Amusement Ride Injuries under Texas Law
Operators of amusement rides in Texas must have insurance policies with certain minimum limits in order to cover bodily injury of persons using the ride. The ride must also be inspected annually to obtain a safety inspection certificate. Rides that meet these inspection requirements are issued a sticker which must be displayed much like an automobile inspection sticker.
The owner or operator of any amusement ride is required to provide photocopies of the inspection certificate and insurance policy to any person responsible for the public use of these rides.
Amusement rides include mobile carnival rides, theme park rides and most water park rides and devices. They may also include go carts, rock climbing walls, bungee jumps, zip lines, mechanical bulls, trackless trains, and continuous airflow inflatable devices.
Amusement rides generally do not include non-mechanized playground equipment, physical fitness or training devices, obstacle course equipment, public conveyance devices, coin-operated rides, live animal rides or motorsports.
Individuals injured on an amusement ride are entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The owners and operators of these rides, including the owners of amusement parks and carnivals, are financially responsible for injuries that result from safety violations, insufficient maintenance or operator error.
Texas law requires prompt reporting of any and all incidents relating to accidents on amusement rides. A ride must generally be shut down pending investigation when injury or accident occurs. Depending on the severity of the injury and the circumstances the period of in-operability may be short or more lengthy.
Texas law also provides criminal penalties for someone who assembles or operates an amusement ride while intoxicated.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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