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Liability in amusement park accidents

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Posted on June 20, 2017

People who enjoy going to Illinois amusement parks may wonder who is liable when an accident occurs. In some cases, the manufacturer may share responsibility with the park owners and operators.

This was the case in an accident that happened at a park in Kansas in 2016. A 10-year-old boy was killed on a water ride. Reportedly, the settlement was $20 million although the exact amount was undisclosed. The manufacturer of the ride’s rafts and the park’s owners and operators were all involved in the settlement.

These types of accidents are not common, and they are not always as serious. For example, in May 2017, a 10-year-old child was injured at a park’s grand opening when he was thrown from swater slide. He landed on concrete, but only suffered minor injuries.

Ride manufacturers carry general liability insurance to protect themselves in case incidents like these happen. Some add on excess liability coverage. However, when an accident occurs, it is necessary to determine who is at fault, and it may not be the manufacturer. A ride operator may have failed to secure people properly or may operate the ride in a dangerous way.

Not all accidents in which a business may be liable are as high-profile as these kinds. For example, one common type is a slip-and-fall injury. This might occur when a floor is wet, an uneven surface has caused someone to trip or someone has tripped over clutter in a walkway among other reasons. The owner might then be considered responsible. Such an accidents could lead to a serious injury, so it might be important for an injured person to prove this liability in order to be reimbursed for medical expenses and other costs by the insurance company.