Few things are as enjoyable as spending a beautiful fall day at the county fair. Whether you spent your days at the Santa Barbara County Fair, the Ventura County Fair, the Santa Maria County Fair, or you traveled a little farther to visit the Los Angeles County Fair, most people have a good time and never think about what would have happened if they were injured.
But sometimes, accidents do occur, and people are seriously injured at the fair. It is difficult to know who is liable for your injuries at a fairground, which is why we recommend speaking to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney right after the incident.
County fairs, festivals, and amusement parks share some dangers. One of the most common accidents at a crowded public event is a slip, trip, or fall—especially if organizers do not make an effort to keep walkways clear and clean. Fairgoers themselves can cause injury to others, especially if they walk into or push other people. Drunk fairgoers are also a risk, as they may assault another person or crash while leaving the fair’s parking lot. However, the most serious county fair accidents usually involve malfunctions with rides, or operator negligence in running the rides. For example, a 3-year-old girl in Oregon was thrown from a county fair ride in early August 2018 and rushed to the hospital. Witnesses say that the “motorcycle” the girl was riding on detached and flew through the air before hitting the ground.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 30,900 injuries caused by amusement park attractions were seen by emergency rooms in 2016 alone (NBC News).
Lacerations may be viewed as “minor injuries,” but still require treatment to avoid infection. Broken bones can also occur at a fair, especially if someone strikes a part of his body on the ground or another object. Catastrophic injuries are more likely when a large ride or piece of machinery malfunctions or isn’t maintained properly; for example, the Ohio State Fair “Fire Ball” malfunction that killed one person and injured seven others was caused by corrosion.
There can be nothing worse than a death during a day of fun and games. This is traumatic not only for the loved ones of the deceased, but for other fairgoers as well.
Who Is Liable?
After a serious injury at a county fair or other amusement park, it can be difficult to figure out who is truly responsible for what happened. If you tripped, you may assume that you were just clumsy. But if the fall occurred because a fairground employee left something in the walkway that created a hazard, you are not at fault. In the same vein, another fairgoer who injures you through recklessness can be held accountable for their actions.
If you or someone you love has been injured at a county fair, our Santa Barbara amusement park injury attorneys will go to work to determine how to get you fair compensation. Call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to set up a free consultation and explore your options.