Faulty equipment claims

Anyone who takes part in sport expects the equipment present to be safe and in good working order. The owners of a sports facility or event organisers have a responsibility to ensure that their equipment is well maintained and fit for purpose.

But if this fails or is inadequate then an accident is liable to occur. If this has happened to you then you may be able to claim compensation for any injuries sustained as a result of this.

Duty of care to sportsmen/women and spectators

The issue of safe equipment applies to both spectators as well as participants. Spectators at a sporting event rightly expect that they will be protected against the risk of an accident and that health and safety guidelines are adhered to.

Suitable shelter, seating or barriers must be provided so that the spectators are able to watch sport whilst being protected against the weather and the event that is taking place.

This equipment must be fixed securely in place; no loose or flapping banners or advertising hoardings. There must be no sharp or frayed edges or equipment left where it is likely to cause a slip, trip or fall.

Instructions need to be clearly displayed and lighting provided if the even is held at certain time of the day.

Plus in the event that something does go wrong there must be plans for evacuation and crowd control. If large numbers of people are attending a sports event then there must be a system of crowd flow so that people are guided in and out of the venue without any problems.

Faulty equipment can also refer to the equipment used as part of the sport itself, for example hurdles during an athletics event.

If none of these measures are followed and someone sustains an injury as a result then there may be grounds for compensation.

Making a claim for an injury due to faulty equipment

A claim for personal injury compensation means that you have to prove that a lack of care or negligence was responsible for your injury. Evidence is required to support this so it will help your case if you have done the following:

    • Reported your accident to a member of staff at the venue
    • Made a note of your accident in an ‘accident book’
    • Taken photographs of where the accident happened or what caused it, e.g. loose barrier.
    • Taken the names and addresses of anyone who witnessed your accident.

All of these will strengthen your case and increase the chance of a successful claim.

If you have visited your GP then make a note of this or ask for documentation which shows that you have received treatment as this will be required as part of your claim. Medical evidence is part of a compensation claim so it is important that you submit this along with any other evidence.

If you are looking to claim expenses as well, for example taxi fares to hospital or specialist care, e.g. physiotherapy then keep your receipts from these. They will have to be submitted along with your application for compensation.

Then find a personal injury law firm or solicitor who has knowledge and expertise in claims of this sort. This is a specialist type of claim which requires years of experience and a familiarity with sporting events and the many issues involved with them.

The lawyer or solicitor will assess your claim to begin with to determine if you have a strong case for compensation and that there are reasonable grounds for liability. If there are then he/she will help and guide you through the claims process.

For more information about the claims process, visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for an injury due to faulty equipment

Personal injury claims have a fixed deadline of 3 years from the date of the accident. But this deadline varies in certain types of claims.

Check with your lawyer or solicitor about the deadline for this type of claim.

Personal Injury Guide

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