If you have been injured while attending a music festival, public festival, or event, you may be wondering if you can seek compensation for your injuries. Depending on the nature of your personal injury and how it was caused, you may be able to get financial compensation from the festival organiser. In some cases, personal injury can happen when you are intoxicated, particularly at music festivals. Even if you were intoxicated at the time of the injury you may still be able to claim compensation. A festival organiser has a standard of care which they owe to all attendees. If this standard of care is breached you may be able to claim compensation.
There is certain legislation which operates to protect you as a consumer. If you have been injured on a festival site and have to leave, you may be able to get a refund of your ticket because you have not had the service promised by your purchase of the ticket.
Real Life Example: In 2016 at Falls Festival in Victoria there was a stampede which took places as hundreds of people headed to the same narrow exit at once. People were trampled and suffocated beneath the masses of people. Over 100 people suffered injury with 29 people requiring hospitalisation. A Supreme Court hearing found the events company behind the event was negligent and required to compensate the festival goers who were injured. A class action has been commenced and payments expected to reach hundreds of thousands of dollars for those who suffered serious injury.
People are injured at festivals all the time, most often because they are showing off to friends or doing things which are personally negligent. If you climb up a fence for a better view of a band and slip off, this is not compensable. If you stand on a chair to take a photo and fall, this is not compensable. But if you are walking along and trip on a cable which has not been marked correctly, this kind of injury would likely be compensable.
Example: Gemma is walking with friends at Splendour In the Grass when she spies a hill. She runs up the hill and asks her friend to take a photo of her. When she is running back to join her friends she slips over and breaks her wrist. This would not be a compensable injury.
Example: Gavin is at a seafood festival and is going into the bathroom when he slips over on a freshly mopped floor which has been cleaned with detergent. There is no signage. He would be able to claim the cost of compensation for his injuries.
Just because you are intoxicated does not mean that you are unable to claim for the cost of any injury sustained while you are intoxicated. Simply being intoxicated does not change the standard of care owed to you as a festival goer. If you are intoxicated at the time you are injured due to the negligence of the festival organiser, there is something called contributory negligence which comes into play. This will reduce the amount of compensation which you may be able to claim.
Example: Gloria has had a number of mojitos at her home prior to attending a local blues festival. She continues to drink when she arrives at the festival and after several hours of drinking she walks to go to another stage. As she is passing in front of the stage she trips over a bundle of cables which have been negligently left in front of the speakers. The festival organisers will likely be responsible for Gloria’s injuries because they failed to ensure a safe system of cable stowage to avoid injury to people. However, Gloria’s damage may be reduced by 25% due to the evidence that she was intoxicated at the time the injury occurred.
Festival injuries can happen in a number of ways, from slipping over cables to falling in improperly marked areas. It is wise to keep your wits about you when you are at a festival with the knowledge that many people do choose to consume alcohol at a festival. If you are injured, be sure to seek medical treatment from the first aid providers on site, take note of how the injury occurred, take pictures if you can, and be sure to get witnesses who can corroborate your experience.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
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