Recent accidents at various amusement and water parks in the U.S. have drawn attention to the dangers of an industry that is largely unregulated. In Tennessee County, 3 children fell from a Ferris wheel, critically injuring one of them, a 6-year old who suffered a traumatic brain injury from the accident. In Kansas, a 10-year old boy died on a giant water slide.
Injuries from Amusement Rides
Hospital reports showed that in 2015, an estimated 37,300 people of all ages were treated for injuries arising from amusement ride accidents. An average of more than 4,400 children are injured in amusement parks every year. From May to September, which is amusement park peak season, around 20 injuries are reported every day.
Mall rides pose similar risks of brain injury, particularly when rides are installed over hard floors.
The thrill of a ride often depends on the speed, height, and gravity-defying moves that ride equipment can provide. These types of equipment require regular maintenance and checkups prior to each use to ensure that every bolt, chain, or part is in place. Any mechanical flaw, no matter how minor, can lead to a catastrophic accident.
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions said that local and state regulation of theme park rides can significantly reduce the risks of accidents in amusement parks and water parks. But not all park rides undergo the same standards for inspection, with some of the most dangerous rides being checked only annually.
Insurance companies for ride operators typically require only annual inspections, but experts recommend that for increased safety, equipment must be inspected before riders take on the rides.
Effects of Brain Injury
Meanwhile, the Tennessee child who suffered brain injury after being ejected from a Ferris wheel remained in critical condition. Depending on the extent of a brain injury, one can suffer from prolonged or permanent changes in her state of consciousness, awareness or responsiveness, including coma. The full extent of the injury often unfolds much later, particularly for young children. Studies also show that young children who suffer brain injury may have higher risks of impaired adult functioning.
Brain injury is not often apparent after a severe accident. It’s important to see your doctor for a complete physical examination to treat a possible brain injury. You should also be able to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide information about your rights under the situation.
In Las Cruces, New Mexico, the law offices of Samuel I. Kane have years of proven experience in cases of brain injury. We invite you to call us at (575) 526-5263 for a free, no obligation case consultation.