Camping must surely rank as one of the most fun holidays you could have in the UK. It’s not for everyone, of course, but for those who enjoy getting out into nature every now and then, camping is a great experience. And lots of us do it, too – one survey revealed 4.47 million trips were made to go camping or caravanning between January and June in 2015 alone. Of the millions who do embark on at least one camping trip per year, very few will come home having suffered from camping injuries.
Thankfully, many injuries can be avoided through simple common sense. Camping injuries will probably always happen to some extent, but better surroundings, good quality campsites, and good quality equipment and tents can all make a camping trip safer than ever.
Examples of common camping accidents and injuries
Would it surprise you to learn the most common types of injuries are those that may be caused by slipping, tripping, or falling over? With rows of tents in a campsite, and guy ropes holding those tents up, it’s no wonder some of us are guilty of not paying attention and tripping over a guy rope. It’s even easier to do this at night, when the light is poor and you may be trying to find your way to the toilet block.
Other ways to experience a slip, trip, or fall can include:
- Slipping in a wet shower block or cubicle
- Tripping over uneven paving slabs or up a step that is not easy to see
- Falling down poorly-lit stairs or down a slope that has become slippery
The list is not exhaustive, either, and can result in numerous injuries:
- Fractured or broken bones
- Head injuries
- Cuts and grazes
As you can imagine, even the shortest camping trip can be ruined by experiencing camping injuries, even if they are relatively mild ones.
Are campsites safe?
Yes – incredibly so, in fact. It is worth knowing the owners of campsites around the country have a duty of care to protect everyone who stays there. They must ensure risk assessments are completed that focus on the facilities and site provided. These assessments should take note of the potential hazards that may be seen or experienced on-site.
For example, they may have a set of rules in place with do’s and don’ts that advise campers to make sure they stay safe by following the rules. Keeping fires well away from tents is a good rule to follow, for example, and the same applies to barbecues, too. Camping fire hazards cannot be underestimated, and yet some simple procedures can help reduce any degree of risk considerably. Similarly, the manager or owner of a campsite should ensure all the equipment they provide for campers to use is fit for purpose.
Thankfully, the majority of campsite owners take their responsibilities seriously, providing excellent facilities for people to use and enjoy.
What should you do if you suffer from campsite injuries?
Firstly, report it immediately. The campsite should have an accident book and details of what happened should be written in there. An accident book must be kept by law, and it will provide proof of what happened if you later make a claim. You should also get treatment for your injuries if required.
Do you need to seek treatment for your campsite injuries?
In the case of very minor injuries, first aid will suffice. However, you may wish to take photos of your injuries to prove they occurred, and to back up any claim you may make later.
Knowing first aid can be useful in situations like this. It may be all that is required to deal with an injury; alternatively, it means you can be treated for your injuries initially, before seeking expert medical help.
There is an advantage in seeing your GP when you get home, or in visiting a nearby casualty or minor injuries unit if there is a need to do so. For example, if you turned your ankle over in a fall and you cannot walk on it, it would be very difficult to determine whether you have a sprain, or whether you have fractured a bone. Unless your ankle looks noticeably different, or a bone is sticking through the skin, you cannot tell which of these two injuries you may have. Thus, seeking expert medical care can ensure you get the right diagnosis.
And of course, your notes will act as evidence that can help support you later if you do make a compensation claim. For this to happen, a third party must be responsible for what occurred.
Seek legal advice if you think a third party was responsible for your injuries
Very few of the 13.5 million trips made camping and caravanning in 2015 resulted in someone being injured. Sometimes accidents do happen, of course, but they are not always down to the negligence of another person. If they are, you may have a chance to launch a compensation claim for what happened. Even a minor injury can spoil a holiday, and if you end up in plaster, or in hospital, because of your injury, it is far from the best conclusion to your trip.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to begin, or whether your camping injuries are serious enough to lead to a claim. If you were injured due to the actions of a third party, and those actions were negligent, you can speak to someone at Accident Advice Helpline now to discuss the options available to you. Calling our team is easy, too, on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 if you have a mobile). Our lawyers have already concluded cases on behalf of other clients who found themselves in similar situations to you. As such, you can rest assured you will always receive the best no-obligation advice from our experienced advisors, and from our professional injury compensation lawyers if you do indeed have a claim for camping injuries.