Playground Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a playground accident we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a playground 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 playground injury compensation:


Playgrounds are a common source of accidents involving children. In many cases, injuries are minor and are a result of normal play activities.

In some cases, however, more serious injury can arise as the result of negligence on the part of the school, council or other party responsible for the upkeep of the playground.

In such cases, you may be able to claim compensation, either for your own injuries or on behalf of your child.

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Claiming compensation for playground accidents

You may be able to claim compensation for injuries sustained in a playground if you can prove that there was a defect or problem with the play equipment or ground surface.

Common playground defects that may cause injury and give rise to a claim include:

  • Broken play equipment
  • Damaged play equipment with exposed sharp edges
  • Loose seating or handles on play equipment
  • Damaged soft flooring
  • Hard or uneven flooring close to play equipment
  • Protruding obstacles that are a trip hazard
  • Dangerous fencing such as barbed wire
  • Exposed nails, wood, metal or other sharp objects
  • Missing footholds or steps on high equipment
  • Poorly maintained moving equipment such as roundabouts, zip lines or swings

Identifying who is to blame

Your compensation claim will be made against the company or authority responsible for maintaining the playground. Playgrounds in public parks are usually owned by local councils, who have a duty of care to ensure the playground is a safe area for children to play.

Local councils must reasonably and responsibly inspect and maintain the play park in order to avoid any of the defects listed above being a risk to children. If they have failed to safely maintain the park, this is negligence, and a compensation claim may be made against them.

Privately-owned play areas

If the play park is owned by a private body, for example the National Trust, an occupier's liability claim will be made against that owner or occupier.

Often private bodies will have different rules and regulations in place around the use of the play area. Owners and occupiers may attempt to protect themselves against injury claims by clearly signposting that children play at their own risk, and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

There may be a case for a compensation claim if signage was not clearly displayed, and the presence of signage alone does not automatically protect the operator of a playground against claims. Whether a claim is likely to succeed in situations where signs are displayed will depend on the facts of the case.

Can a parent or guardian claim for lost earnings?

If your child has been injured in an accident at a playground as the result of the operator's negligence, you will be able to claim for the pain and suffering caused as a result of the injury.

While your child will not be eligible to claim for income lost as a result of the injury, a parent or guardian may be able to claim for this if they have to take time off work to care for the child.

How much compensation can I claim for a playground injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your playground 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 playground 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 a playground 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 a playground 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 a playground injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your playground 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.

Will I have to pay tax on my playground injury compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a playground 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.

Calculate my playground injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a playground 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 playground injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a playground injury claim take?

How long it can take to process a playground accident claim can vary significantly.

If the school accepts liability, a claim might be concluded in a few months. However, if liability is denied the process might take significantly longer. Typically, a child injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your playground 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.

How does no win, no fee work?

'No win, no fee' means that if your playground injury claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a playground 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 playground injury 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 playground injury claim?

If your playground injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. 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, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Playground 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 a playground injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a playground 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 playground injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a playground 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

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor