If a public park injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Public ark Injuries often occur from falls from playground swings and slides, sports accidents, or incidents involving park maintenance equipment.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a public park accident, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip, 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
Understanding public park accidents
According to ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) it is estimated that approximately 40,000 children are admitted to hospital each year after a playground accident (which includes those in public parks). Around 40 per cent of these accidents are related to the equipment.
Common causes of injury claims relating to the management of public parks include:
- Poor equipment design/failure to comply with standards
- Insufficient design and layout including inappropriate surfacing e.g. tarmac over matting or bark
- Unsuitable equipment for the intended age group
- Incorrect installation
- Inadequate inspection and maintenance dangerous/sharp parts or litter such as broken glass
Who is responsible for accidents in public parks?
Designed for community recreation, public parks are, in most cases, built and maintained by local councils.
Although the local authority is not responsible for actively supervising park users, they do have a responsibility to ensure that a park is kept in a safe condition for anyone to use, including children.
The Courts do not expect children to be as risk-aware as adults, and this must be reflected in a park's design and maintenance. This includes correct installation of good quality equipment and facilities and regular risk assessments and maintenance, including keeping it clean and tidy.
Accidents involving children are likely to result from a council's failure to fulfil their duty, as children are less risk averse and more likely to interact with hazards such as damaged play equipment.
This duty of care' falls under tort (common) law. Therefore, when a child is hurt by faulty play equipment or an adult suffers a fall due to an unmarked hazard in a public park, the local council could be held liable.
How can liability be proven?
When an accident happens, seeking medical attention is always the first priority. For serious injuries this can mean a hospital visit. The next step is to inform the local council responsible for that particular public park.
It is important to take note of the date, time and location of the incident. Any evidence gathered at the site of the accident, such as photographs or witness contact details will be extremely helpful in establishing who is at fault. CCTV footage can also be recovered and used if available.
Once an accident is reported, the local council should investigate the incident and produce a written report. This is often useful when making a claim, though you can still make an injury claim even if you did not immediately notify the council of the accident.
Am I eligible for public park accident compensation?
You will be able to claim compensation if you've been injured or diagnosed with an illness in the last three years and it wasn't your fault.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
Claiming when you're partially at fault
Personal injury claims often involve circumstances where there is some degree of blame on each side.
We found that, in our 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents were unsure as to which party was legally liable for their injuries.
When fault on both sides caused a claimant's injuries, this is called 'contributory negligence'. In these situations, compensation may still be payable on the basis of a split liability agreement.
How long do I have to make a public park injury 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 a public 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.
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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 awarded to cover any financial losses and expenses you incur as a result of your public park injury or negligent medical treatment. These damages aim to put you back in the financial position you would have been in, had your injury not occurred.
Special damages will also cover your medical treatment expenses, that might include pain medication and psychological support.
Psychological trauma following an injury or illness
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
Our 2023 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey highlights that 29.03% of claimants reported they had suffered a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Compensation for psychological harm can help you access mental health support and therapies not always available through 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.
Public park accident claims are usually referred to as public liability claims or occupiers' liability claims, depending on who owns or operates the park. 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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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.