Since the 1800s, people have been flocking to Coney Island for adventure and amusement. Closely located to Manhattan, Coney Island is home to some of the world’s most famous amusement park rides, including the Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel.
However, behind the fun and excitement of amusement park rides, lies a real threat of injury. Each year, amusement parks across the globe compete to build the newest and most thrilling rides ever. But as the speed and g-forces increase, so too does the risk of serious injury. If you were injured at Coney Island, you may be eligible for compensation. To find out more, call a Coney Island accident and injury lawyer at Goldstein & Bashner today: 516-222-4000.
Common Types of Accidents at Coney Island
Amusement parks rides that spin, whip you from side to side, or impose extreme g-forces on the human body can cause serious injury to riders and sometimes even people standing nearby. Several types of injuries can occur on Coney Island amusement park properties, including:
- Cuts and bruises
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Termination of a pregnancy
- Head and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
The causes of accidents can vary. Factors that contribute to amusement park injuries and fatalities include:
- Ride operator negligence: Examples of ride operator negligence include improperly latching a seatbelt or restraint or abruptly stopping a ride. If an employee has not received proper training on how to operate the ride, the risk of improper ride operation increases.
- Defective ride design or mechanical failure: Examples of defective designs or mechanical failure include accidents such as a roller coaster detaching from the track, or a lap bar opening mid-ride. These failures can be the result of poor design by the manufacturer or improper maintenance by the ride owner.
- Failure to provide appropriate warnings or instructions: Sometimes injuries are the result of a rider sitting improperly while riding or of a parkgoer standing too close to the ride while waiting in line. The owners of the amusement park have a duty to post signs warning of dangers and providing safety instructions.
An accident attorney can assist you in determining the root cause of your injuries.
Premises Liability for an Accident at Coney Island
In addition to suffering injury on a ride, you might sustain an injury just walking around a park. Uneven sidewalks, defective stairways or escalators, areas covered by snow and ice, and even toxic fumes from rides can cause serious injuries while you are on park grounds.
Additionally, amusement park guests may sustain injuries at the hands of another park visitor while on park grounds. In order to pay for ride tickets, meals, and souvenirs, visitors often carry large amounts of cash. Thieves know this and, as a result, park visitors are often the target of robberies and assault. If the amusement park owner was negligent in providing park security, he may be liable for any injuries you sustain at the hands of another visitor.
Under premises liability law, business owners on Coney Island must take reasonable steps to assure the safety of their premises. If property owners are negligent in maintaining their amusement park grounds or hiring security personnel, they will be responsible for any injuries that result.
Who is liable for injuries?
If you were injured at Coney Island due to negligence, the park’s owner is liable. It is important to note that Coney Island is simply a neighborhood in New York City; this means that you would not file against the government, but rather the specific park at which you sustained your injury.
For example, Luna Park operates the Cyclone, the Thunderbolt roller coaster, and the Steeplechase roller coaster. Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is home to the Wonder Wheel and the Spook-A-Rama haunted ride. There are also several rides not incorporated into any theme park.
In some areas, such as the beach or boardwalk, the state or local government may be liable. A New York attorney can help you determine who is liable for your damages.
What do I need to prove?
In order to recover damages for your Coney Island injury, you will need to prove negligence. You can bring a negligence claim against one of the Coney Island amusement parks, its employees, or even a products liability claim against the manufacturer of a defective amusement park ride.
To prove negligence you must show:
- Duty of care: The amusement park property owner or ride manufacturer (the defendant) had a legal duty to keep you safe.
- Negligence: The defendant breached that legal duty by taking an unsafe action or by failing to act (e.g., the park owner failed to maintain a ride)
- Causation: The defendant’s actions (or inaction) caused your injury.
- Damages: You have a real and measurable injury.
Evidence such as medical records and doctor’s opinions about your injuries can help your case. Photographs of the dangerous or defective areas or rides where you were injured in the park can be useful as evidence too.
It is important to note that you may also have to prove that you were not at fault for your own injuries. This is because your own negligence may reduce your compensation amount or bar you from recovering at all.
Because New York is a pure comparative negligence state, you will be able to file a claim to recover compensation unless you are 100 percent at fault.
For example, if a sign forbids you from climbing on the rocks near a water ride and you do so anyway and injure yourself, you may be unable to recover compensation, as the injury was your own fault.
However, if the park did not place a sign near the rocks, you may be eligible to recover compensation. The park’s insurer may attempt to argue that you should have known that the slippery rocks would be a potential danger and that you are partially at fault. For this reason, it is important to have a New York personal injury attorney on your side.
How We Can Help
The attorneys at Goldstein & Bashner are here to help you recover compensation for your Coney Island injury. One of our injury attorneys will sit down with you and discuss your legal options. We will assist you in determining and establishing liability. We can also represent you in negotiations with the park’s insurer or in court if the insurer refuses to offer you an adequate settlement.
Contact us today: 516-222-4000.