Carnival and fair rides throughout the country are usually shipped into town on trucks, assembled for a couple of days while the fair is running, then taken apart and returned to the truck. This often means that these rides are not as safe or stable as permanent attractions at amusement parks. Yesterday (July 26th, 2017), Columbus, Ohio saw just how tragic these unsafe rides can be.
A spinning pendulum ride called the “Fire Ball” was running at the Ohio State Fair, broke apart mid-ride, and caused death and injury. The swinging motion of the ride was interrupted as the ride fell apart at the seams. Amateur video of the accident was posted to social media, showing the ride crumble as riders fell to the ground. One rider was killed when he was ejected from the collapsing ride. Seven others were injured in the fall, two of which were in critical care. State inspectors have since shut down all rides until they can be inspected a second time.
These kinds of injuries are unacceptable. The amusement park injury attorneys at Reiff and Bily represent amusement park and fair ride victims who are injured on spinning and swinging rides like the Fire Ball. If you or a loved one was injured at a state fair, local festival, or carnival, talk to one of our attorneys today about our case.
Swinging and Spinning Carnival Rides like the “Fire Ball” Cause Serious Injuries
Rides like this pose a serious risk to riders and bystanders. A ride similar to the Fire Ball was previously shut down in Orange County, California after inspectors called for a second inspection. This incident at the Ohio State Fair further demonstrates the danger of many carnival and fair rides. Whether you are a rider, waiting in line, or are a bystander watching the ride, you could face serious injuries from collapsing or malfunctioning rides.
The specific ride in question literally fell apart mid-ride. On its first day of operation at the State Fair, parts of the circular seating area of this ride detached from the rest of the ride, sending riders flying through the air. As this case demonstrates, this can easily lead to death or serious injury. Falling on your back or your head can mean serious brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be deadly, or leave permanent injuries that will require serious rehabilitation and care for the rest of the victim’s life. Less severe injuries may still include broken bones, cuts, and scrapes.
Bystanders are also at risk when fast-moving rides collapse. The creators of this Fire Ball ride describe its spinning and swinging motion as an “aggressive thrill.” Video of the ride collapse shows riders and debris flying toward areas with bystanders and passers-by. If these people or flying objects strike another person, they could be seriously injured. Those standing in line are also at risk if rides collapse or pieces are sent flying.
Compensation for Local and State Fair Accidents
If you are injured at a local festival, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The laws that control what you might be entitled to depend heavily on the specific place you were injured. State law generally defines when and how people can sue for amusement park or fair injuries.
Most states across the country allow patrons to sue for serious injuries if the owners or operators of the ride were negligent. “Negligence” means that the at-fault party’s actions fell below the expected level of care, causing you injury. If you are a guest at an amusement park, fair, or festival, you expect that the owners and operators of the ride took the proper care to ensure the ride will be safe. You also expect that state inspectors carefully reviewed and ensured the ride’s safety. If these parties failed to do their duty, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Especially with a ride that has a known history of being unsafe or requiring additional inspections, simply running the ride may itself be negligent.
If you were injured, you may be able to seek various types of compensation. First, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses. Especially if the ride leaves you in critical condition, you may face expensive medical bills. Compensation for things like emergency transportation, surgery, X-Rays, and rehabilitation may be available. If you missed work or are unable to return to work because of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover those lost wages. Lastly, you might be entitled to direct compensation for your pain and suffering. This money would be available on top of other compensation, like medical bills.
Talk to an attorney about the specific rules of your state to see what damages a personal injury lawsuit could entitle you to.
State Fair Injury Attorneys
The national amusement park injury attorneys at Reiff and Bily may be able to represent you on your injury case against the ride owners and operators, property owners, and those in charge of running the fair or festival where you were hurt. Call (800) 861-6708 today to schedule a free consultation about your fair ride injuries. There might be strict deadlines to meet on your case, so act fast.