Transate Talk to UsLatest News

Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



    How much is :

    Fun But Dangerous: 5 Extreme Amusement Park Rides to Avoid in Florida

    While amusement park rides can be thrilling and exciting, they also have inherent risks. Many things can go wrong with extreme amusement park rides, from mechanical failures to human error and structural defects. In addition, high speeds, sudden drops, and rapid changes in direction can cause trauma to the body, potentially resulting in serious injuries or death.

    In fact, according to data from the North America Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey, 2021 Update, in 2021, there were 1,281 injuries from amusement park accidents in the United States. That represents 3.7 injuries per million attendances. Roughly 11% of amusement park injuries are considered serious.

    Personal injuries from amusement park accidents range from minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, to major traumatic injuries such as spinal cord damage, broken bones, head trauma, loss of limbs, coma, or even death. In addition, these extreme rides can carry an added risk for riders with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

    5 Extreme Rides in Florida to Avoid

    Given the dangers of amusement park rides, it’s important to know which types to avoid to stay safe. The following are five of the most extreme rides in Florida that you should avoid:

    1. Drop Towers: Drop towers are thrilling rides that take riders to great heights and drop them at high speed. Unfortunately, these rides can also cause injuries such as neck injuries, back injuries, and fractures due to the sudden jolt of the ride.

    One notable incident happened in March 2022 at ICON Park near Orlando. The Orlando FreeFall, which has since been dismantled, was a high-speed ride that sent passengers straight up and then dropped them from a height of 400 feet at speeds of 75 miles per hour. A 14-year-old rider fell from FreeFall, dying of blunt force trauma, according to the autopsy report.

    2. Roller Coasters: Roller coasters are popular in Florida parks, attracting thousands of daily visitors. However, these rides are also known for causing whiplash, head injuries, and neck injuries. In addition, riders have sometimes sustained fractures and broken bones due to high-speed twists and turns.

    The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) reported an estimated 449 roller coaster injuries in 2019. That is about 1.3 injuries per 1 million patron rides. Of these 449 injuries, 82 were reported to be serious.

    Extreme roller coaster injury examples include:

    • In December 2022, a man lost both of his hands while riding Space Mountain at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. He raised his hands during the ride, and they struck the track above his head during the largest drop, tearing them off due to the force.
    • At one time, Universal Orlando’s Dueling Dragons / Dragon Challenge roller coaster (which has since been replaced by Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure) featured two side-by-side coasters that raced each other along the track. Unfortunately, two incidents occurred involving flying objects, one of which caused a guest to lose an eye.

    3. Water Rides: Water rides may seem safer than roller coasters, but they can also lead to severe injuries such as head injuries, neck injuries, and drowning. Riders have fallen off water slides or sustained injuries from being thrown around in a wave pool. One example occurred in 2008 at Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach, Florida, when a raft carrying a family of four flipped over, knocking unconscious the father and one of the children.

    4. Spinning Rides: Spinning rides are popular with families, but they can also lead to injuries such as whiplash, motion sickness, and even brain injuries from sudden changes in speed and direction. In 2016, a 20-year-old’s lower extremities were crushed in a carnival ride in Apalachicola, Florida, when one of its three “sweeps” dropped to the ground and one of its “carriers” struck the structure due to a locking nut assembly failure.

    5. Monorails: Monorails may seem tame, but they can also be dangerous. In July 2009, a monorail train at Disney World in Florida collided with another train, resulting in the death of a 21-year-old employee, Austin Wuennenberg. Disney and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the accident, and OSHA cited Disney for several safety violations. Disney World reached a confidential settlement with Wuennenberg’s family before the conclusion of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)’s investigation.

    Leighton Law has successfully obtained some of the largest settlements in Florida for our clients. If you or someone you know has been injured at an amusement park, talking to a personal injury attorney who understands the complex laws surrounding these accidents is essential. Always look for a lawyer who has handled similar cases and obtained verdicts and settlements in the field.  While amusement parks are responsible for making their rides as safe as possible, accidents do happen. Therefore, you and your attorney must hold them accountable for any injuries or damages you have suffered.  Given the number of amusement and theme parks today, it’s likely that there will be more accidents at these parks and more visitors will be at risk for injury or death.

    Article by:

    John Leighton

    A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite


      How much is :