Florida Amusement Park Injuries
Disney World, EPCOT, Universal, Legoland, Waterparks; the list of amusement parks in Florida is endless! According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, there are nearly 375 million annual guests to amusement parks in North America. According to the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission, in 2004, mobile amusement rides accounted for an estimated 2,500 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. Rides such as inflatable slides and bounces accounted for an estimated 4,900 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. From 1987 to 2002, for mobile and fixed amusement rides combined, there were an estimated 4.4 amusement-ride fatalities per year.
What is a Premises Liability Claim?
Premises liability concerns the duties that an owner or occupier of land owes to protect people from dangerous conditions and defects, including hazards from activities conducted or things which are kept on the property. A property owner owes various duties to the people who come onto his property with the highest and most protection being owed to people who are invitees. Who is an invitee? An invitee is a person who enters onto the property with an implied representation that “reasonable care” has been taken to make the premises safe for the visitor’s reception. If you bought a ticket to enter an amusement park, you were an invitee and were owed a duty of reasonable care to keep the premises safe by the property owner. The duty to an invitee generally includes the duty to inspect the premises to learn of any unsafe conditions. Where a property owner has failed to meet his duty to the invitee and the failure has caused damages to the invitee, then the property owner may be held liable in a premises liability case.
Premises Liability Cases are Difficult to Prove
Many personal injury lawyers will not accept premises liability cases because they are very difficult to prove at trial. Because of this, insurance companies often will not negotiate reasonable settlements and will force the cases to a jury trial. An experienced premises liability injury attorney must always prepare a case to go to trial in order to achieve the best possible result for the client. Todd Passman has handled multiple difficult and complex premises liability cases.
How Are Amusement Park Rides Regulated for Safety in Florida?
Generally speaking, amusement park rides are regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture. However there is a key loophole in the laws. Specifically, under F.S. 616.242, facilities that employ at least 1,000 full-time employees and that maintain full-time, in-house safety inspectors (ie. Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, etc) are given an exemption. Those large permanent facilities must file an annual affidavit of the annual inspection with the Department of Agriculture.
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The Law Office of Todd C. Passman handles amusement park accident and other premises liability cases occurring in Florida and Georgia.
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If you, a family member or a friend have suffered a personal injury in an amusement park accident or other premises liability case, or have questions please contact Todd C. Passman today, at (772) 465-9806 or or fill out the contact form on this page. Someone from our office will contact you right away.