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AIBTR.. Am I being too reasonable... Dodgy Dodgems

20 replies

KnitterNotTwitter · 17/05/2011 16:14

Summary of the background:
1, Went to the fair on Sunday
2, Went on dodgems
3, Gashed my leg and ripped my (new and expensive) jeans on broken steering column housing when bumped
4, Fairground staff gave me first aid and the address of the fairground owner to write to...

I started writing the letter today to the fairground owner and I wonder if i'm being too reasonable. Basically I've asked them to fix the broken dodgem, check all the other ones over and give me the cost of the jeans so I can get replacements... But a little voice in my brain is thinking i should be asking for compensation, or a donation to charity or something like that... What do you think... am I being too reasonable and how unreasonable do you think I should be...

FWIW i've also reported the dodgems to the local Health and Safety people so they can check them out...

OP posts:

KnitterNotTwitter · 17/05/2011 16:31


OP posts:

takethisonehereforastart · 17/05/2011 16:35

Have you suffered any financial loss other than the cost of the jeans, or are you likely to suffer ongoing issues with the cut on your leg or have you had your daily life affected by it in some way?

If not then compensation might not be reasonable, but you should still complain and report it to the H&S people if you feel they will not fix it or cover the losses you have suffered.


tidybaby · 17/05/2011 16:35

I personally would want some sort of compensation, imagine if it had happened to a child. Maybe seek some legal advice.


Nixea · 17/05/2011 16:35

Has the injury resulted in you not being able to work or being financially out of pocket (apart from the jeans ofc)?

If not, then no...I would say asking for compensation is being U. I'd stick to the original letter as it seems fair and balanced. Also, well done for reporting the issue as well - makes sense to let the appropriate authorities deal with it. :)


HampstersDontSwim · 17/05/2011 16:37

I would do the same as you (def reporting them to local health and safty peeps).
het did take the dodgem that you got hurt on out of service right away didnt they?


Vallhala · 17/05/2011 16:45

What kind of a fair was it? A fixed fair such as that at Alton Towers or Chessington, a seafront fixed one or a travelling fair?

The solution to your query depends on the answer to that question. Different bodies can be approached according to the type of fair.

As for compensation YABU, but only IMHO, as I feel that as a society we are far too quick to demand it for the most minor of things. Broken leg yes, gash, unless requiring stitches/affecting work etc, definitely not.


redexpat · 17/05/2011 18:29

Frankly I think you should be applauded for keeping a sense of perspective, and they should be grateful that you haven't taken it any further.


BendyBob · 17/05/2011 18:34

Agree 100% with Vallhala. What sort of compensation could you expect other than what you have outlined?

Health and safety issue though is important. I think they should be pulled up by the relevant authority on that.


Icelollycraving · 17/05/2011 18:53

If it was a fair that came into town for a few days I think they will be unlikely to do anything tbh. If they do it's a bonus.


KnitterNotTwitter · 17/05/2011 21:53


thanks for the messages... It was a travelling fair although the address I've been given is a 'real' address if that makes sense. They also gave me the name of their insurer although not the policy number...

No other financial loss apart from the cost of new jeans... leg could probably have been stitched except that I didn't want to spend the rest of my afternoon and evening at A&E with my son (DH was away...)

I think I'll leave it as I've written it - being reasonable I hope is going to increase my chances of hearing back from them...

OP posts:

pinkstarlight · 18/05/2011 00:15

omg reminded me of when i let my son drive on holiday i have never been so terrified in my life lol,insane kids all trying to kill each other


Vallhala · 18/05/2011 00:42


If it was a travelling fair you would indeed get a real address. Most Showmen also own brick homes.

The fair would be one of two types... either run and owned by a single Showman who owned all the rides if it was a small event or (probably more likely) one which was arranged by one Show family who dealt with council H&S and hired the showground and who rented out pitch spaces to other Showmen just as you would if, say, you ran a single charity stall at an event run by a dog agility club who were renting the village green for the day.

Overall the main man would hold insurance but depending on circumstance the individual stallholders/Showfamilies present might also have their own -some would rely on the main insurer but with Showmen most DO have individual cover for public liability.

First port of call for safety concerns is your council as they will be the H&S inspectorate for travelling fairs. For your own requirement wrt compensation for the injury/jeans, follow up with the address given and if you have no joy approach the council H&S for advice and/or Trading Standards or parish council if it was a local event on their grounds.

If all else fails go to the Showman's Guild. They want to keep good public relations and are anxious, particularly in this day and age, to keep "in" with the councils who can deny them pitches and for reasons of business and "family pride" do not want to be seen as anything but pro-active. Showmen aren't a bad bunch... there's a big difference between them, the families who own and run fairs and the "casuals" or itinerant "gaff boys" that they employ as labourers. All too often the two are confused.


nijinsky · 18/05/2011 01:08

For a cut leg requiring no stitches you wouldn't get very much compensation anyway, unless it caused ongoing problems or kept you off work. I don't know the current amounts but perhaps a hundred pounds max, if that.


Shtiv · 18/05/2011 06:51

Compensation? For torn jeans?

Yeah, good luck with that.


MarisCrane · 18/05/2011 07:10

All fairground equipment is enforced by the HSE, but hopefully the local EHOs will contact them for you once they receive your complaint.


MumblingRagDoll · 18/05/2011 07:51

Shtiv......that's not a sensible reply. Most companies are happy to pay for personal damages....I think the most worrying thing here OP is that the fair is not looking after their equipment properly.

You visited on the day when a dodgem car had a fauly steering column....tomorrow it could be a loose screw on a fast or high ride and someone could die.

hassle the health dept to make sure thy go there....and should be offered more than the jeans. If someone hurt themselves due to their carlessness then a small sum of money to make up for pain and stess is fair.


KnitterNotTwitter · 03/06/2011 14:03

Just to update you all... I sent my letter to the dodgems guy asking for the cost of replacing my jeans... He called me the next day and promised that the cheque would be with me within 2 weeks... I'll let you know when it arrives!

OP posts:

KnitterNotTwitter · 20/06/2011 10:57

Just to update.. .the cheque arrive but bounced when i paid it into my bank.... sigh... it's turning into a saga now

OP posts:

KnitterNotTwitter · 22/06/2011 14:55

Final update the dodgems guy turned up at my front door yesterday with an envelope stuffed with cash... Situation resolved!

OP posts:

DogsBestFriend · 22/06/2011 15:00

Showmen always prefer to deal in cash anyway.

Although it must be said that the account which that bounced cheque came from... that won't be his only account! Wink

Glad you got it resolved - I hope that this restores some people's faith in our country's hard-working and often much maligned Showmen.

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