Bouncy Castle Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a bouncy castle accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a bouncy castle 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
bouncy castle accident compensation:
Over the last decade, bouncy castle-related accidents involving children have shown a fifteen-fold increase. It is estimated that around 10,000 children are injured every year, 4,000 of them while playing on inflatables in private homes.
43% of all bouncy castle injuries are sustained in fall accidents, often by children bouncing off the inflatable and on to the ground.
Recognised bouncy castle hazards
The operator of a bouncy castle cannot easily take precautions against some of the issues described below, such as children fighting on the inflatable.
In many cases, however, the operator is likely to be responsible for accidents sustained as a result of use of the bouncy castle.
The following hazards have been identified:
- instability and blowing away in windy conditions
- injury to users caused by wearing inappropriate clothes and shoes
- overcrowding or not separating larger users (adults and older children) from smaller children
- injury to users caused by boisterous behaviour
- situations caused by bouncy castles deflating through loss of pressure
- windows tearing or detaching
- tripping over guy ropes or anchorages
- electrical hazards (e.g. electric shock or burns injuries)
- inadequate means of escape in case of fire
- lifting injuries caused by manual handling
- access to dangerous machinery (e.g. inadequately protected, or unguarded air pumps or generators)
If you or a member of your family has been injury as a result of any of the above factors, it may be possible to make a claim.
Equipment risks and applicable legislation
Bouncy castle controllers and operators have obligations under Health and Safety legislation to ensure that both children and adults using their equipment do so with minimum risk.
As a requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, controllers or operators of bouncy castles must carry out a risk assessment of their activities to determine control measures to avoid risk or reduce risk to acceptable levels.
The manufacturer's information and instructions for safe operation should help with this and should be readily available for reference.
The "controller" is defined as the person, organisation or hirer having the overall control - including responsibility for maintenance - of the bouncy castle
An operator is the person (over 18 years) appointed by the controller to be in charge of the operation of the inflatable at any time when it is intended to be available for public use.
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and subsequent regulations require all inflatable play equipment "designed to be used by members of the public for entertainment purposes either as a slide or for bouncing upon" to be tested at suitable intervals by a competent person.
In addition, the Provision of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) require inflatable devices to be inspected at suitable intervals to ensure that safe conditions are maintained, and that any deterioration in the device is detected and remedial action taken in good time.
Reducing user risks
When a bouncy castle is in use there are other measures that should be checked to ensure it is safe to use.
The castle should be securely anchored to prevent it blowing over. If on hard ground it should have mooring straps attached to solid points.
Impact absorbing mats should be positioned at the open side of the castle and extend sufficiently to prevent children hitting hard ground if they bounce out of the castle.
An inadequate safety equipment claim is likely to succeed if it can be demonstrated that the operator was negligent in this respect.
At least one competent person should be constantly supervising users of the play equipment.
Attendants must be over 16 and appointed to work under the control and direction of an operator to assist in the operation of the inflatable device.
Attendants must also follow maximum load recommendations to prevent children bumping into each other.
Children of different ages or sizes may need to be separated to avoid larger children crushing smaller ones.
Users should be instructed to remove sharp articles of clothing like shoes, buckles and jewellery and this should be enforced.
Attendants should control children to prevent horseplay that could lead to injury; children must also be deterred from climbing the walls.
Hiring a bouncy castle privately
The hire company should provide detailed guidelines on the safe positioning and use of a bouncy castle, including protecting children from electrical equipment.
The person hiring the castle may be required to take responsibility for supervision of children when it is in use.
For more information about claiming for bouncy castle-related injuries at a private event, it is recommended that you speak to a solicitor about your options as soon as possible.
Making a claim for an injury on behalf of a child
A parent or guardian making a claim for compensation on behalf of a child under 18 is referred to as a 'litigation friend'.
The claim may be brought with the assistance of the litigation friend before the child turns 18.
After that date, the claimant then has 3 years in which to bring a claim themselves.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your bouncy castle accident 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.
Who pays for this specialist help?
The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.
No win, no fee - the facts
Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .
Our no win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a bouncy castle accident 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 bouncy castle accident claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my bouncy castle accident claim?
If your bouncy castle accident claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. bouncy castle accident claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Bouncy castle accident 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.
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.
How long do I have to make a bouncy castle accident claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the bouncy castle accident to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your bouncy castle accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a bouncy castle accident 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 bouncy castle accident compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a bouncy castle accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
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.
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.
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.
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.