Common Amusement Park Injuries


Amusement parks should fill their guests with care-free joy, not worries about medical bills and life after becoming injured. From regional theme parks to behemoths of the industry, it’s a well-known fact that accidents can (and do) happen, and sometimes these incidents can result in serious injuries.

We’ll take a look at some of the most likely injuries that can happen at any amusement park with historical evidence that demonstrates these occurrences can be much more than speculation.

Neck & Back Strains

Amusement park rides are thrilling when they jostle rides around and accelerate them to high speeds, but these attractions shouldn’t injure their riders. Unfortunately, neck and back strains are some of the most common amusement park injuries, and they can lead to worse conditions that include herniated discs and paralysis.

In 1993, riders of “Colossus” at Six Flags: Magic Mountain complained of neck and back pain after a train that was pulling into the station collided with a train awaiting departure. Although no one was seriously injured by the low-speed collision, a spokeswoman for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia told the Los Angeles Times that “most if not all of the patients had neck and back strain.”

Crushing Injuries & Amputations

A crushing injury is a catastrophic injury that occurs when an external force or pressure is applied to a body part, which can cause lacerations, break bones, and in severe cases, result in amputation.

Unfortunately, this type of injury happened to a 4-year-old boy on Disneyland’s Storybook Canal Boats ride in 2005. While passengers were unloading, the boy’s fingers were crushed between the boat and the dock. The accident broke one of the boy’s fingers and amputated the tip of his thumb.

Disneyland closed the ride for two days after the accident, and California authorities told it to lower and repair the rubber bumpers along the dock’s edge to prevent future incidents.


A laceration is a wound that occurs when soft tissue is torn or cut, and it can occur in a variety of ways. One such incident occurred at Knott’s Berry Farm in 2009, when a launch cable snapped on the park’s Xcelerator roller coaster ride and struck a 12-year-old boy’s leg.

The injury was anything but minor, requiring multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and physical therapy to overcome. After conducting an investigation, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health determined that the accident was caused by improper maintenance. The boy’s family settled with Knott’s Berry Farm out of court.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Some amusement park accident injuries aren’t always so apparent. Among these is traumatic brain injury (TBI), which occurs when the brain is damaged by an external force, such as a violent jolting, blow, or penetration of an object. TBIs can result in hemorrhaging, memory loss, personality changes, and even death.

In 2000, a 23-year-old Spanish woman suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland. According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her estate, the ride’s design—which includes jostling riders around—had a prior history of causing other brain injuries. The lawsuit settled five years later for an undisclosed amount.

Contact a Lawyer for Help

If you were injured at an amusement park, you can pursue compensation for your injuries. Any accident can result in expensive medical bills and other damages, and the parties responsible for such accidents should be liable to compensate victims.

For assistance with your personal injury claim, contact Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser today.