Amusement Park Injuries
When the snow has melted back to the mountains and winter sports like skiing become out of season, many Coloradans and tourists alike turn to spring and summer activities like amusement parks for entertainment in their free time. Though amusement parks can be riddled with risk for injury, that risk can be greatly mitigated if the park operators and all the employees follow specific safety procedures.
Unfortunately, however, not all amusement park operators are this responsible, and even the safest parks can have lapses of negligence. If you have been injured at a Colorado amusement park due to negligence, an experienced Denver County recreational accident attorney can help you pursue your claim for damages under Colorado premises liability law.
Denver Amusement Park Injury Lawyer
With acres of people, heavy machinery, and different service facilities like food stands, amusement parks are riddled with risks that can quickly become real threats when a negligent operation is involved. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at a theme park in Denver County or the surrounding areas of Boulder County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, then contact the experienced premises liability lawyers of Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson in Denver.
Jennifer L. Donaldson is committed to fighting for maximum damages in her clients’ personal injury cases. To see what Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson can do for your Denver amusement park injury, call (303) 458-5000 today and schedule your free consultation.
Amusement Parks in the State of Colorado
While many of Colorado’s attractions are found in winter sports, visitors come to Colorado year-round for the cooler temperatures, history, state parks, and tourist attractions like amusement parks. Even the ski resorts offer summer attractions like climbing walls, miniature golf, and alpine slides.
Some of the amusement parks and theme parks in Colorado are:
- Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park;
- Glenwood Caverns and Adventure Park;
- Water World;
- Royal Gorge Bridge and Park;
- North Pole Home of Santa’s Workshop;
- Boondocks Fun Center;
- Gateway Park Fun Center;
- Heritage Square; and
- Colorado Ski Resorts with Summer Attractions, including:
- Copper Mountain;
- Crested Butte;
- Durango Mountain Resort;
- Vail; and
- Winter Park.
Causes of Accidents in Colorado Amusement Parks
As with many other amusement parks and theme parks across the nation, the causes of Colorado amusement park accidents are just as numerous as the opportunities for negligence. Even in a park that is operated in the safest, most optimal manner risk still exists in employee error, manufacturing defects, and just the nature of the amusement park in general.
Some of the most prominent causes of amusement park accidents and injuries in Denver County area amusement parks include:
- Improper food prep;
- Unattended messes or spills;
- Improper park cleaning and related maintenance;
- Improper signage, or lack of signage;
- Loose or improperly stored equipment;
- Operation of rides in inclement weather;
- Poorly-trained ride operators;
- Poorly-maintained ride equipment;
- Mechanical failure of ride;
- Improperly trained midway personnel;
- Improperly maintained midway equipment;
- Negligent security; or
- Chemical imbalance (water parks).
As an invitee of the park, you as the guest have a right to be reasonably protected against any safety risk while in the park under Colorado premises liability law, as defined in C.R.S. § 13-21-115. Failure on the park’s part to protect you may be considered negligence. If any other parties are involved, such as ride manufacturers or independent contractors, the source of negligence may be difficult to locate. An experienced premises liability lawyer serving Denver County can investigate the matter of negligence for you.
Common Injuries Suffered in Denver County Amusement Parks
The injuries that get the most press are often from the dramatic accidents that can happen in an amusement park or theme parks, such as the failure of a roller coaster or a guest falling out of a two-story water slide. However, amusement parks have a risk for injury everywhere and the accident can be as simple as a slip and fall or trip and fall.
Some of the amusement park injuries a knowledgeable Denver County personal injury attorney may pursue damages for include:
- Contusions, lacerations, and abrasions;
- Food poisoning;
- Burn injury;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Broken ribs;
- Internal bleeding;
- Head injury;
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI);
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI);
- Herniated Disc;
- Paralysis; or
- Severed limb or other amputation.
The Lewis Test and Inherently Dangerous Activities
In Lewis, 156 Colo. at 57, 396 P.2d at 939, the supreme court articulated a test for determining when an allegedly negligent defendant is held to the highest degree of care. That test is applied when:
- passengers give up their freedom of action and movement, surrendering themselves to the care and custody of the defendant operator;
- there is usually nothing the passengers can do to cause or prevent the accident; and
- the defendant operator has exclusive possession and control of the facility used in its business.
Summit Cnty. Dev. Corp. v. Bagnoli, 166 Colo. 27, 40, 441 P.2d 658, 664 (1968).
The Lewis factors have been applied in Colorado only to ski lift operators and operators of amusement rides. The courts in Colorado have noted that the use of the highest degree of care instruction should not be used in premises liability cases against amusement park landowners.
For example, in Anderson v. Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, 119 P.3d 533, 536 (Colo.App.2004), the court held that the degree of care described in Colorado’s premises liability statute should be used in such cases rather than the common law standard of care for amusement devices. The Anderson decision was abrogated on other grounds by St. Vrain Valley School District RE–1J v. A.R.L., 2014 CO 33, ¶ 20 n.10, 325 P.3d 1014, which held that a single waterslide does not constitute a “swimming facility” under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act sufficient to waive governmental immunity.
Recoverable Damages from Denver County Amusement Parks
What damages you can recover from your Colorado amusement park accident depends on the severity of the physical injury and the amount of financial damage done as a result of the accident. Additionally, if the amusement park or theme park in Colorado is found to have committed the negligence with fraud, malice, willful conduct, or wanton conduct, you may be eligible to recover exemplary damages – also known as punitive damages.
Some of the damages a qualified Denver personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain for your Colorado amusement park injury include:
- Emergency medical expenses;
- Medical expenses for maintenance;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Physical impairment and disfigurement; and
- Loss of consortium.
If wrongful death is involved, you may also be able to recover funeral expenses, loss of support, loss of household services, and loss of companionship. It is important to speak with an attorney in all Colorado theme park injury cases to make sure you are pursuing all the compensation you are owed by the park.
Theme Park Injury Attorney in Denver, Colorado
If you sustained serious injuries at a Colorado theme park or another amusement park in Denver, Boulder, Longmont, Lakewood, Aurora, Thornton, Westminster, Centennial, Littleton, or the surrounding areas, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers of Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson today. Denver personal injury lawyer, Jennifer L. Donaldson, has over a quarter-century of civil litigation experience.
She will investigate your claim and work with you to develop a strategy for fighting for maximum compensation in your theme park accident case. Your first consultation with Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson is free, so call (303) 458-5000 or submit an online form today to schedule yours.