The number of people who sustain injuries on an amusement or theme park ride has reached more than 1,000 each year since 2001. If you pay attention to the news, you have seen several recent stories involving people who were either injured or killed.

Some amusement and theme park ride injuries are the result of something that the rider did or did not do. As an example, this past summer, a teenager’s hat fell off while he was riding a roller coaster. Instead of asking for help in retrieving it or just chocking it up as a lost hat, he jumped the fence, went under the roller coaster that was in motion, and was struck and killed.

However, many injuries and deaths are directly linked to faulty equipment or human error on the side of the park and/or ride operator. Regardless of how you were injured, it is important to work with a reputable attorney in seeking the maximum compensation possible. Although there are numerous types of claims, the actual claim depends on the nature of the accident. The two most common claims are negligence and product liability.

With negligence, an injury occurs due to inattention or carelessness of the park employee or the park itself. To get the maximum compensation, your attorney must prove that the law required the defendant to take reasonable care, that the defendant was careless, and that this carelessness caused the injury. Because the park is responsible for its employees and their actions, when someone working at the park is negligent, you can sue the park on behalf of the employee’s actions.

In a negligence case, the employee or park either did something or failed to do something that resulted in injury. For example, the park failed to post clear warning signs, provide a permanent barrier, properly train operators, maintain equipment in a safe manner, regularly inspect the rides, and so on. At the same time, if the park posted signs but did not adequately warn riders of risks or provided incorrect instructions to riders, it is considered negligent.

With product liability, a ride and/or its parts/components are defective. Perhaps a lap bar failed to latch, causing the rider to fall with the ride in motion. Included in a product liability claim is any design or structural defect. In this case, your attorney will file a claim or lawsuit against the ride or part/component manufacturer, the park, or both.

In a product liability case, your attorney must prove that the equipment, part/component, or structure was defective and that you were injured because of that defect. These claims are often tough because the defendant will have numerous defenses. However, your attorney will be fully prepared to fight for maximum compensation.

If you were injured on an amusement or theme park ride, you need to hire an attorney. Because these claims involve many complexities, the best way to secure the maximum compensation is by having a reputable attorney in your corner.