Public Park Accident Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a public park accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a public park 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
public park accident compensation:
Injuries in parks are a frequent source of compensation claims for accidents in a public place.If you have been injured by unsafe equipment or poor maintenance in a park, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.
Do I have a public park accident claim?
You should be eligible to make a public park accident injury claim if your injury happened:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a public park accident claim on their own behalf.
Can I still claim if I didn't report the public park accident?
If you did not report the accident it can make it more difficult to pursue a public park accident claim, but a claim may still be possible. This will depend on the circumstances of your case and on the other evidence available.
Can I make a public park accident claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a public park accident claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
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.
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
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.
The amount of money you could claim for your public park accident 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 public park accident 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 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a public park accident? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?
If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.
The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.
General damages for a severe ankle injury can be £35,000
For a more minor arm injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,000.
However, if you have a severe ankle injury and a more minor arm injury, you would typically receive £35,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,000.
Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.
What is the average injury compensation for a public park accident 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 public park accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your public park accident 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a public park accident injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my public park accident compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a public park accident 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 public park accident claim could be worth now:
How long does a public park injury claim take?
How long it can take to process a public park accident claim can vary significantly.
For instance, a straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim can settle in a couple of months. If liability is denied, however, the process might take significantly longer. Usually, an occupiers liability claim takes between 6 and 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your public park 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.
No win, no fee
With a no win, no fee agreement (known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a public park accident claim without the worry of upfront legal fees. If your public park accident claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a public park 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 public park 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 public park accident claim?
If your public park accident claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Public park 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 public park accident claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the public park accident to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your public park accident claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a public park 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim public park accident compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a public park 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.