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Personal injuries at festivals: can you claim?

With festival season in full swing and concerts taking place across England and Wales our team discuss the dangers of festivals and whether you can make a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured at one.

For many, festivals are a right of passage, whilst for others, they represent an annual summer holiday to be enjoyed in a bustling field full of like-minded music lovers.

Whilst some of the world’s biggest acts take to various stages across the UK, festival goers await eagerly to see their favourite performer, however, for some, their experience may end in a personal injury.

Festivals and concerts may be a hub for fun and exciting experiences, but they are also a prime location for a personal injury.

When it comes to personal injuries at a festival, it can be difficult to know what to prepare for. The first hazards that come to mind are probably broken glass, sub-par hygiene and having to deal with drunk people, however, there are many more risks of personal injuries besides these.

As with any situation, some aspects of sustaining a personal injury may not be avoidable, however, there are measures that can be taken to ensure you stay injury-free.

All festival organisers owe each attendant a duty of care. It is their legal responsibility to do all that they can to ensure the safety of everyone who is on their festival site, and this includes any camping areas.

For the most part, organisers do a good job of providing a safe site for festival goers. On occasion, however, their negligence or the negligence of the on-site staff can cause someone to suffer an injury.

Things to look out for

The organisers of a festival don’t just have a responsibility to give you access to the acts you have paid to see or ensure there are enough spots to camp, their responsibilities stretch much further.

Stewards

The safety of everyone in attendance is a priority for any event organiser, whether it’s a festival or otherwise, and a key component of ensuring that everyone remains safe is to employ stewards.

Stewards are often the first port of call for anyone who may have a question about the venue or event, but they also play a vital role in providing care and support for any festival goer who may have been injured, taken ill or otherwise.

If an insufficient number of stewards are hired for the event, then this may be deemed as an act of negligence, especially if an injury may have been avoided had there been more stewards to supervise the event.

Slips and trips

Slips and trips are commonplace amongst festival revellers, however, some falls can cause injuries that range from minor to major and any fall has the potential to put an end to the fun of a festival.

Whilst many falls that occur at a festival may not be avoidable from an organiser’s point of view, some are.

Public toilets are a particular area of danger, not just because their cleanliness usually leaves a lot to be desired, but also because they are a home for a variety of slip and trip hazards.

Muddy fields, alcohol and the smooth surface of a festival toilet floor make for a dangerous mix. Whilst it can sometimes be difficult to establish liability for injuries suffered in a public toilet, the organiser of the event has a duty to ensure there are a sufficient number of cleaning staff to ensure the toilets and communal wash areas are kept as clean as possible.

Unsecured flooring can also cause an injury. Whether it be the track that is often laid down for festival goers to travel across the fields or the flooring used on stage, it’s essential all floors are secured to help avoid a slip or trip.

Crushing

When festival tickets are released and put on sale for the general public to purchase, the demand is high and the allocation can sell out in a matter of minutes. Whilst it can be frustrating for those who have missed out, there is a reason why festivals only allow a limited number of entrants.

With thousands of people all in one place, being crushed is a real possibility unless the amount of people at the festival is regulated. Ticket sales help organisers limit the maximum number of people that can attend whilst stewards orchestrate crowds to relieve bottlenecks in queues and help control crowds that may push forward and cause crushing to occur within a group watching a particular act.

If an organiser doesn’t monitor the levels of people at the festival venue and they fail to take action to alleviate any scenarios where crushing may occur, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation against them if you are injured as a result.

Food

Whilst people often think of personal injuries as cuts, bruises or broken bones, what we consume at festivals can also potentially cause a personal injury.

Food trucks and huts litter festival sites and cater for most people looking for a quick meal, but some don’t always have the best hygiene standards. Contaminated or under-cooked food can be a major cause of food poisoning and can result in serious illness.

If you’re affected by food poisoning that you got whilst at a festival you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.

Damage to hearing

For festival-goers loud music is a certainty and some people can expect temporary weakness in their hearing, but it will return to normal in due course. However, for those who are employed to be at the festival or those who are stewards full time at different events, the risk of hearing loss is increased and they could suffer permanent damage.

In this instance stewards at festivals should be provided with adequate ear protection to help them avoid injuries to their ears. If the festival organiser or employer fails to provide ear protection then there may be an opportunity to bring a personal injury claim or a claim for a workplace injury.

Conclusion

Festivals can be a lot of fun and if the proper precautions have been taken by both those attending and the organisers, they can be safe events. However, if you have been injured as a result of one of the scenarios highlighted in this blog post, or you believe you were injured in another way and you believe the personal injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, our team can help.

The Thorneycroft Solicitors Personal Injury Team is nationally renowned for both their client care and their support for both the client and their family throughout the claims process.

In any personal injury case our team handles, they will do all they can to ensure you get the outcome you are hoping to achieve and that you get the best possible rehabilitative care should you need it in the wake of your accident.

We also work on a no win no fee basis. If you would like to speak to one of our personal injury experts, you can give us a call for free today on 0800 1979 345 or you can submit your enquiry online by completing our enquiry form by clicking here.

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