Amusement parks can sometimes make us think that nothing bad can happen due to their elaborate themes that encourage people to suspend disbelief. But injury can occur in any location — even one that transports us back to the golden age of American theme parks.
If you have been injured at an amusement park due to negligence or other mistakes at the park, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The experienced personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily can stand-up for you and handle the insurance company.
Accidents That Have Occurred at Kennywood
On a long enough timeline, injury will occur at any fair, theme park or amusement park. Some recent injuries that have occurred at Kennywood include:
- Collapse of The Whip – In 2002 a suspected microburst caused the collapse of the wooden pavilion that surrounds The Whip ride. Reports from the time indicate that the 40 foot by 100-foot building was moved 20 feet by the extreme winds trapping up to 100 people beneath the collapsed structure. A minimum of 54 people suffered some type of injury and there was 1 death. Injuries included those to the head, neck and face. A 4-year-old girl suffered a skull fracture.
- Stranded on King Kahuna –A 2008 accident stranded riders on the coaster for 10 minutes while suspended in an upside-down orientation. The reason for the mechanical malfunction is unknown.
- Collision on the Thunderbolt – A 1999 accident injured up to 35 people and required 20 of the injured to seek treatment at area hospitals. The accident occurred when a returning train entered the station prematurely. A stationary train that was in the process of being boarded by park guests was struck. Most injuries were to the neck or stomach.
While more routine accidents have likely occurred at the park, the foregoing provides a representative sample of the higher profile incidents at Kennywood.
What Types of Accidents Risks Should a Park-Goer Be Aware Of?
In general, many amusement parks are affected by the same risks because they offer similar services and attractions to park patrons. These risks common to most amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs include:
- Mechanical failure – A ride that is modified or operated outside of its approved specification places patrons at an increased risk of injury or even death. In other circumstances, severe weather or failure to perform routine maintenance can make ride failure more common.
- Slip and falls – While all landowners must be concerned about slips, trips and falls due to broken sidewalks, stairways or debris amusement parks can present their own challenges. Darkened attractions like a haunted house can cause people to slip and fall. Furthermore, even extremely immersive theming can distract people causing them to fall.
- Operator error – Mistakes by a ride operator or operators can have tragic consequences. A distracted operator can send cars too soon, forget to check for hazardous conditions and more.
- Deficient safety equipment – As the risks and forces involved in a ride increase, the level of protection provided by safety apparatus should also increase. While a simple seat belt or lap bar may be sufficient for a classic ride like The Scrambler, but major roller coasters with loops or corkscrews would likely require a shoulder harness to be enjoyed safely.
These potential problems cover only a few of the risks present at a theme park. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed due to negligence or circumstances at an amusement park, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Reiff & Bily for your free and confidential legal consultation by calling (215) 274-0072.