Injured at a Theme Park: Who’s at Fault?

Although all theme park and fairground rides go through rigorous testing processes to ensure they’re safe for the public, accidents do happen. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act fair owners must maintain their machinery to make sure employees have a safe working environment and make sure that all equipment is in safe working order for the public to use.

Although accidents are uncommon, they’re much more likely to occur at a travelling fair as opposed to a fixed site theme park like Disney World, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This is because health and safety inspectors make regular visits to all theme parks and theme park staff have a certain responsibility for the maintenance of rides and equipment, to ensure that it’s always safe to use.

The fact that fairs, car park amusements and local carnivals are always changing location means that there’s a higher risk of avoiding maintenance and safety checks which could put people in danger and result in serious injury.

Accidents at fairs and theme parks can occur for a number of reasons, but the most common are:

  • Mechanical failures
  • Rides stopping
  • Electrical failure
  • Carriages coming away from tracks
  • Accidents due to lack of safety within the grounds
  • Fire
  • Accidents on smaller amusements and games around rollercoasters

Regardless of the reason for your accident, all carry the possibility of serious injury which could have a major effect on your life for a long time in the future.

What should you do if you’re injured?

Any kind of ride malfunction could cause injury to the public and to staff members working on the ride. Although in a large theme park, these kinds of incidents are uncommon, they do happen every now and again and you need to know where you stand should such an incident occur.

Whether or not you can claim compensation will depend entirely on whether the accident was caused due to the negligence of park owners or ride operators.


Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained at a theme park. Waltzers, rollercoasters and bumper cars all come with some element of danger and the threat of slight injury – after all, it’s in the territory. You should expect mild collisions – especially in the bumper cars – and high speeds. However, if the experience presents something that’s unexpected, for example the ride stops suddenly through no fault of your own, a rollercoaster car crashes into another, or a technical fault leaves you stranded in an uncomfortable position, you could develop an unforeseeable injury. If you become injured because a ride wasn’t operated properly or because the correct safety procedures weren’t carried out, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Common injuries that are caused by violent stoppages or lack of protection on rides include:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Spinal damage
  • Severe headaches

Whiplash can be cause by a number of things but if you develop an injury you need to establish the cause. Slight pain after a day in a theme park should be expected because you’re putting your body through stress that it would never usually have to deal with.

Making a claim for a theme park injury

In order to make a compensation claim for negligence against a theme park, you need to know the cause of your injuries. This isn’t always easy to find out because you need to know exactly what went wrong with a ride. This is why it’s essential to use the skills of a legal professional who’s been trained in this area.

If the accident that you were involved in was not your fault then you should get in touch with a trained professional right away and they’ll be able to help you through every step of your claim to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

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