Florida is home to many amusement parks that attract countless visitors every year, especially during the summer months. This year, however, there appears to be a rise in the number of injuries and illnesses suffered at Florida amusement parks. According to Florida law, parks are required to report injuries that occur as the result of a ride and that require an immediate hospital stay of 24 hours or more.
During the first three months of 2015, at least three people reported feeling seriously ill after riding the Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Orlando. The injuries on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando involved a 69-year-old man suffering from severe chest discomfort, a 51-year-old-man who had difficulty moving his extremities, and a 76-year-old woman who experienced an “altered mental status” after getting off the ride.
Additionally, according to injury reports submitted to the governing Florida State agencies, Walt Disney World reported six injuries and Universal reported seven. At Disney’s Magic Kingdom, for example, a 64-year-old man injured his ankle while exiting a ride, and two people reported feeling extremely ill after riding Expedition Everest.
While some people may think that towering roller coasters and ultra-fast rides are the largest threat to safety at these amusement parks, there are many hidden dangers that visitors need to be aware of as they move throughout the facility. In addition to these ride-related injuries, a number of amusement park visitors suffer severe injuries due to falls and other accidents associated with unsafe premises. In some unfortunate situations, amusement park injuries can even lead to the victim’s death. According to Florida law, theme parks owe patrons a duty to keep their premises in safe condition and good repair, and to warn visitors about any dangerous conditions on the premises.
Although an amusement park should make the safety and security of its guests its top priority, many amusement parks fail to meet this standard. Some common instances involving amusement park negligence include poorly lit parking lots where assaults can occur, unlocked doors or gates permitting access to dangerous areas, ride operators under the influence of alcohol or drugs, equipment, garbage, and other debris littering the walkways, and poorly maintained or defective rides. These risks escalate during summer months when the parks are flooded with tourists, visitors, and children.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as the result of a Florida theme park’s carelessness or recklessness, the personal injury lawyers at Lusk Drasites & Tolisano can help. These injuries can be severe and devastating not only for the victim but for the family as well. In many instances, an amusement park representative will try to convince the victim to settle as soon as possible and sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from discussing the incident or suing the theme park in the future. It is critical that you speak to a personal injury attorney before signing any documents or making any agreements with a theme park representative. We proudly serve the Southwest Florida area, including Fort Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral. Call us now at 1-800-283-7442 or contact us online to set up a free confidential consultation.
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