Across the state and right here in Las Vegas, carnivals are summer activities where kids and adults alike can engage in fun and games. Many carnivals and fairs contract with ride providers to offer attendees thrilling experiences on fast roller coasters, scramblers and other mobile attractions. Unlike amusement park attractions that stay in one place, carnival rides are moved from fair to fair, portable enough to be packed up and taken with movers on the road.
It is an unfortunate truth that every year people are hurt and killed on amusement park rides and their carnival counterparts. Recently, two people were hurt and nearly two dozen more affected when a roller coaster in California got stuck due to a fallen tree branch. Though most people get through their amusement park and carnival experiences unscathed, an unlucky few suffer injuries as a result of construction and maintenance errors and become eligible to make claims of premises liability.
Regulation on amusement park and carnival rides is spread out between federal, state and industry oversight. The Consumer Product Safety Commission used to regulate both forms of attractions, but now only has limited regulatory power over carnival rides. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions self-governs rides at permanent parks, and government authorities have no established powers to interfere.
States like Nevada have the right to enacted laws that regulate how carnival rides are offered to customers. Some states require carnival ride owners to provide proof of insurance to offset claims by those injured while riding their attractions. Nonetheless, many states allow carnival operators to self-police the injury-causing problems that hurt event customers each year.
Carnivals and amusement parks should offer their customers fun and safe experiences. Though injuries and deaths are infrequent, problems at these attractions can cause unlucky consumers to suffer high medical bills, lost wages and other significant losses. Lawyers who work in the premises liability and personal injury fields can offer hurt individuals assistance to learn more about their legal rights to compensation.
Source: Great Falls Tribune, “Thrill seekers: How safe are riders?,” David Murray, July 20, 2014