The rise of theme park accidents

We all love a great day out at the theme park or water park, but sadly we are hearing about more and more people sustaining serious injury when they should be having a fun time.

The safety standards in many countries around the world are very high, but serious injury still happens.

Sabrina Lawlor, a specialist serious injury claims solicitor at CFG Law has been involved in a number of high profile serious injury compensation claims resulting from accidents at theme parks.

Mrs Lawlor represented the family of 20-year-old Shelby Clarke from Manchester, UK, who was hit between the legs by a water fountain while enjoying a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with her family.

Miss Clarke was only 14 at the time and the water jet left her needing two hours of surgery and 250 stitches. She suffered serious gynaecological injuries in the incident and fears she won’t be able to bear children.

Mrs Lawlor successfully secured a five-figure sum in compensation for Miss Clarke from Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Her compensation settlement will help her access the treatment and rehabilitation she now requires to help with her recovery and also includes money to cover possible treatment, such as IVF, in the future when she wants children.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation criticised Blackpool Pleasure Beach for failing to undertake a proper risk assessment.

Mrs Lawlorsaid: “This was a very tragic accident that could have been avoided had the appropriate risk assessments and safety measures been implemented.”

“The incident was fully investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and since the accident the amusement park has implemented stricter controls to prevent further injuries occurring.”

Mrs Lawlor is currently involved in another high profile serious injury compensation case resulting from serious injuries sustained at a UK water park.

Anne Jennings was enjoying a holiday at the CenterParcs Woburn Forest resort in Bedfordshire, UK when she was involved in an accident on a water slide.

The accident happened on the Tornado water slide at the park, when the raft Mrs Jennings was in was propelled up the side of a cavern, resulting in the 67-year-old grandmother hitting her head on the slide and falling from the raft.

Mrs Jennings sustained several injuries and required hospital treatment. Her injuries included post-concussive symptoms, as well as injuries to her neck, ankle, back, chest and leg. She also had ongoing psychological injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the ride was dangerous and changes have since been made.

Mrs Lawlor said: “This was a traumatic event for Mrs Jennings on a day out with her family.

“I am pleased that the HSE have taken this incident very seriously.

“Questions have been raised in relation to the risk assessments undertaken by Centre Parcs in relation to the Tornado water slide especially as this was the second serious injury within a matter of months.

“Mrs Jennings suffered a post-concussion head injury and psychological injury, however I am pleased she is making a good recovery following treatment.”

Mrs Lawlor adds: “Fortunately these types of accidents are quite rare at theme parks, especially in the UK as generally we have good safety records.

“It’s all about having fun, but people should still be careful and take the necessary measures to remain safe at all times.”