When you take your family to Disneyland, you’re only thinking about having a good time. For a lot of us, a trip to the famous ‘magical kingdom’ is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so you’re focusing on getting tickets for rides, buying souvenirs, and making sure the kids meet their favorite Disney superhero or princess.

Unfortunately, for some guests, the magic of Disney is ruined by a severe accident. Instead of leaving with good memories to last a lifetime, their trip concludes with a hospital stay and a search for an amusement park accident attorney who can get them the compensation they need and deserve.

When your dream vacation ends in a nightmare at Disneyland, Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP is here to help. In this blog, we outline common theme park accident injuries and how working with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can increase your chances of getting maximum compensation for your claim.

How Common Are Accidents at Disneyland?

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is one of the most popular amusement parks in the country, second only to Disney World in Orlando. In 2021, it welcomed more than 8.5 million visitors in total, representing a 133% increase over the year before, when attendance levels were impacted by the pandemic.

While most visitors have an enjoyable time at Disneyland, others find tragedy. Since its opening in July 1955, thousands have been injured and 26 people were killed. While some accidents were unforeseeable, others resulted from poor safety measures, inattentive staff, or mechanical failure. In 2018, California OSHA fined the resort over $33,000 for contributing to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak among employees as well as visitors by failing to properly clean cooling equipment.

Types of Disneyland Accidents

Below is an overview of the different types of accidents that can happen at Disneyland.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Many Disneyland injuries result from slips, trips, and falls. They can happen when a walkway is not designed for safety or water from a fountain or spilled beverage makes walking surfaces dangerously slippery. Accidents also occur on stairs or ramps that lack handrails or curbs without visible markings. If you suffer a slip and fall at Disneyland, you could be looking at months of recovery, lost income, and other compensable damages.

Ride and Attraction Malfunction

Many of the park’s most devastating and fatal injuries have occurred on rides, roller coasters, and other attractions. In some cases, the ride had an unsafe design while in others, poor maintenance or inattentive employees were the issues. Examples include:

  • In July 2005, 25 people were injured when one train on the California Screamin’ train rear-ended another. There were 48 passengers aboard the two trains, 15 of whom were hospitalized.
  • A 23-year-old woman died from traumatic brain injuries sustained on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland during her honeymoon in 2002. According to the California Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of her family, a Disney ride operator can be categorized under California law as a “common carrier” who is obligated to provide a higher standard of care.
  • In 1989, a man suffered knee injuries on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride after his boat collided with another in front of it.

Shuttle Bus Injuries

Disneyland employs shuttle buses to transport guests to and from the resort and area hotels. These vehicles are like any other bus in that they can crash into other motorists, injure passengers due to sudden stops, and strike pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. In 1985, a seven-year-old girl was killed when she fell into the side of a tour bus in the main Disneyland parking lot and was crushed by the rear wheels.

Regardless of what causes a Disneyland accident, injuries like the following can occur:

  • Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
  • Severe bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains and strains
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Concussion
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Disability
  • Death

Although Disneyland is a multi-billion dollar corporation, it has to abide by the law just like any other company. If its representatives are negligent or careless, it can and should be held liable for accidents occurring on its premises.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Disneyland Lawsuit

Disneyland injuries could result in significant financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and more. If you’ve been injured, the good news is that Disneyland is relatively quick to settle claims: the success of a theme park depends on the perception that it is safe for everyone. Therefore, Disneyland has a strong incentive to settle injury cases in order to avoid negative publicity. Only a tiny percentage of cases have ever proceeded to trial.

This unusual willingness to negotiate doesn’t mean you should deal with Disneyland on your own. Not only is filing a personal injury claim complicated, but the so-called ‘happiest place on earth’ doesn’t have your best interests at heart. When you’re self-represented, you’re likely to be offered a much smaller settlement because you won’t know how to accurately value your current and future damages.

An experienced Disneyland injuries lawyer will know how to value your claim in its entirety and negotiate with the insurance adjuster for its full value. Many claimants unintentionally jeopardize their cases by making statements that can be misconstrued as accepting blame, and if that happens, your settlement may be reduced by your perceived share of fault for the accident.  

Your attorney can also:

  • Submit your proof of claim
  • Send a written request to Disney to preserve all video surveillance of your accident
  • Investigate whether similar accidents occurred on the same ride / under the same circumstances  

Personal injury litigants who retain counsel generally receive a substantially higher settlement than those who are self-represented, so the money you spend hiring a lawyer is worth it in the long run.

Questions? Get a Free Consultation From a Los Angeles Amusement Park Accident Lawyer

The number of theme park accidents is on the rise as more and faster rides are being designed, existing rides and park properties are not being properly maintained, and more people are visiting the parks after the pandemic. If your planned day of fun at Disneyland ends with a preventable accident, an amusement park accident attorney can help you recover the monetary damages you need to access medical care and maintain financial stability.

 At Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, we can help you file a Disneyland lawsuit. We thoroughly understand the laws that govern theme parks in California and will argue for a full and fair settlement. If necessary, we will also take your case to trial. Consultations are free, and if you hire us, you only pay if we win. Please contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!