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Amusement Park Safety Inspection: What Florida Residents Should Know


For millions of Americans, a trip to the county or state fair is an annual tradition they wouldn’t dream of missing.  The thrill of carnival rides brings together patrons young and old, and the memories made at these events can last a lifetime.  For some, however, a question arises: How safe are these rides?  And what is the risk of personal injury to those who choose to ride them?

Back in 2017, the family of one young patron of the Ohio State Fair learned this lesson the hard way when a ride known as the Fire Ball failed to operate properly and resulted in the young man’s death, in addition to seven other patrons incurring personal injury.  For these victims and their families, there was likely a strong urge to seek legal action in an attempt to recover compensation for damages incurred due to the ride’s malfunction.

Orlando is known as one of the preeminent amusement park destinations in the world.  With all of the rides and attractions to choose from, visitors sometimes neglect to consider the inherent risks involved in riding these rides, especially when they have not been properly inspected or maintained.

When accidents like these occur, contacting an experienced local personal injury attorney is always the preferred course of action.  These legal professionals can help victims review their case and determine if there exists grounds to pursue litigation.  A major determining factor in these cases is the ability to prove that negligence occurred on behalf of the ride operators, owners, or the safety inspection team assigned to review and sign off on the ride in question.

Although your personal injury attorney should always be the predominant resource for information on your case, there are some general points of knowledge regarding the safety inspection process in the state of Florida to which all residents should be made aware.  Therefore, this article aims to present some baseline information on amusement park ride safety inspections in Florida.

Who Inspects Fair Rides in Florida? 

In the state of Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is the agency responsible for inspecting all amusement park rides for any signs of personal injury risk. The exception is rides that reside in amusement parks with more than 1,000 employees, which have full-time inspection teams on their payroll.

In Florida, there are two main types of amusement park rides: Temporary amusement park rides and permanent facility amusement park rides.  Temporary amusement park rides are typically the ones found at county or state fairs.  In many cases, these rides are owned by entertainment companies who travel the United States and set up the rides at each location.

When to Contact an Attorney 

For smaller fairs and carnivals, the temporary amusement park ride is likely to be the ones set up at these events.  The frequent assembly and disassembly of these rides, combined with operator error and inadequate safety inspections, can mean a personal injury risk to patrons.  Proving negligence is key to obtaining compensation for damages incurred in these cases.

Have you or someone you love been injured at an amusement park? Contact the Orlando amusement park accident attorneys at Payer Law for assistance with your case.


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