Injured or Assaulted at Santa’s Enchanted Forest [Who’s Liable?]
Source: Santa Enchanted Forest
The holiday season has arrived here in South Florida, and with it comes the opening of one of the region’s most popular attractions – Santa’s Enchanted Forest. Billed as “The World’s Largest Holiday Theme Park and FREE Carnival,” Santa’s Enchanted Forest is open from November 9, 2023, to January 7, 2024, this year.
Located in Miami at 7400 NW 87th Avenue, the park is open daily including holidays from 5 p.m. to midnight, and features more than 100 rides, shows, games, and attractions. Families and friends flock to Santa’s Enchanted Forest annually to experience the park’s thrills and get into the holiday spirit.
What Happens If You’re Injured on Rides or Attractions at Santa’s Enchanted Forest?
As at any holiday theme park, the goal is to entice visitors to have a fun and enjoyable experience while making memories with their family and friends. Santa’s Enchanted Forest is no different, offering up everything from kiddie rides – Buzzing Bees, Rock and Roll Fun House, Puppy Roll, and more – for the littlest family members to thrill rides – Bungee Jumping, Rollercoasters, Extreme Ejection Seat, and more – for the adrenaline junkies in your family. The question is what happens if or when someone gets hurt as they enjoy the rides and attractions at Santa’s Enchanted Forest.
In Florida, as in all states and localities, there are rules regarding the safety of guests a theme parks, carnivals, and fairs. These rules and regulations set the bar that must be followed for these venues to operate legally and keep their visitors safe. Though you don’t often see waivers for potential injuries at theme parks and the like, when you pay admission and enter the park, you are agreeing to the park’s rules and terms whether or not a warning is provided.
Acceptance by entering the park and enjoying the rides, attractions, and shows often means you have essentially consented to limit your ability to sue the park owners should you or a loved one be injured onsite. If an injury occurs in a park-like Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the question of negligence on the part of the owners comes into question, which makes it crucial to document the events up to and surrounding your injury.
In some cases, interactive attractions mean park employees may touch you if you participate, but should an actor/employee injure you as a result or touch you inappropriately, the park could be liable for the injury or assault.
In most areas, rides, shows, games, and attractions mean venues inside and outside, which requires theme parks to have the appropriate permits to operate the attraction, whatever form it takes. If housed in a building, an attraction must meet the locality’s building requirements. Outdoor attractions also must have the proper permitting. Venues must have fire extinguishers and a marked exit, as well as meet fire codes for occupancy.
Common Injuries at Theme Parks
While Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a fun and family-friendly place to visit, it is important to remember that there is always a risk of injury. The park features rides, games, and other attractions that could put visitors at risk of harm. If someone is injured while at the park, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, they should make sure to report the injury to the park’s staff so that the incident can be documented and proper safety precautions can be taken in the future.
Injuries among theme park visitors occur year round and holiday theme park venues are no exception to injuries. In 2017, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported nearly 43,405 people were injured by attractions in theme parks and carnivals. Children aged 0 to 14 were among the most injured with an injury total of more than 26,000 with the highest number of injuries in the 5-14 range. For those over the age of 15, injuries numbered more than 17,000. These injuries are the result of a variety of causes and the most common are included here,
Slip, Trip, and Fall – Slip, Trip, and Fall injuries are the most common among those at amusement parks, carnivals, and fairs. They often occur as a result of poor lighting (especially at holiday events which are nearly always at night) or tripping hazards (entrances, exits, cords, furniture, props, decorations). Often rides, attractions, and fun houses can disorient guests through the use of motion, fog machines, flashing lights, and more. Walkways, entrances, and exits are often slippery, uneven, and narrow, with many visitors attempting to make their way around the park, on and off rides, and in and out of attractions. Fun houses and other attractions may feature mechanical features like automatic doors, wobbly floors, and crazy mirrors which contribute to the possibility of slip, trip, and fall injuries. Slip, trip, and fall accidents can result in a variety of injuries including simple sprains broken bones traumatic brain injuries.
Employee Error – As mentioned interactive rides, games, shows, and attractions are intended for fun and entertainment, but what happens when an employee or actor goes too far or makes an error in judgment and injures a guest of the park? There’s always a risk that seasonal employees at carnivals and parks are reckless, distracted, or simply don’t take their job seriously, and as a result may negligently injure their guests or act inappropriately resulting in what could be termed assault.
Damaged Equipment/Props or Maintenance Failure – Damaged equipment and props, such as malfunctioning animatronics or worn-out equipment, could fail and hit a guest, resulting in serious injuries. Props and Equipment used in shows can also cause injury if they fly into the audience as a result of malfunction or actor error. Other common faults include maintenance failures of rides, attractions, and games, particularly safety gear failure.
Carbon monoxide, used in fog machines in and around a theme park can also result in injuries, often in fun houses and other indoor attractions. If ventilation fails to perform properly, carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. Fog machines that run continually can also leave slippery spots and result in slip-and-fall injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured while visiting Santa’s Enchanted Forest, contact the experienced amusement park injury lawyers at SteinLaw Injury Lawyers today
If You or a Family Member is Injured at Santa’s Enchanted Forest, is the Theme Park and its Owner Liable?
Depending on the cause of the accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to file an amusement park injury lawsuit against:
- Amusement park owners
- Ride operators
Owners of theme parks, carnivals, and fairs want to beat their competitors and they do so with more rides and attractions which thrill guests, providing excitement and fun along with a big dose of the holiday spirit. The result is they make money in the process and most of the time their guests are treated to fun, entertainment, and sweet memories. That is until someone is injured due to negligence on the part of the park and its owner. Here are some of the most common amusement park injury lawsuit defenses:
- Disclaimers and waivers
- Assumption of risk
- Rider was non-complaint with safety rules
As previously stated, you go to your favorite theme park willingly and you know what’s coming – but by entering you do legally assume the risk. Even so, if you are injured at a theme park, you may have a case. The owners of the theme park must provide safe rides and attractions, which means you should seek compensation if you are injured due to negligence. Liability law always holds property owners responsible for the proper maintenance of their rides, attractions, games, and shows for the safety of their guests. If you have been injured at a theme park like Santa’s Enchanted Forest, reach out to Attorney Brandon Stein and the professional legal team at SteinLaw for a free consultation at 877-STEINLAW.