Compensation for Accidents in Fairgrounds

Amazing attractions and hair-raising rides are great fun for many thrill seekers, and there are plenty of fairgrounds in the UK that are built to provide adrenaline junkies with all the fun and excitement they could wish for.

That is, until something goes wrong. We go to the fair to relax and enjoy ourselves but unfortunately for some the trip ends in misery when they have an accident.  From poorly maintained rides to dodgy burger vans there are a multitude of dangers to contend with.  For the most part your trip to the fair will go well – in the UK fairgrounds and amusement parks are tightly regulated to ensure your safety - but accidents can, and do, happen and if it wasn't your fault you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.

Can I make a claim for compensation?

In order to make a claim against the fairground operator you need to be sure that the accident was due to their negligence.  If the ride was improperly maintained or assembled you have a good case that your accident was their fault. On the other hand, if you enter into a restricted area, ignoring warning signs, and are injured by moving machinery you would find it harder to claim.

Common Accidents

Accidents involving fairground rides are usually similar to accidents sustained in car accidents or with heavy industrial machinery.  Most rides work on the basis of controlled spinning or dropping which submits your body to greater G-forces than under normal conditions. In some circumstances, you may not be aware of your injury until after you have left the ride or fairground.

Whiplash injuries can occur if the ride stops suddenly.  You can also get crushing and bruising injuries from the safety bars or harness.  Whiplash occurs during sudden braking when your head is not restrained and can fly forward and back which stresses the neck and spinal column and in extreme cases can result in serious back injuries.

Riders unlucky enough to be thrown from rides can sustain fractures to any part of their body depending on the direction they leave the ride and the height they fall from. They can also sustain internal injuries, or brain trauma, on landing.

If part of the ride is insufficiently guarded it is possible that clothes, hair or even limbs could become caught.  If this occurs whilst the ride is in motion serious damage, even amputation, could occur.

Bruising and laceration can occur if part of a ride becomes loose and falls either onto riders or into the queue and watchers.

Not all fairground accidents are caused by the rides themselves.  Crushes can be caused by ineffective crowd control, especially if these desirable attractions are only open for short periods of time. Crushing injuries can result in broken bones and injuries to internal organs.  Trips and falls can occur at any time, especially if the fairground is poorly lit at night making it hard to see your footing.  If food is on sale you could also be at risk of food poisoning or burns and scalding injuries.

How much compensation will I receive?

The amount of compensation will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your day to day life.  If you require large amounts of modification, for example if an injury leaves you needing to use a wheelchair which means you need to move to a more suitable home, you are likely to receive a larger pay-out.

You may well suffer emotionally and psychologically and are at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  If you suffer as a result of the accident this will also be taken into account when your claim is calculated.

I think I have a claim, what should I do next?

You should take advice as soon as possible after the event so that evidence regarding the severity of your injuries is easier to obtain.  Write down your version of events as soon as you can, and ask anyone you were with for their version too.  If you can't write then you can dictate or make a recording. Your medical records relating to the accident may need to be obtained and you should keep copies of any doctor’s letters that may be relevant.

If you think your injury was the result of negligence of a fairground ride operator your next step is to contact a member of our friendly team who can guide you through the claims process.  Our experienced solicitors can advise you on all aspects of the claim process, from whether you have sufficient grounds to the amount of compensation you could be entitled to.

Related News 

June 2017 - Fairground Accidents – is enough being done to ensure our safety?

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