If an amusement park injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Dramatic amusement park injuries such as falls from rides are rare, although whiplash from sudden movements are not unheard of. As with any crowded public place, however, slips, trips and falls are commonplace despite the overt focus on safety in these parks .
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.
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
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.
Am I eligible for amusement park injury compensation?
You should be entitled to amusement park injury compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Am I still eligible to claim if I was partially responsible?
Determining legal responsibility for a claimant's injuries can involve myriad factors.
In our recent 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents believed they may have been partly (or wholly) responsible for their injuries.
Even if you partly caused the accident or your injuries (refered to as 'contributory negligence'), you may still be entitled to make a claim. These claims can often be settled on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How long after an amusement park injury do I have to start a claim?
In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.
For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.
How much compensation can I claim for an amusement park injury?
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.
Amusement park injury
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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 is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your injury. Compensation can include lost wages and business losses (if you're self-employed), and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as emergency care, diagnostic imaging tests and pain medication.
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
Although psychiatric injuries are less obvious than physical injuries and illness, mental health conditions can be no less debilitating.
Our 2023 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey reveals the extent of psychological trauma, with 29.03% of claims involving a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Amusement park injuries can instill a lasting phobia of rides and large crowds, impacting future work and leisure choices. PTSD way exist in individuals after more serious accidents.
Your solicitor will help ensure that any psychological harm you have suffered as the result of another party's negligence is recognised and included in the calculation of your compensation award or settlement. In addition, you can also claim for mental health treatment costs that may not be readily available on the NHS.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
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 happen?
Amusement park injury claims are usually referred to as public place, or occupiers' liability, claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.