New Jersey Amusement Park Accidents Prompt New Safety Efforts

A day at a New Jersey amusement park turned into a nightmare for three people, including one toddler, when the ride they were on came off its track and dropped them onto the ground below.

The accident happened at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township, near Atlantic City in early May. The child, his aunt, and his grandmother were in the front car of the "Big Truck Ride" when it tipped, dropping them approximately two and a half feet. All three were taken to the hospital and later released. The boy's leg was injured, and though doctors determined it was not broken, the boy was unable to walk following the accident.

State Investigation

State investigators began a probe into the cause of the accident, but the owners of the amusement park say their own investigation shows that the accident was caused by an internal steel component which failed. They said that the ride could be repaired, but that instead it would be dismantled.

Sadly, defects with amusement park rides and other equipment are often not discovered until there has been an injury, and these injuries - with many injuries to children - increase in the summer months. New Jersey state law governs the inspection and maintenance of rides like this in New Jersey Many of these laws were put in place as a result of injuries like those that occurred at Storybook Land.

How an Attorney Can Help

Often amusement park injuries only come to the attention of legislators as a result of the lawsuits that emerge after an accident. Although such lawsuits are, first and foremost, about compensating the people who have been injured, they also have a broader positive effect for anyone who visits an amusement park.

The work of personal injury attorneys in the courtroom helps establish legal precedent that holds park operators accountable for any negligent maintenance or operation of their equipment in the future. Furthermore, because the prevention of future accidents (and the resulting lawsuits) is in everyone's best interest, the possibility of such lawsuits in the future puts pressure on ride manufacturers and amusement park operators to design and operate the safest possible rides, as well as to work to ensure that their own industry is properly regulated.