Summertime typically means flocks of visitors to amusement parks and other entertainment venues. Ironically, while the purpose of such venues is entertainment, they also present a heightened risk for injuries and even death.
Amusement parks typically try to strike a balance between rides which seem dangerous but are, in fact, extremely safe. Most of the high quality parks and carnivals do this quite well and the risk of injury is low. Recent events at carnivals in North Carolina and elsewhere remind us, however, of the fact that not all venues are equally safe.
Visitors should particularly be wary of traveling carnivals. Virginia and North Carolina require licensure, inspections and insurance but in recent cases, some of those requirements have been skirted. Licenses are required to be displayed prominently, but it would take a visitor with a keen interest to locate what they are looking for. As such, a healthy dose of skepticism and self-preservation are in order.
Amusement and entertainment venues are also considered “premises” as that term is understood in premises liability law. This means that the kind of slip and fall incident or other injuries, which can be the result of a claim, for example, in a grocery store also apply to these venues. An interesting legal question arises as to whether visitors are considered “invitees” or “licensees.” Under Virginia law, the amount of care the park operator is required to provide varies based upon this consideration. Something as small as the fine print on the back of your ticket may determine the outcome of the case.
Visitors involved in an incident which causes injury or death should preserve evidence like tickets, photographs and social media uploads. A premises liability lawyer can assist you in collecting the correct documents necessary for an amusement park injury case. Visitors should also be extremely careful regarding post-incident activities, such as filling out an incident report or speaking to the amusement park’s insurance company. If you have any doubts or concerns about an injury sustained in an amusement park or any entertainment venue, please feel free to consult with an amusement park injury lawyer to see if legal action is appropriate.