Public park accident claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

Injuries in parks are a frequent source of compensation claims for accidents in a public place.If an injury is caused by unsafe equipment or poor maintenance in the park, a claim for compensation can usually be made.

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Jogging in park

Do I have a public park accident claim?

If you were injured in a public park accident in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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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.

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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
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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.

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How much compensation can I claim for a public park accident?

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If a claim is successful, a compensation sum will be agreed based on the extent of the injuries as well as the prognosis given by medical professionals. Compensation will also be paid for costs that have arisen as a result of the accident.

It will also depend on whether or not full liability can be attributed to a third party. In some cases, the Claimant may be partly responsible for an accident or for their injuries, and this can result in a reduction in the compensation awarded.

To make a claim for accident in a public park, contact Quittance on 0800 612 7456 or request a callback.

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Meet the team

The nationwide network of QLS solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, from relatively minor claims to life-changing injury. Selected because of their success rate in winning claims, QLS's solicitors have years of experience.

Click here to meet more of the Quittance Legal Services team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

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