Accidents at Theme Parks


Theme parks can prove to be a great day out in the summer holidays. Whether you have children to entertain, or are just a bit of a dare devil, there’s something for everyone.

Unfortunately, theme parks are hubs for accidents as they attract so many people. Alton Towers alone is reported to have almost two million visitors a season.

Whether those accidents are falls leading to grazed knees, or something more serious, such as an accident on a ride due to mechanical issues, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.


Reports show that nearly five hundred people a year sustain injuries whilst at a theme park or a funfair in the UK and choose to report it.

There have been a number of high-profile cases relating to accidents at theme parks. Most notably, in 2017 three UK theme parks had to close their water rides, following the death of an eleven-year-old girl who died after falling from the “river rapids” ride at Drayton Manor.

Possibly the most high-profile case was in 2015, where The Smiler ride at Alton Towers theme park had two carts collide whilst on the tracks. This crash was devastating and caused 16 riders to be injured, some of which were life-changing injuries, resulting in amputation.

Merlin group, who operate both of these theme parks, have had to pay out millions over the years in compensation.

This incident with The Smiler ride cost them five-million-pounds in fines, as the accident was deemed “needless and avoidable”.

It was found that the crash was caused by a lack of maintenance and risk assessment checks. The judge stated in the case that the safety procedures were “woefully inadequate” and that the crash was caused by the company’s “catastrophic failure to assess risk and have a structured system of work”.

Following these findings, the theme park was also ordered to pay out millions in compensation to the injured victims.

Common Causes

Common causes of accidents at theme parks include failure to risk assess and inadequate maintenance of rides. As we have seen this can lead to issues like faulty rides and unsafe tracks, which can cause collisions on the track.

Other causes may be where there is inadequate signage to prevent people from going into unauthorised areas, where they could injure themselves.

Theme parks like Alton Towers have vast grounds, so it is important they take all possible types of accident into consideration when carrying out their risk assessments.

One very common cause of accidents at theme parks are slips and trips. Either due to wet floors or defective footpaths.

Do I Have a Claim?

You may have a claim if you can prove two elements:

  • Breach of duty – The burden is on you to prove that your accident was caused by the negligence of the theme park. The theme park owes you a duty of care to ensure you are safe whilst visiting their premises. If they have been negligent, you may have a claim.

  • Causation – This means you can prove that you have suffered either a physical injury, a psychological injury, or both, due to the negligence of the theme park.


How Mulderrigs Can Help

If you can prove the two elements listed above and believe that your accident was not your fault, then you may be eligible to make a claim for your personal injury.

If the accident happened to a child, you can still make a claim on their behalf. To do this they need what is called a ‘Litigation Friend’ in which a parent, carer or responsible adult acts on their behalf.

It is crucial that you find the right solicitor to deal with your claim. Here at Mulderrigs, now a part of the Farleys Solicitors family, we operate the majority of our personal injury claims on a no-win no-fee basis. If you have suffered an accident at a theme park, contact our experienced personal injury team for a no-obligation assessment of your claim. Call us today on 0800 0523 693 or contact us by email.