The risks of summer amusement rides

A visit to an amusement park provides a great day trip for New Jersey families, especially those with young children. But recent research by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital revealed that approximately 20 accidents per day occur throughout the summer at amusement parks, portable carnivals and malls with amusement rides. These figures are for injuries requiring a trip to the emergency room; other injuries were not considered.

It is common for young children to be injured on amusement rides, even the rides found at a local mall. Many of these injuries include concussions that may occur when a child falls off a ride or hits their head against a ride. The study concluded that 33 percent of injuries occur at amusement parks, with 29 percent occurring at carnivals and fairs and 12 percent at malls and arcades. With so many injuries documented, most businesses with amusement rides on site maintain premises liability insurance in order to provide coverage for injuries which may occur.

In New Jersey, a property owner is required to maintain their premises in a safe condition or provide adequate warning when there are hazards present. Premises liability holds a property owner responsible under certain circumstances when someone is injured on their property. Liability is dependent upon the status of the person injured, such as whether they were invited onto the property or if they were trespassing at the time.

In addition to the above, there must also be a finding of negligence that led to the injury, such as improper maintenance of the amusement ride. In other cases, a defective product may have led to the injury, opening up the avenue for the injured party to pursue a product liability claim against the product manufacturer.

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