Ride Injuries Common at North Carolina Fairs and Carnivals


October 7, 2011
By Lee Law Offices, P.A. on October 7, 2011 9:40 AM |

The stage collapse earlier this summer at the Indiana State Fair has our Asheville accident lawyers remembering how fast a tragic accident at a carnival or fair can severely affect the lives of 45 people in a split second. Though weather was a factor in the dismantling of the stage, the accident could have been avoided if the necessary safety precautions would have been taken to keep patrons safe during the anticipated storm.

Fair organizers and carnival event planners have a responsibility to protect the public from North Carolina fair and carnival injuries . Not only do they need to ensure a safe environment for everyone attending, they need to provide proper medical services in case an injury occurs. The first few minutes are often the most critical in determining the severity of an injury or what measures need to be taken to save a life.
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Attending a state fair or local carnival is the highlight of late summer or early fall for some residents. So many things can cause an injury at these events, such as falling off a ride exhibit, getting trampled by an animal or getting hit by falling debris from faulty equipment -- to name a few. The recent deaths at the Reno Air Show are a prime example of how spectators weren't protected from a tragic event. Many were fortunate to avoid injury because the plane went down in front of the grandstands but several others were injured severely or lost their lives because of the defective airplane that crashed into the spectator viewing area.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) reports there were roughly 280 million visitors at amusement facilities in 2009. Just like fairs and carnivals, these facilities need to protect patrons from faulty equipment, crowd control accidents, and defective safety mechanisms. In 2009, there were almost 1,100 ride-related injuries in which 65 were serious enough to require an overnight stay at a hospital or medical center.

Fair-goers at the South Carolina State Fair should be more protected this year than they have been in past years. The State reports that the fair purchased a $60,000 multi-camera system to anticipate any problems before they actually occur. The aerial-view camera surveillance will capture footage of the parking lot, fairgrounds, and perimeter of the fair 24 hours a day throughout the entire fair. The camera lenses have 360 turn and zoom capability which can cover all the gate entrances, major arteries and streets surrounding the fairgrounds.

Though fair representatives claim the cameras were purchased more for a means of crowd control, they are optimistic the 24-hour surveillance will help locate a child that is missing or an emergency situation that needs tending to immediately.

To protect you from personal injury, IAAPA offers these ride tips to fair-goers:
-Follow all weight, height and age restrictions placed on individual rides.
-Always keep legs, arms and head inside the ride while it is in motion.
-Read all ride safety rules that are posted near the ride entrance.
-Follow operator instructions or recorded announcements while on the ride.
-Report unsafe behavior or defective rides to the operator or manager.
-Always use safety belts or restraints.

You may be unaware of your rights if you have been injured in a fair or carnival accident so the first step is to call the experienced injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free consultation. We represent victims in North and South Carolina so call 1-800-887-1965 today.

Additional Resources:

A watchful eye in the (State Fair) sky, by Bertram Rantin, The State.

More Blog Entries:

Carnival Company Found Negligent of Fall Accident in Greensboro After Death of Worker, North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 22, 2011.

One Person Killed, Another Injured, After Fall from Greensboro Carnival Ride, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 28, 2011.

Amusement Park Accidents a Summer Danger in the Carolinas, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 8, 2011.