Universal Roller Coaster Accidents and Injuries

roller coaster

Millions of people visit amusements parks, such as Universal Studios, each year. Roller coasters, in particular, are a popular attraction in these kinds of places. Mechanical issues, when left unchecked and are not resolved immediately, may cause roller coasters to break down and cause injuries. In this post, I will talk about these injuries and what you can do when you or a loved one suffer from this type of injury.

Roller Coaster Accidents | Things You Should Know

In this article:

The Background

Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie-themed amusement park located in Los Angeles, California. This theme park is owned and operated by Universal Studios, a large film studio conglomerate responsible for some of the largest blockbusters to ever hit theaters. In connection with its success in film, Universal opened Universal Studios Hollywood in San Fernando.

It began as a simple tour of the back lots of the studio company’s various film studios. Over the years, as various attractions were added to the original tram tour, the park became a full-blown amusement park, complete with rides, shows, and restaurants. Now, Universal Studios Hollywood boasts 7 rides, 2 play areas, a museum, and 4 musical theater shows. 

All attractions are based on movies and tv shows produced by Universal Studios and its parent company NBCUniversal, as well as pop culture. Universal Studios has multiple fast rides and roller coasters, including roller coasters like Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic Park: The Ride, as well as 3D motion simulators like Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, The Simpsons Ride, and Transformers: The Ride.

Quality Control for Amusement Parks


With over 6.8 million visitors annually, Universal Studios is responsible for monitoring its rides, providing adequate safety precautions, following emergency response protocol, and ensuring those park goers have a safe yet enjoyable experience. However, because roller coasters and 3D simulators are largely mechanical, they suffer a high incidence of breakdown.

While this may just mean a brief but inconvenient closing while engineers inspect and fix any issues, these issues are often not discovered until an accident occurs. Universal roller coaster accidents can be catastrophic for guests. Common injuries include:

  • Amputations
  • Heart attacks 
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Falls
  • Lacerations and bruising
  • Chest pain and difficulty breathing in tight harnesses
  • Head injuries when riders are stuck upside-down

Why are Roller Coasters Dangerous?

When you go to an amusement park with your family on vacation, you expect to focus on creating memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, when a devastating accident occurs, you are left with a memory you would much rather forget.Accidents on Universal roller coasters and 3D rides are rare. However, they are not freak accidents. Freak accidents are accidents that occur for no discernible reason. They are random and unpredictable. On the other hand, most Universal ride accidents are foreseeable and entirely preventable. Common causes of roller coaster accidents include:
  • Mechanical failure
  • Ride operator error
  • Defective design
  • No warning signs
  • Lack of proper instructions
  • No adequate safety equipment
  • Fires
  • Electrical issues
  • Failure to properly, fully, and regularly inspect rides
  • Intentionally deviating from standard operating procedure regarding how to operate the ride
  • Lack of training for operators
What You Should Know In The Event Of a Roller Coaster Accident

Most of these accidents boil down to negligence on either the part of Universal Studios or the ride operator. Most operators are individuals who have no prior experience, mechanical or otherwise, and were quickly given a brief overview of the systems before being thrown into the control room. Negligence can occur when the ride operator breaches his or her duty to care for the passengers on the ride by failing to exercise reasonable care. 

Negligence can also occur when Universal Studios itself fails to exercise the proper level of care regarding the hiring, training, and supervision of staff, as well as the maintenance and upkeep of the rides. When negligence occurs that results in an accident, injured parties have legal recourse for recovery through the civil liability regime. Contact our experienced roller coaster accident attorneys for more information.

The video below by Ultimate Fact discusses the 20 worst accidents in amusement parks.

Contact a Roller Coaster Accident Attorney Today

If you were injured in an unfortunate roller coaster accident at Universal Studios, The Edward A Smith Law Offices can assist you with seeking compensation for your injuries. Compensation may cover your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and attorney’s fees. Over the past 20 years, our attorneys have worked as a team on solving problems and seeking solutions for our clients. 

We are a family here, and we’d like to welcome your family to work with us and discover why we are known as the “personal” personal injury lawyers. The Edward A Smith Law Offices is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This is an association of national personal injury lawyers who have won multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

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Editor's Note: This article has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 8.29.22]
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