Roller Skating Rink Accidents
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Accidents in roller skating rinks can cause serious personal injuries. Under New Jersey state law, roller skaters and other patrons injured at roller skating rinks may be able to sue the owner or operator of the rink and be compensated for the injuries they sustained. See N.J.S.A. § 5:14-1 et seq. The ability to file a lawsuit against the roller skating rink depends on whether the roller skater and the owner or operator abide by certain rules set forth in New Jersey’s Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act. See id.
Pursuant to the Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act, owners and operators of roller skating rinks must:
Additionally, owners and operators must: 1) Keep lights on in exit and service areas when the skating surface lights are turned off during special numbers, 2) Provide reasonable security in parking areas, 3) Prohibit the sale or use of alcoholic beverages on the premises, and 4) Abide by all other requirements of the Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act and other state and federal laws and regulations.
Often, in order to sue a roller skating rink for injuries sustained while roller skating, the skaters must show that they conducted themselves in a reasonable manner and that they abide by certain rules, as well. For example, roller skaters must:
The Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act was enacted, in part, to delineate who could sue roller skating rinks and under what circumstances. For example, when someone voluntarily skates at a roller skating rink, they assume the inherent risks of roller skating that are obvious and necessary. Examples of inherent risks include incidental contact with other skaters or spectators, falls caused by loss of balance, and contact with objects properly located within the roller skater’s intended path. Incidental contact is contact that is likely to happen or naturally occurs while roller skating. Oftentimes, when people suffer injuries from these inherent risks, state law prevents them from filing a lawsuit against the rink owner.
Many roller skating rinks offer skating lessons to customers. If you are injured during or shortly after taking such a lesson, you may have a claim against the roller skating rink owner for negligence. These types of cases are especially likely if you have never skated before and the rink fails to properly instruct you.
Even if your injury is caused by another skater’s reckless behavior, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the rink owner or operator. In these cases, a jury would decided whether the other skater’s conduct was “incidental to skating” or whether the owner should be held accountable for failing to stop a skater’s reckless behavior. This is not always an easy determination to make. Therefore, if you have been injured by another skater at a roller skating rink or because of another skater’s behavior, it is important to contact an attorney to help you determine what your rights are and how to be fairly compensated for your injuries.
Finally, if you are injured at a rink because the owner or operator of a roller skating rink failed to abide by its requirements under state law, then you may be able to sue the owner or operator for your injuries. Depending upon the unique circumstances of your case, it may not matter whether your injury was partially caused by the inherent risks of skating, some of which are discussed above. Because these types of cases often involve complex legal issues, it is best to contact an attorney to help you determine what your rights are and how best to protect them.
The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC, have over 25 years of experience with roller skating rink accident claims and know how to get the compensation you deserve. Please contact us if you or a family member is a victim of a roller skating rink accident.
New Jersey’s Roller Skating Rink Safety and Fair Liability Act, N.J.S.A. § 5:14-1 et seq.
Calhanas v. South Amboy Roller Rink, 292 N.J. Super. 513 (App. Div. 1996).
Derricote v. United Skates of America, 350 N.J. Super. 227, 234 (App. Div. 2002).