Roller Coaster Accidents and Injuries in Las Vegas

While roller coasters are subject to numerous safety regulations and risk management protocols, accidents and injuries at Las Vegas amusement parks still happen. If you are injured or a loved one is killed at an amusement park, you have the right to pursue compensation with the help of a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Roller Coaster Accidents and Injuries in Las Vegas

Common Causes of Roller Coaster Accidents

Some of the most common causes of roller coaster accidents that are fatal or result in injury are:

  • Unsafe ride designs
  • Defective manufacturing or materials used in the construction of the ride
  • Lack of routine inspections and maintenance
  • Negligent operations and operators: Ride operators may not secure a belt or harness, be inattentive to problems, or operate the ride at unsafe speeds
  • Negligent hiring or lack of training of park staff: Failure to train employees on safety procedures, screening passengers, or how to operate rides safely
  • Passenger error: A passenger may ignore safety warnings and do something they shouldn’t, such as rocking a ride, unfastening a safety harness, or other reckless acts
  • Insufficient signage or failure to warn patrons that people with certain health conditions should not ride or that the ride may involve risks

The party that is ultimately liable for an accident will depend on the cause and whether the park or an employee acted negligently.

Most Common Types of Roller Coaster Accident Injuries

The most common amusement park injuries include:

  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Neck injuries and whiplash
  • Bone fractures
  • Back injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Drowning
  • Heart attacks
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

Due to the nature of roller coaster accidents, injuries tend to be severe and frequently result in significant medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In some cases, victims suffer psychological trauma as well, which can cause lifelong repercussions.

Compensation for Roller Coaster Accidents and Injuries

Victims injured in a roller coaster accident in Las Vegas are entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills and ongoing or future treatment
  • Lost wages while you recover
  • Diminished earning capacity if you are unable to make the same amount of income as before the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other accident-related losses

If the amusement park or an employee exhibited extremely reckless or egregious behavior, you might recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded and meant to punish the defendant (at-fault party).

Assumption of Risk Defense

When someone knowingly participates in an inherently dangerous activity (e.g., riding a roller coaster), they know there are certain risks involved in going on that ride. In other words, they are assuming those risks. When a person is injured in a roller coaster accident, an amusement park will often deny liability under Nevada’s assumption of risk doctrine. However, this defense will only apply when:

  • The plaintiff (victim) had actual knowledge of the risk involved in a conduct or activity
  • The plaintiff fully appreciates the danger resulting from the risk and
  • The plaintiff voluntarily accepts that risk.

That does not mean, however, that all liability falls on an injured guest. An amusement park may be entirely or partially liable for the role they played in the accident and whether their negligence contributed to causing it.

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