Many accidents at outdoor events of this kind are the result of the poor maintenance of installations or human error. Malfunctions can result in rides stopping midway through, potentially leaving people suspended. Installations like bouncy castles and slides may become detached causing children to fall off them. Other defects include belts and straps which are poorly maintained. Owners, organisers and staff are obliged to properly inform their visitors how to safely use rides and other installations, and warn them of potential dangers. They must also properly supervise the activities and attractions they offer.
Owners and organisers are responsible for the state of the ground where the event is held, and must take the necessary measures to ensure that it is kept free from defects and hazards which could cause an accident. These include potholes, uneven surfaces, broken glass, hidden power cables, spilled food and drink, and objects falling from height. A proper system of inspection and cleaning is necessary to ensure that hazards are identified and dealt with before they can pose a risk to the health and safety of visitors. Objects falling from height may also cause injuries, such as display signs, fencing, and objects falling from rides and other installations.
Depending on the circumstances, when a person is injured at a festival, fairground or funfair through no fault of their own they may be able to bring a compensation claim against the relevant organiser, operator, controller, contractor or inspection body. If you or your child has been injured in this manner, contact our specialist lawyers today for free and confidential advice about how to claim compensation.
Mr and Mrs P contacted Bartletts Solicitors following an accident whilst they were on holiday in Wales. They had visited a family fun day at a local farm. Their son, Thomas, who was five at the time of the accident decided he wanted to go to a bouncy castle which was on site. Whilst he was using the bouncy castle a sudden gust of wind blew the castle up and as the owners of the bouncy castle had failed to secure it in place it blew onto its side taking the six children with it. Thomas was thrown from the castle and ended up on the floor. He sustained a fracture to his right arm.
Mrs P recalls that there was no age or height limit restricting children from using the inflatable castle. She also recalls that there were children of all ages using it. No one else other than Thomas appeared to be injured as a result of the accident, and Mrs P therefore called an ambulance and he was taken to the local hospital where x-rays were carried out and a fracture was confirmed. The family had booked the holiday for two weeks. The accident occurred after only three days, and the family was too upset to carry on with the rest of the holiday and therefore returned home.
Thomas was in a lot of pain for some considerable time and also lost time off school. When he did return to school after about six weeks, he seemed to have lost a lot of confidence and did not want to play with the other children. He had only just started school when the accident occurred. Also, as he was just starting to write, the injury impeded his ability to do so, and it took him considerable time to catch up with his peers in relation to his handwriting.
Bartletts wrote to the owner of the bouncy castle and obtained an admission of liability from their insurers. Bartletts arranged for Thomas to be seen by a specialist orthopaedic expert who specialises in children’s injuries, as Thomas’ mother was concerned about whether he had sustained any long-term damage. Thomas thankfully made a full recovery. Bartletts recovered the sum of £3,000 for Thomas which was invested for him until he reached the age of 18 in an investment account with the Court. In addition to that, Bartletts recovered damages for loss of enjoyment of the holiday that was ruined, and the family were then free to enjoy another holiday later on in the year when Thomas had fully recovered.
Ms F was injured at a funfair that she was attending when a safety harness she was wearing suddenly came loose from its bracket and she fell roughly ten feet from a ride, landing heavily on the tarmac below. Emergency services were quick to arrive on the scene, and Ms F was taken to hospital where she was kept overnight for observation and discharged the following day. The ride in question was immediately closed to the public while inspections were carried out, and eventually reopened after extensive maintenance work. Ms F was fortunate to sustain nothing more serious than concussion, bruising and a badly sprained wrist in the accident, but was also shocked and traumatised by her ordeal, and decided to seek legal advice after the fairground ride’s operator failed to accept responsibility or offer any form of compensation.
Ms F contacted Bartletts Solicitors having read about our experience in this area of law, and our firm went on to represent her in a no win no fee claim against the funfair’s operator. The latter party initially denied liability for the accident, arguing that Ms F had been responsible by loosening the safety harness herself. We subsequently requested and received the maintenance log for the ride, and this record showed that the attraction had not been inspected by technical experts for more than a year. This meant that the operator had breached health and safety law by failing to follow normal inspection and maintenance procedures. We contested that this represented negligence, and was the primary cause of the accident and our client’s injuries. Partial liability was eventually acknowledged by the relevant insurers, and Ms F received £4,250 in compensation.