How long do I have to file a lawsuit against an amusement park?
A trip to the amusement park is supposed to be all about fun and excitement, but suffering an accident or injury at the amusement park is a surefire way to ruin your day. Should the injury be severe, you might be considering filing an injury lawsuit against the park. If this is the case, it’s imperative that you know about the statute of limitations and how it affects your ability to file a lawsuit.
Suing an Amusement Park for Injuries
Generally speaking, there are two types of personal injury lawsuits that can be brought against an amusement park. The most common type of personal injury claim is one of negligence, which involves proving that the accident was caused by a hazardous situation that the park’s employees should have known about or other carelessness on the part of the park or its employees.
Although they happen more rarely, amusement park accidents can also be caused a flawed ride or defective component, in which case it is necessary to file a product liability claim instead of a negligent injury claim. Unfortunately, proving product liability cases is often far more difficult than proving negligence. The amusement park will generally be uncooperative and may try to cover their own tracks, which is why you’ll want to ensure you have a strong, experienced lawyer on your side.
Statute of Limitations for Amusement Park Injuries
Injuries that occur as a result of an accident at an amusement park are generally treated the same as any other type of personal injury. This means that they are governed by the same statute of limitations as all other general personal injuries. Each state sets its own statute of limitations, and the time you have to file a case will be determined by the local laws of the state where the amusement park is located.
In New York, the statute of limitations for negligent personal injury cases is three years, which means that you have exactly three years from the date of the accident to file a formal lawsuit against the amusement park. Should you end up delaying and file your suit even one day late, the court will reject your lawsuit and you will lose your legal right to compensation for your injuries. For this reason, you’ll want to contact a personal injury law firm as soon as you realize you are injured in order to ensure that you preserve your right to seek legal compensation.
If the injury occurred in a different state, the statute of limitations could be up to six years or as short as only one year depending on the local laws. For this reason, it is again a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you get back home. A local attorney can help you understand the local laws where the accident occurred and can also be a great help in gathering evidence to prove that the injury was the result of negligence on the part of the amusement park or its employees.
As with negligent injury cases, New York also has a three year statute of limitations on product liability cases. However, the fact that you will need to provide conclusive evidence of the fault, defect or design flaw means it is essential that you immediately seek legal help since this process can take quite some time.
Assumption of Risk
Suing an amusement park for injuries sustained as a result of a ride can be much more difficult that suing for injuries that resulted from negligence. In this case, the amusement park has the doctrine of ‘Primary Assumption of Risk’ on its side. This basically means that amusement park can claim that a person should have reasonably assumed that going on the ride came with at least some small risk of injury. Still, the courts don’t always recognize this claim when it’s applied to amusement park rides, as the park has an obligation to warn riders of the risk and ensure that the ride meets all relevant safety regulations.
Suing an amusement park for injuries isn’t always a straightforward task. There is no doubt that the amusement park will hire high-powered lawyers to defend its interests, which means you could be facing an uphill battle to prove your case. Therefore, it is essential that you have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner to improve your chances of successfully receiving a settlement.