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Suing an amusement park for an injury

New Jersey is one of the country’s top summer destinations, thanks to amusement parks like Six Flags Great Adventure and similar places. Unfortunately, not every vacation goes as planned. Accidents can happen and leave you injured and unable to work long after your vacation is over.

If an accident happens at an amusement park, what recourses do you have? After all, most amusement parks slip a liability waiver in as part of the entry process in an effort to avoid the financial consequences of a guest’s injuries.

Well, don’t let that stop you from seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney if you’ve been injured because those liability waivers aren’t always ironclad.

Here are some of the different things a court will consider if you have to sue an amusement park:

How broad was the waiver?

A waiver can’t be enforced when it’s overly broad, so an aggressively worded waiver might not even be valid. In most cases, waivers only protect the park from cases of general negligence — not gross negligence. General negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care, while gross negligence is a conscious or voluntary disregard of reasonable care in a situation that is likely to cause foreseeable injuries.

What was your assumption of risk?

When you engage in admittedly risky activities, you automatically assume a certain amount of liability for any injuries you suffer. A court has to consider how likely your injury was something that you could have anticipated.

Who else could be liable for your injuries?

Sometimes, the amusement park may share liability for an injury if a ride was badly designed, or the guidelines for it are inaccurate.

For example, a lawsuit was recently filed against Six Flags by a doctor who suffered permanent injuries while riding a roller coaster. He claims that park employees never warned him that a person of his height couldn’t safely fit into the harness on the ride — and the harness itself was defective in design. As a result, he’s also named the manufacturer and designer of the harness in his suit.

Amusement park injuries are definitely complicated cases to pursue — but by no means impossible. If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibilities.

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