News and Events

Fairground Accidents: What Can Go Wrong

View profile for Kay Ditcham
  • Posted
  • Author

Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm was shocked to hear in the news this week that a six-year-old boy had been thrown from a rollercoaster in Lightwater Valley theme park, sustaining serious injuries.

Fairground rides have got bigger and faster over the years and, as such, safety measures should have also been stepped up to take account of this. Unfortunately however, statistics show that fairground accidents have increased.

While the cause of the incident at Lightwater Valley is as yet unknown, there have been numerous accidents at theme parks and travelling fairs which have clearly been caused by defective equipment or failure of fairground staff to properly safeguard those using it and around it.

Only last month there was an incident on Brighton Pier where part of a ride came loose and flew off, injuring a teenage boy. Theme parks and fairgrounds such as this ought to be safe, in that the rides and attractions are permanent fixtures and should be regularly maintained. 

Travelling fairs, however, have a lot more risk attached to them in that the rides are assembled and disassembled on a frequent basis, making it much more likely that something could go wrong. There have been many incidents on the local fair on Hartlepool Town Moor over the years where typically young people are injured - some seriously - as a result of the equipment not being properly set up or not having been maintained. In some of the cases the operators have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

Such travelling fairs are much less likely to have public liability insurance to compensate anybody who is unfortunately injured, rather than a theme park which we would always expect to carry such insurance. Unfortunately, this is not something that thrill-seeking youngsters are likely to check.

Both travelling fairs and theme parks remain popular attractions, especially during school holidays.

The Personal Injury specialists at Tilly Bailey and Irvine Law Firm in the North East have represented Claimants who have been injured in such incidents locally and have obtained compensation for them. These can be difficult claims to deal with, particularly where travelling fairgrounds are concerned, and should you have been injured you will need a specialist solicitor or legal adviser in your corner.

We wish the little boy injured at Lightwater Valley a speedy recovery.