The Columbus personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani and Levy are deeply saddened by the recent accident at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, July 27.
According to reports, a ride malfunction killed one person and injured several others.
The ride, called Fire Ball, is a pendulum-like structure made of six rows of four people that spins while swinging 40 feet above the ground.
Videos of the incident show the structure, including an entire row of seats, breaking apart while in motion, sending passengers flying through the air.
Governor John Kasich has since ordered a full investigation into the incident and shut down all fair rides until additional inspections can be completed.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s chief inspector of amusement ride safety has stated that the Fire Ball was inspected three to four times in the days leading up to the fair. He noted that inspections typically include evaluating the ride’s hydraulics and connections.
Although the cause of the incident remains unclear, amusement parks like fairs and carnivals have a responsibility to protect visitors from harm. If negligence caused this incident, it is important that those involved are aware of their legal rights. Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation to learn more.
Common Causes Of Fair Ride Accidents
Amusement park accidents and injuries can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:
- Operator error or recklessness
- Poorly designed or defective rides
- Mechanical failure
- Poorly maintained rides or improper repairs
- Faulty straps or harnesses
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Improper installation of the ride or any of its parts
- Inadequate security
- Lack of warning signs
- Exposed wiring or cables
- Poor lighting
The cause of your accident and injury will determine if you have a legal claim and who could be held liable for your injuries. Some parties that could be responsible for a fair ride accident include:
- Ride operator
- Ride owner
- Owner of the fair, carnival or park
- Product manufacturer
Legal Options After A Fair Accident
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be able to file one of several types of claims, including:
Most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence, which requires proving that the at-fault party had a legal responsibility to ensure your safety.
As outlined in the Laws and Rules Governing Amusement Rides in Ohio, ride owners must ensure the safe operation of their rides, which includes the practical maintenance, inspection and operation of the ride so as to secure riders from physical danger, harm or loss.
If a ride operator or owner was careless or reckless in ensuring the safety of a ride, the owner could be held liable for any injuries that result. Because employers are responsible for the actions of their workers, the owner could be held liable for the negligence of a ride operator.
Premises Liability Claim
Similarly, amusement park owners are required to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safe construction, maintenance and management of their properties. This includes ensuring the property is free from hazards and improperly functioning rides.
A failure to do this could make the owner liable for any injuries that result.
Product Liability Claim
In some cases, the product’s manufacturer could be held liable for injuries caused by a defective product. This would require proving that the ride was fundamentally dangerous and that the proper maintenance and use of it would not have prevented the accident.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If someone was killed in an amusement park accident, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for their loss of a loved one.
Our Columbus Personal Injury Lawyers Are Committed To Fighting For The Compensation You Need
After an accident, it is likely that you will be contacted by a representative of the amusement park, fair or carnival to discuss your injury and next steps. This person is often an insurance representative who works on behalf of an insurer for the at-fault party. This person will fight to minimize his or her client’s liability and the amount the insurer will have to pay out for this type of accident.
It will take an in-depth investigation and testimony from witnesses, experts and engineers to build a strong case on your behalf. To do this, you need an experienced Columbus personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to handle such a complex case.
The attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani and Levy have decades of experience handling insurance companies and will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss.
Contact our team today for a free, no obligation consultation and review of your legal options.