Amusement Park Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an amusement park accident, we can help.
Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.
We can help you make an public place accident claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Amusement parks, theme parks and fairgrounds present many risks to employees and to members of the public. Anyone involved in a park's design, construction, organisation, maintenance or operation must follow strict health and safety procedures.
Where an amusement park accident is the result of a person or company's negligence, anyone injured in the accident may be entitled to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced and to cover their medical and financial losses.
Do I have an injury claim?
You should be able to make an injury claim if your injury occurred:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Claim eligibility - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
Do I need a diagnosis to make an amusement park injury claim?
If you have been injured and are awaiting the results, you should still seek legal advice as soon as possible. The sooner you start an amusement park injury claim after an accident, the more likely your claim is to succeed.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?
Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does an amusement park injury claim take?
How long it can take to process an amusement park accident claim can vary considerably.
A straightforward liability accepted public place accident claim can settle in a couple of months. If the defendant denies liability, the process might take significantly longer. Usually, a public place accident claim takes between 6 and 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Are amusement parks safe?
The recent incident at Alton Towers, which left a number of young people severely injured as a result of a carriage collision, highlights just how serious a risk theme parks present. It also highlights the importance of health and safety in such environments.
Although many of the accidents that occur in amusement parks are not as dramatic, they can still cause injury.
From defective rides to falling signs, ineffective safety barriers, unidentified trip hazards and poor food hygiene, reported injuries range from the minor to the severe and include cuts and bruises, whiplash, lacerations, broken bones and head injuries.
Health and safety requirements
Amusement parks are complex environments with complex health and safety requirements.
Theme parks and fairs are built, organised, managed and run by a wide range of people and companies, and involve employer/employee relations. They are also public spaces, hosting high numbers of visitors.
These parks contain everything from electrical and mechanical rides to cinema experiences, independent game stalls, slot machines, play areas, restaurants and food stalls - each posing its own unique safety risks.
When it comes to health and safety, a wide range of legislation applies.
This legislation includes:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974;
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992;
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR);
- Work at Height Regulations 2005;
- Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996.
To help those in charge of theme parks to reduce risks, work safely and comply with the law, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), alongside the Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks Joint Advisory Committee (FJAC), offers a set of guidelines on safe practice.
The guidelines outline all duties of responsibility for those involved in an amusement park, and how to manage them. But what are the duties?
- Designers, suppliers, manufacturers and installers have a duty to ensure that the attractions are safe, installed correctly and properly researched
- Organisers with overall control of the fairground or amusement park have duties concerning risk assessment and implementation, safe layout and emergency procedures
- Controllers have a duty to maintain attractions in a safe condition
- Operators are in charge of an attraction and have a duty to manage it safely
- Attendants have a duty to take care of their own and other's safety and to follow instructions
- Inspectors have a duty to provide adequate testing and inspection services
If an individual or company fails to uphold any of their given duties, an accident could occur.
Who do I claim against?
Because of the complex nature of amusement parks and the health and safety regulations guiding them, apportioning liability is not always straightforward.
If a member of the public was injured because of a faulty ride, who is responsible? Is it the manufacturer for not building it to specification, the installer for not installing it correctly or the park organiser for not ensuring proper safety checks?
In the Alton Towers case, the company themselves admitted liability. And often the organiser (or company) is liable. But deciding liability depends on the nature of the accident and what factors and people are involved.
Making a claim
When a person is injured at an amusement or theme park, as the result of an accident which was not their fault, one of the first steps, after seeking medical attention, is reporting the incident. This may involve informing an attendant about what happened so that they can record and escalate it.
If possible, evidence from the scene of the accident, including photographs, witnesses and any CCTV footage should be sought as this could be vital in proving negligence.
Any further medical consultations documented will also be useful evidence when demonstrating the extent of the injury and therefore in deciding how much compensation should be given.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 5% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
No win, no fee, no risk
Under a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an injury claim without the worry of upfront legal fees. If your injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim - even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How we can help you
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:
- 8am to 9pm weekdays
- 9am to 6pm on Saturday
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.