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.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an amusement park accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming amusement park injury compensation:

Introduction

Amusement parks, theme parks and fairgrounds present many risks - both to employees and members of the public. Anyone involved in their design, construction, organisation, maintenance and 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.

Amusement park accident

Do I have an amusement park injury claim?

You should be able to make an amusement park injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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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 amusement park injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

Can I claim if the amusement park injury made an existing injury worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward amusement park injury injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

How much compensation can I claim for an amusement park injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your amusement park injury will depend on:

  • the extent 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 amusement park injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General 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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an amusement park injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for an amusement park 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 amusement park injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your amusement park injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Will I have to pay tax on my amusement park injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following an amusement park injury injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Amusement park injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an amusement park 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 amusement park injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does an amusement park injury claim take?

How long it can take to process an amusement park accident claim can vary considerably.

For example, 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?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your amusement park injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.

How did your injury occur?

The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:

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 amusement park injury claim without the worry of upfront legal fees. If your amusement park 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 amusement park 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 amusement park 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 amusement park injury claim?

If your amusement park 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 can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Amusement park injury FAQ's

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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an amusement park injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the amusement park injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your amusement park injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an amusement park 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim amusement park injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an amusement park injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert