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Zip line injuries on the rise in Colorado

Zip lines are popular attractions in Colorado. They offer a thrill to a lot of people that is unparalleled -- but it's supposed to be a safe thrill, not one that leaves participants seriously injured.

According to a 2015 study by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, zip line injuries have been on the rise for a while. In 1997, there were barely a few hundred injury victims who required emergency room care after a zip line accident. In 2012, emergency rooms saw over 3,600 victims.

There have also been occasional fatalities. Zip lines have lead to deaths in Utah, Delaware and Hawaii.

In Colorado, zip lines started to be regulated by the office of Amusement Device Safety Programs. Since then, the office has received 13 complaints related to injuries and fined zip line companies $13,000.

Why all the injuries? In some cases, patrons using the devices aren't adequately instructed on the dangers of zip lines. They aren't given careful enough instruction on the brakes and end up smashing into towers. In other instances, the zip line brakes simply failed. An occasional serious injury comes from falling tree limbs and other natural hazards. Sometimes, patrons get injured when their trolley detaches or they go to dismount.

Plus, some companies are simply operating without the proper permits -- especially those that put on traveling amusement shows. In many cases, they may believe they are exempt from regulations that the state imposes.

Zip line injuries can range from relatively minor bumps and bruises to fractured bones and traumatic brain injuries. If you've fallen victim to a catastrophic zip line injury, find out what options you have for appropriate compensation.

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