Many campsites and caravan parks offer a wider range of facilities than simply a pitch, including outdoor seating and dining areas, social events, and activities such as fishing and canoeing. It is important that a site’s grounds are properly maintained and supervised so that, for example, broken glass is cleared away as quickly as possible. Damaged paving stones and tiling, exposed concrete, potholes and uneven surfaces can cause cuts and falls, while trailing electric cables in publicly accessible areas are easy to trip over, especially at night. Electric sockets must also be regularly inspected and kept in good working order to prevent the risk of shocks and burn injuries. This also applies to electric appliances provided in rented caravans.
All sorts of equipment that is available for guests to hire, such as cooking utensils and sports gear must be in good condition and safe to use. Shower and toilet facilities should be cleaned routinely, with floor surfaces properly dried to prevent slipping accidents. Cooking and washing up areas must be subject to a similarly efficient system of inspection and maintenance. Site installations like shower units, sinks, lockers and plumbing systems need inspecting regularly to prevent defects developing due to wear and tear. The same applies to rented caravan facilities such as stoves, fridges, microwaves, kettles and similar amenities.
Our firm has also handled claims for bed bug bites at campsites and caravan parks, which regularly ruin holidays for guests at all types of destinations. Find out more about bed bug bite compensation claims
Swimming pools are another common feature of modern campsites and caravan parks, and site owners need to make sure that they are safe for visitors to use, including the structure, surfaces and chemicals used to maintain hygiene. Swimming activities need to be supervised by qualified lifeguards, and safety rules should be clearly displayed around the pool area. Similar safety measures need to be in place for other outdoor activities like hiking and watersports.
Outdoor child play areas at campsites and caravan parks need to be properly maintained, both in terms of the play equipment and the play area itself. These areas need to be regularly inspected during the day to check for damaged equipment, as well as for broken glass and similar potentially hazardous debris. Safety mats and matting should be installed and suitable for the intended purpose, while warning signs should be in place to inform parents and children about how to use the play area safely.
Owners of campsites and caravan parks in rural areas must also ensure guests are protected from neighbouring farm vehicles and livestock by installing effective gates and fencing to prevent access to and from off-site land.
Campsite and caravan park owners owe their visitors a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, and must provide them with a safe environment as far as reasonably possible. This includes making sure that sites are not overbooked and overcrowded. If a guest is injured through no fault of their own, but rather due to the negligence of an outdoor holiday site’s staff or owners, the injured guest will be able to claim personal injury compensation, which will be paid out under the terms of the public liability insurance policy that campsite and caravan park owners are obliged to hold.
Mr D was injured through no fault of his own at a campsite and caravan park, and later successfully claimed compensation from the site’s owners. On the second day of Mr D’s stay there was a heavy storm, with torrential rain and strong, gusty wind blowing across the site. As he was leaving the site’s bathrooms, Mr D was struck on the head by a sign that had become detached by the wind and fallen from its placement. He was knocked to the ground by the force of the impact, sustaining a nasty cut to the head, and was dazed and groggy in the aftermath of the accident. Mr D’s wife alerted staff at the site who called an ambulance, and he spent the night under observation at the local NHS hospital. He was discharged the following day, having had the laceration to his head stapled and went on to make a full recovery. The family’s holiday was obviously ruined by the accident, and they returned home shortly after.
Mr D got in touch with Bartletts Solicitors to discuss the possibility of making a claim against the campsite and caravan park. Our solicitors advised him that he had strong grounds for suing the site’s owners and agreed to represent him on a no win no fee basis. On his behalf, we argued that despite the unusually strong wind on the day of the accident, all signs and installations at the site should have been sufficiently robust and secure to stop them becoming detached and falling from height onto those below. This represented a failure of maintenance on the part of the site’s staff and owners. Under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957, owners and occupiers of premises open to the public owe their visitors a duty of care, and must take all measures to minimise the risk of accidents and injuries. In this instance, the site’s owners had breached the duty of care they owed Mr D by failing to keep him reasonably safe while using the premises. After a few months of correspondence, the site owner’s insurers acknowledged liability for the accident, and Mr D received £4,250 in personal injury compensation.