In this guide to public playground accident claims, we’ll explain what type of accidents and injuries could result in a personal injury claim. Furthermore, we’ll look at how you could claim on behalf of your child and what level of compensation might be paid.
If you do decide to take legal action, we are here to help. We have a team of personal injury solicitors who provide free case reviews and will supply legal advice on your options. Should your playground accident claim appear to be strong enough, we could offer to take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. In all cases, they’ll try to secure the highest amount of compensation possible for your child’s injuries.
Once you have finished reading, you can call us on 0800 6524 881 to see if we could help you claim, if you wish to do so.
For accidents in a school playground please refer to this page.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Playground Accident Claim
- Common Causes Of Playground Accident Claims
- Common Injuries From Accidents In Public Playgrounds
- How Much Compensation For A Playground Accident Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Public Playground Accident Claim
- Claiming For A Child’s Playground Accident
- Time Limits For Claiming Playground Accident Compensation
- Using Personal Injury Solicitors For A Playground Accident Claim
- Starting The Playground Accident Claims Process
There are various laws in place that try to ensure you and your child are safe when using public playgrounds and play areas in general. In general terms, they all mean that park operators, such as the council/local authority, need to try and ensure the safety of anybody that enters their facilities. In regards to claiming compensation for playground injuries, you’ll need to show that:
- You (or your child) were owed a duty of care; and
- A breach of that duty through a negligent act caused the playground accident to happen; and
- You (or your child) were injured as a result of the accident.
In a short while, we’ll take a look at what steps you should take after a public playground accident to try and secure strong evidence of negligence. Before we do, let’s look at some common causes of playground accident claims.
As discussed in the previous section, if a negligent playground operator such as the council causes an accident, you may be able to sue for any injuries that result. While we cannot list every single common cause of playground accidents in this guide, we’ve provided some examples below. You could claim for injuries caused because:
- The playground layout or design doesn’t conform to legal safety standards.
- Inspections of the playground equipment, furniture, gates and fencing were not inspected regularly.
- Faulty playground equipment was left unrepaired.
- Playground equipment was not installed properly.
- Seating was damaged and left with sharp edges exposed.
- Vandalised equipment that had been reported was not cordoned off.
- Safety measures such as soft tiles were in a poor state of repair or missing.
If you see a similar scenario to yours above, or even if you don’t, simply call our team, explain what’s happened and we’ll review your options with you. Remember, if your case is accepted, one of our solicitors will represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
Again, you can only claim for a playground accident if it has resulted in injuries. For example, you could claim for:
If you don’t see the injury or playground accident that has affected you or your child, don’t worry. We could still help you make a compensation claim.
If you decide to start a claim for a playground accident, the insurance company acting on behalf of the local authority will want clear evidence and justification for every penny asked for. Importantly, each claim is unique as the severity of any injuries will always vary, therefore there isn’t a pre-determined set amount of compensation you’d receive. We’ll look at calculating compensation amounts in more detail below. For now, let’s look at how a claim is made up:
- General damages. This element of your claim will focus on pain, suffering and loss of amenity. It can include any physical or psychological injuries.
- Special damages. In this part of your claim, the focus is on any costs, financial losses or expenses that the injuries have caused. You could claim for care costs, travel expenses, lost income (and future lost income), medical costs and, in more serious cases, modifications to your home to help cope with disabilities.
More in-depth information can be found on this page with regard to general and special damages.
To help prove the extent of any injuries, an independent medical assessment might be needed. It will be conducted by an independent medical expert who’ll ask questions, examine the accident victim and review their medical notes. Their report will explain what injuries have been suffered and provide a prognosis. Our solicitors can book the assessment locally so that you don’t need to travel too far.
Solicitors and insurers refer to guidelines from the Judicial College when calculating settlement amounts for playground accident claims, and all claims in general. Therefore, we’ve used their advised figures in our compensation calculator:
Please be aware that even if your claim is successful, the amount awarded could vary from the figures listed. As mentioned previously, each claim is unique so it’s difficult to determine compensation levels until the case has been fully reviewed. If your injury is not listed, please call and an advisor to discuss what injuries have been suffered.
To support a public playground accident claim, doing the following things where possible will help:
- Report the accident to the local authority (or park operator). You can request a copy of the report which could be used to try and prove dates, times and locations.
- Seek medical treatment so that any injuries are treated. Afterwards, medical records can be requested from A&E or your GP to prove the extent of any injuries.
- Photograph or film the cause of the playground accident. Ideally, this should be done at the time and before anything is removed or fixed.
- Ask witnesses for their details. At a later date, a solicitor might ask them for a statement if the defendant denies liability for the playground accident.
- Request CCTV footage if the playground was covered by security cameras.
- Keep a record of any costs that you incur because of the accident. It is sometimes possible to ask for these to be paid back.
We are happy to review any evidence you have gathered so far. If you have enough to proceed, we’ll pass your case to a solicitor. If not, we’ll offer free legal advice on what else might help.
As you can imagine, children are not allowed to represent themselves in legal action. However, that won’t stop a playground accident claim from being made. Using the Litigation Friend process allows parents or guardians to claim on behalf of the child.
The claims process is very similar to other personal injury claims. However, the litigation friend must make decisions (in the child’s best interests) and deal with solicitors and courts.
Where a claim is settled in favour of the child, any compensation will be checked for fairness and held in a court account until the child turns 18 years old. Litigation friends are able to request funds from the court in writing where they will benefit the child.
If you contact our solicitors they can advise you further on this process.
You can start a public playground accident claim at any time before your child is 18 years old. If you don’t, they will have 3-years from their 18th birthday to take action themselves.
If it’s an adult who was hurt, generally the 3-year time limit would start from the date of the accident. However, in cases where injuries were not immediately apparent, the time limit may start from the date the person became aware of the injury.
You might not realise it but, if you do start a claim, the council or playground operator won’t deal with it themselves usually. Instead, the claim will be forwarded to an insurer. Their job is to minimise how much compensation they pay to keep their business as profitable as possible. Therefore, if you can’t explain clearly how their client caused your child to become injured, you might lose out on some or all of the compensation they should receive.
For that reason, we suggest taking on legal support. Our team of solicitors have been dealing with injury claims for many years. If your public playground accident claims is taken on, they’ll use that experience when representing you. They’ll deal with all communication on your behalf and fight your corner if the insurer raises any objections. Ultimately, they’ll do all they can to try and make sure a fair amount of compensation is paid.
To find out whether we can help you start the claims process right away, call us on 0800 6524 881.
We will review your case and offer legal advice on a no-obligation basis. If you do decide to proceed, and a solicitor accepts your claim, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis. That will make the playground accident claims process less risky financially and a lot less stressful.