By Joanne Jeffries. Last Updated 18th September 2023. Within this guide, we are going to take a look at public park accident claims and provide free legal advice on suing the council for negligence. We go into detail about pubic liability claims, explaining how council compensation payouts are calculated. We also explain how you could sue the council for negligence if you suffer injury because of a breach of duty of care towards you.
In this free, comprehensive online guide to claiming for an accident in a public park, we look at the legal and financial considerations when making a personal injury claim. We will look at who may be liable in such an accident and why you yourself could be eligible to make a claim on behalf of your child.
You will need to be within the personal injury claims time limit in order to be able to make a claim, and our personal injury compensation claims team can let you know which will be applicable in your own case. They can provide you with this information and answer any questions you might have if you give them a call on 0800 073 8801.
Select A Section:
- What Is An Accident In A Public Park?
- What Do We Mean By A Public Space?
- Who Owes You A Duty Of Care If Using A Park?
- Fall, Trip And Slip Accidents In A Public Park
- Playground Accident And Public Park Accident Claims
- Am I Eligible To Claim For An Accident In A Public Park?
- Proving Liability For Your Accident And Injuries
- Council Compensation Payouts For Public Park Accidents
- Special Damages In Public Park Injury Claims
- No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In A Public Park
- How We Could Help You Make Public Park Accident Claims
- Start Your Claim For An Accident In A Public Park
- Essential References Relating To Public Park Accident Claims
A public park accident claim involves pursuing personal injury compensation for an accident that the park could be held liable for. To make an accident claim of this type, you’d need to prove those responsible for the public space failed to ensure it was safe to use.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the cost of treating children who have been injured in accidents, is over £275 million each year. Not all of these accidents happen in a park, of course, but some will undoubtedly happen in such a place.
Hazards in Parks
There are many hazards that can result in a child suffering a public park injury in a park accident or playground accident. For example:
- The park may have been initially designed poorly, not leaving enough space between play equipment, causing blind spots so children cannot be monitored, etc.
- During construction and installation of the play equipment safety and building standards were not met.
- The children who were likely to play in the park were not considered, and inappropriate play equipment was installed.
- When the play equipment was installed, it was installed incorrectly, making it unsafe.
- The park and the play equipment have not been inspected regularly for safety, and have been poorly maintained. Poor maintenance could even cause accidents in the car park for a public park.
These are all potential hazards that can lead to public park accident claims being made. If you suspect one of these hazards, poor maintenance or any other hazard has caused an injury to your child, then we may well be able to assist you in making a claim for a child accident as the child’s litigation friend.
What Is A Public Space?
As well as covering being injured in a public park, public liability claims could include injuries sustained at other public places. The definition of a public place is somewhere that the public or a substantial group of the public have access to. It includes public parks, streets and highways.
Furthermore, public places could also include office buildings, transport facilities, shops, hospitals, and hotels. This list is not exhaustive.
Those in control of public spaces are known as ‘occupiers’. Under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, occupiers should reduce the foreseeable risk of harm to those using their premises for their intended purposes. Should they fail to do so, they could be held liable for resulting injuries.
If you have been injured in a public place and wish to learn more about whether you could claim compensation, please contact an advisor.
Who Owes You A Duty Of Care If Using A Park?
If your child has an accident at the park or is injured in a playground accident, you need to know who is responsible for ensuring it is safe to use (and in turn, who is potentially liable for your public park accident claims).
Under UK law, the playground owner is responsible for maintaining a duty of care towards all users of the facility. This duty of care revolves around ensuring that people using the playground are kept free from harm at all times. In the case of a public park, this would be the local authority. However, if your child is injured in a playground on a business premises, in a pub garden for example, it would be the business itself that has a duty of care towards the child.
Fall, Trip And Slip Accidents In A Public Park
A slip, trip or fall accident is a very common kind of incident that children are injured in. In fact, apart from traffic accidents, these are the most common kind of accidents that injure adults in the UK as well. A public playground presents some distinct hazards that could result in a slip, trip or fall. For example:
- Damaged playground equipment, such as broken ropes or chains, causing a trip.
- Damaged protective rubber mats that have become unfastened, causing a trip.
- Ice or snow in the park, causing a slip.
- Uneven pavements, potholes, damaged paving slabs, etc. causing a trip.
Playground Accident And Public Park Accident Claims
Not all public park accidents are the responsibility of the local council. Children are injured in a playground due to their own actions more often than not. When a parent takes their child to a playground, they are deemed to have accepted the assumption of risk. This means that the parent knows that a playground can be a source of accidents to a child. For no other reasons that the child takes a misstep, slips whilst climbing, etc. And in these cases, no claim would be viable, as the child was responsible for their own accident.
Am I Eligible To Claim For An Accident In A Public Park?
In this section, we look at the questions, can I sue the council for negligence? And how to claim against the local council? The first thing we need to discuss is that it won’t be you, the parent who is making the claim. You will be managing the claim on behalf of your child, as their litigation friend. This means you will be making decisions about the claim, and generally acting on behalf of the injured party. However, once the claim is won, the compensation will be put into a trust account and not given to the child until their 18th birthday.
When it comes to eligibility to make public park accident claims, then as long as a third party is even partially to blame for the harm your child suffered, and this can be proven, then you could have a valid claim. In some cases, the child might have contributed to the accident themselves. When this happens, the defendant will negotiate a reduced level of liability, and this is expressed as a percentage. Any compensation awarded will take this into consideration. If you need to find out whether your child has a valid claim or not, then please speak to one of our claim advisors. They will evaluate your claim for you, and let you know if it is valid or not.
Proving Liability For Your Accident And Injuries
If you or your child has an accident in a public place, such as being injured at the park, then you will have to prove that the cause was a negligent local authority. The onus is on the claimant, or in this case you, the claimant’s litigation friend, to prove that the local council was to blame. This means providing evidence to support your claim.
- Take plenty of photographs of the play equipment that caused the accident. For example, if the equipment was broken, photograph the damage that caused the accident.
- If anybody saw the accident happen, make sure that you get their contact details. This is so that they can be called upon as witnesses if needed at a later stage of the claim.
- Take your child to the hospital to have their injuries treated. Do this even if they do not appear to be bad enough to warrant it. This is so that there is an official record made of how the injuries were caused, and how bad they were.
- If you have to pay for anything to deal with your child’s injuries, keep the invoices, receipts, etc. For example, if you have to take them in a taxi to the hospital, ask for a taxi driver’s receipt and keep it. You will need documented proof of financial losses in order to claim for them.
Council Compensation Payouts For Public Park Accidents
If you’re eligible to sue the council for negligence because you were injured at a public park, or another council-controlled space, you might want to know how much compensation you could receive.
If your claim is successful, you could receive general and special damages. General damages compensate you for the avoidable pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
When calculating general damages payouts for council compensation claims, solicitors could look to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assist them. This publication contains compensation brackets corresponding to different injuries at different levels of severity. The 2022 edition of the JCG has been used to put together the table below. However, this should only be used as guidance.
If you would like to get a personalised compensation estimate, please contact an advisor. They could give you insight into how much your injury claim could be worth.
|Injured hands (a)
|Loss (total or effective) of both hands
|£140,660 to £201,490
|Injured hand (c)
|Loss (total or effective) of one hand
|£96,160 to £109,650
|Injured hands (b)
|Serious damage to both hands
|£55,820 to £84,570
|Injured foot (e)
|£24,990 to £39,200
|Injured foot (g)
|Up to £13,740
|Injured foot (f)
|£13,740 to £24,990
|Injured wrist (b)
|Significant permanent disability but some movement.
|£24,500 to £39,170
|Injured ankle (c)
|£13,740 to £26,590
|Injured thumb (t)
|£12,590 to £16,760
|Injured finger (i)
|Total or partial loss of index finger
|£12,170 to £18,740
|Injured toe (d)
|£9,600 to £13,740
Special Damages In Public Park Injury Claims
When you act as the litigation friend for your child, to make a local authority negligence claim for the harm your child suffered in a public park accident, if the claim is successful, the settlement will comprise possibly several different types of damages. These could include:
General damages (to compensate your child for psychological and physical harm):
- Pain and suffering at the time the accident took place, and whilst your child receives emergency medical treatment.
- Shock and trauma due to your child suffering a painful injury and a traumatic experience.
- Painful recovery, if your child will need to undergo painful, traumatic treatment until they are healed.
- Psychological damages such as new phobias, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Permanent disability if your child will never make a full recovery from their injuries.
- Loss of life quality if your child can expect to have their life negatively impacted permanently due to the accident.
Special damages (to compensate you and your child for financial and other losses):
- Travels costs if you had to pay out of pocket expenses to take your child for treatment or to deal with any aspect of public park accident claims.
- The cost of nursing care if you had to hire a nurse to help you take care of your child at home.
- Private medical fees if your child needed treatment that they could not have on the NHS.
- Loss of income if you had to take time away from work to care for your child, and you suffer loss of earnings.
- Lowered future earning potential if your child will be disabled in some way, and their prospects for working in the future will be lower than before the accident.
If you would like to know what kinds of damages your child’s accident claim could consist of, please take a few minutes to talk over the case with one of our specialist advisors and they will be able to help you.
No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents In A Public Park
You may be able to use the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you to make an accident claim on behalf of your child. This will go a long way to removing the financial risks attached to making a claim, as you don’t pay any legal fees unless the claim has been a success.
The solicitor won’t expect to be paid anything when they take your public park accident claims on, or during the time they spend processing the claim, even if this takes a long time, possibly months. If the solicitor can’t get you any compensation, then you still don’t pay a thing. When the claim is a success, the solicitor will automatically collect their pre-agreed fee within the conditional fee agreement from the compensation payment they received for you.
How We Could Help You Make Public Park Accident Claims
We can provide you with help with the entire end-to-end public park accident claims process. Follow these three stages below to get the help you need:
- Call our legal services on the number below, and explain your situation.
- A claim advisor will evaluate your claim and also answer any questions you have.
- A solicitor will begin to process your claim, and attempt to get your child any compensation they are entitled to.
Start Your Claim For An Accident In A Public Park
Has your child been injured in a public playground accident? Do you think that the local council was to blame in some way? Are you ready to act as the litigation friend to make a claim on behalf of your child? If so, call 0800 073 8801 today to contact our team, they can help you.
Essential References Relating To Public Park Accident Claims
These external links could be of use:
These other guides may also be of value:
- Claiming Against The Council For A Trip, Fall Or Slip
- Making A Claim Against The Local Authority
- Child Accident Claims
- Quad Bike Activity Personal Injury Claims
- Activity Centre Personal Injury Claims
- Outdoor Activity Centre Injury Compensation Claims
- Water Sport Personal Injury Claims
- Day Trips Personal Injury Claims
- Cycling Activity Accident Claims
- Hiking Or Walking Tour Activity Claims
- What Is A Public Liability Personal Injury Claim?