As the summer gets into full swing and we begin to take the kids and family to the amusement parks and water parks and carnivals that are so prevalent over the warm weather months, we need to be careful and have an understanding of our rights and possible rights to a recovery for injuries due to the park’s negligence. They have a duty to maintain the amusement parts and water parks and theme parks in a safe manner for the patrons and to product us from hazardous conditions.
The Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act provides the rules and regulations for carnivals and fairs operating in Illinois. If an amusement ride or attraction is going to be operated for public use at a carnival or fair, the ride must be issued a permit from the Illinois Department of Labor. To receive a permit, the following documents must be submitted: an application, proof of insurance, and the required fees. Permits are issued when the ride is inspected by the Department of Labor. Once the ride has been approved for operation, the inspector will issue a permit decal which must be attached to the ride. After the initial inspection that is required for a permit, the ride or attraction must be inspected at least once a year. The inspector will issue the operator an inspection certificate each time a ride passes the inspection. If you see a ride that is not operating with a permit, you should call the police and the Illinois Department of Labor. Any person who owns an amusement ride or attraction at a carnival or fair without a permit is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and subject to civil penalties.
Ride operators are required to maintain $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance. However, if the ride is being operated at a carnival located at a permanent site which has five or fewer amusement rides, and none of those rides operates higher than eight feet, the insurance policy or bond amount required for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one accident must not be lower than $500,000.
Rides or attractions must be operated by an employee or volunteer who is at least sixteen years old. All operators of the rides must receive appropriate training to operate the ride or attraction. The entity that owns or operates the carnival or fair must conduct a criminal background check and a check of the Sex Offender Registry for carnival workers. These checks must be performed at the time the person is hired and once a year after the hiring, unless the person is a continual employee of the entity. Finally, the entity that owns or operates the carnival or fair must have a substance abuse policy in place for its workers, which must include random drug tests for workers.
For Frequently Asked Questions about the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act, click here.
If you or a family member or friend were involved in an accident, call our office for a free consultation so we can discuss your rights and how best to handle your injury claim. There is no charge for speaking with one of our experienced attorneys so call us at (312) 422-0500.