Playground injury claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

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

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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, it may be possible to claim compensation, either for your own injuries or on behalf of a 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
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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.

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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.

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Calculate my playground injury compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

The nationwide network of Quittance solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, from relatively minor claims to serious, long-term injury. Chosen on the basis of their winning track record, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience handling claims on behalf of injured claimants.

Click here to meet more of the team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
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.

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