assumption of the risk is not a blanket defense that can be employed against anyone who knowingly goes on an amusement park ride. Patrons must be aware of the risks involved in order to assume them. So, for example, if a rider doesn't know about a loose screw in a roller coaster, that the ride operator received little or no training, or that the park never conducts safety inspections, the rider cannot have assumed the risks associated with those details.

Rider Non-Compliance With Safety Rules

If an injured rider did not comply with posted age, weight, or height requirements, an amusement park or ride manufacturer may raise this as a defense, especially if the injury was wholly or partially caused by the rider's small size. This defense isn't a slam dunk, however. For example, plaintiffs might be able to prove that a properly trained rider operator would have noticed the child's small size and prevented the child from going on the ride in the first place.

When riders don't follow posted safety rules and this disregard leads to injury, the amusement park is sure to raise this as a defense as well. For example, if a rider unlatches his seatbelt on a spinning ride and then is thrown from the car, a court is unlikely to find the park negligent.

Disclaimers on Amusement Park Admission Tickets

The amusement park may argue that the disclaimer on the amusement park ticket (the legal language saying you absolve the park of all liability when you enter the park) means you cannot bring a lawsuit against it.

These defenses rarely hold water in court. Judges know that most patrons don't read the disclaimer and usually rule that the disclaimers are so vague and all-inclusive that they are patently unreasonable. In addition, it's questionable whether a child or teenager that is legally unable to enter into a contract can be held to what the amusement park is attempting to do (absolve itself of legal liability) via the disclaimer.

We Fight To Recover Your Remedies

Based on the specifications of your case - the details of the accident, how severe your injury was, it is ultimately going to determine what you could be entitled to sustain based on your case. However, what you can be compensated for if your case prevails can often be put into several different categories.

The categories of compensation can include:

Medical bills: Should you win your case, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills you’ve had to pay as a result of your injury. This includes both past and future bills stemming from the injury, and can potentially cover expenses such as transport or in-home rehabilitation services.

Lost wages: Lost wages can be awarded if your injury has caused significant missed time at work, or has made you unable to perform your job. You could be entitled to even more lost wages if the injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to find consistent work.

Pain and suffering: In some cases, the damages endured from physical pain and emotional suffering can be compensated to pay for therapy treatments.

Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded in more extreme cases, wherein the injury was caused by someone’s recklessness. They are awarded to try and dissuade the defendant and others from acting with that level of recklessness again.

You Don’t Pay Until You Win.

Contact a Los Angeles California Amusement Park Lawyer in Los Angeles to schedule a free, no obligation initial case evaluation at 1-424-256-9055. Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles will help protect your rights. And remember, You Don’t Pay until You Win, or You Don’t Pay At All!

Lawyer Referral Service

If you are in a need a Los Angeles California Amusement Park Accident Lawyer to help you get appropriate compensation and medical care you deserve, you should contact an Personal Injury lawyer in Los Angeles today. Our experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles will help you overcome your California Amusement Park Accident injury or damage.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact Legal Leaf. Legal Leaf is a Lawyer Referral that can provide you with a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney or law firm. If you do have any questions about a texting attorney in Los Angeles area please contacts us for a free Lawyer Referral to a Los Angeles Lawyer.


La Habla Espanol

Thanks! Message sent.

DISCLAIMER: If you initiate to send lawyer or law firm email through this Service, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. It is important not to send sensitive or confidential information via this email service. The lawyer or law firm to whom you are writing may not choose to accept you as a client. In addition, as the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment it is possible that your email sent via the Internet might be intercepted and read by third parties. By sending you do accept the Terms Of Use on this Site. Once sending you do accept the Terms Of Use

bottom of page