Child Accidents At Theme Parks

Many parents will be taking their children to theme parks this summer during the school holidays and as part of the staycation trend for UK breaks this year. Theme park rides are normally well maintained and properly supervised by park staff, with strict safety measures in place to prevent accidents. However, the sheer number of people visiting theme parks every day combined with the amount of land that theme parks occupy means that accidents do happen, and the majority of these involve children getting injured.

Child accidents at theme parks are often the result of lack of supervision on the part of parents, as well as children’s lack of coordination, carefree behaviour and natural susceptibility to injuries. Other accidents are caused by theme park ride defects and poor maintenance, such as when a seat on a ride tilts or cracks due to wear and tear, or mechanical issues lead to rides speeding up, slowing down or stopping unexpectedly. Theme park owners need to have an efficient system of inspection and repairs in place to prevent accidents of this kind, with safety checks before the park opens and at regular intervals during the day.

Other accidents involving children at theme parks are caused by maintenance failures in the park grounds, such as when rubbish and similar obstructions are allowed to accumulate, or when areas of the site have potholes and uneven surfaces resulting in children tripping and falling. Spilled food and drinks can cause slipping accidents in cafes and restaurants at theme parks, while toilets and washing facilities need to be regularly inspected, cleaned and maintained in a safe state. Children may be struck by objects falling from height at theme parks, for example, when signs become detached and fall due to windy conditions, and park owners need to have safety measures in place that anticipate storms, strong winds and heavy rainfall.            

Theme park owners have a legal duty to ensure that their premises, facilities, rides and other attractions are properly maintained and in a safe condition for visitors, as far as reasonably possible. When the blame for an accident lies with a park’s owners or employees, an injured child will be entitled to compensation. Children under the age of 18 are known as ‘protected parties’ in legal terms, as they are not suitably mature to conduct legal proceedings. They will therefore need to be represented by a ‘litigation friend’, usually a parent or guardian, who can make a claim on their behalf. Compensation will be paid into the court funds office, and held until the child has reached the age of 18. You can find out more about theme park accidents on our dedicated page:

Peace Doves at Liverpool Cathedral

Until the end of August, Liverpool Cathedral continues to host the major ‘mass participation’ art installation, Peace Doves, created by Peter Walker, an artist and sculptor with considerable experience of bringing inspiring large-scale artworks to historic places of worship in Britain.

Peace Doves consists of 18,000 paper doves suspended on ribbons and rising towards the ceiling of the Well (an area of the Cathedral that is regularly used as a display space for art). Before the recent series of lockdowns, Cathedral visitors, local school children and community groups were invited to write their thoughts and messages of peace, hope and love on the paper doves, with thousands of people thereby participating in the work’s staging. Peace Doves is accompanied by a soundscape created by composer and sound artist David Harper.

Peace Doves was due to be displayed in Liverpool Cathedral in spring 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, but the staging was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Dean of Liverpool, the Very Revd Dr. Sue Jones commented, “This artwork builds on previous installations and enables us to continue our mission to be a place of Encounter…We feel enormously grateful to be able to host this amazing installation at Liverpool Cathedral.” 

The artwork is a visual treat, particularly when displayed in Liverpool Cathedral, an unrivalled exhibition space for intriguing and contemplative artworks such as Peace Doves. With only just over a month left to view the installation and the school holidays rapidly approaching, visitors should take the opportunity to view Peace Doves, as well as the popular Angel Wings moving light projection and the interactive art installation Peace to Ourselves.

Peace Doves will be exhibited at Liverpool Cathedral until 31 August 2021, from 11am to 3pm. The Cathedral’s art installations are free to view, however, bookings must be made in advance due to COVID regulations. Find out more:

Staying Safe on Staycation

Many people are opting against travelling abroad this summer given the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and confusion over travel regulations, and are instead planning to take a holiday closer to home. Millions of people will be taking a staycation this summer at various types of destinations, including hotels, resorts, holiday homes, campsites and caravan parks. These establishments are likely to be extremely busy over the coming months, as people look to get away after so many months of lockdown restrictions.

Management and staff at these holiday destinations will need to pay particular attention to safety procedures to minimise the risk of guests getting injured or made ill through no fault of their own during their stay. Internal appliances such as gas boilers and immersion heaters need to be working properly, and all electrical goods and appliances must be in similarly good condition. Slips, trips and falls are common accidents at holiday establishments, and are often the result of lack of maintenance or poor inspection and cleaning routines. Frayed or worn carpeting, uneven floor surfaces and rotten floorboards are all possible causes of accidents of this kind. 

Other examples of disrepair that can cause accidents include defective or damaged furniture, problems with banisters on stairs and hazards in outdoor areas, such as potholes in car parks or uneven paving stones in gardens. Bed bugs are a regular problem at many holiday destinations, as the resilient insects are quick to breed and hard to eradicate. Apart from being bitten, guests also run the risk of taking the bed bugs home with them in their luggage, which can lead to an infestation that will be unpleasant and expensive to deal with.

Campsites and caravan parks need to make sure that pitches and outdoor areas at the site are maintained in a good state and kept free from hazards, as far as reasonably possible. Outdoor activities need to be properly organised and supervised, especially when children are taking part. Showers, toilets and cooking areas must be regularly inspected and an efficient cleaning system should be in place to maintain a safe environment for guests. Swimming pool activities need to be supervised by a qualified lifeguard, and safety rules should be clearly on display and properly enforced.

Amid surging demand for staycations this summer, with prices rising to record highs in certain popular locations, owners, managers and staff at holiday destinations of every type need to make sure that safety measures are in place and properly applied so that guests do not face the risk of getting injured or made ill during their stay due to the negligence of the owner, management or employees.

Sickert: A Life in Art

A major new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery will open in September and run until the end of February next year. Sickert: A Life in Art will be the largest retrospective of Walter Richard Sickert’s work to have been held in the UK for more than 30 years, showcasing drawings from the Walker’s own unique collection, along with paintings loaned to the Gallery from national and international collections of the artist’s work.

The Walker Art Gallery holds 349 of Sickert’s drawings, making it the largest collection in the world. Most of the 200 drawings that will feature in the exhibition have never been displayed before, and the new exhibition promises to give us real insights into how these drawings influenced Sickert’s major works and the vital role they played in his artistic practice.

Walter Sickert (1860-1942) is one of Britain’s best known and most successful artists, whose importance was recognised by his contemporaries, and whose reputation as one Britain’s most influential artists of the 20th century has only grown over time. Munich-born Sickert was a member of the Camden Town Group, a group of Post-Impressionist artists who met on a weekly basis in his London studio in Camden Town.

Sickert was a radical painter, who in a career spanning six decades repeatedly reinvented himself while maintaining a characteristic realism and rawness in his work, which often saw him tackle somewhat seedy subject matter. He profoundly believed that art should hold a mirror up to the modern world and strive to depict the unvarnished truth about society. He was also a colourful and fascinating character who was fond of courting controversy and changing his appearance. He has even been touted as a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, including by well-known crime author Patricia Cornwell in her 2002 book Portrait of a Killer.

Pre-sale members tickets for Sickert: A Life in Art went on sale today, 24th June, and the exhibition promises to be one of the highlights of Liverpool’s cultural scene when it opens in 12 weeks time. The Walker Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. You can find out more about the Walter Sickert retrospective from our friends and partners at the Walker Art Gallery below:

E-Scooter Accidents

In the latest electric scooter accident to hit the headlines, an Italian woman was killed after being hit by an e-scooter while walking along the Seine in Paris. She was knocked over and hit her head on the pavement, suffering a cardiac arrest and later died in hospital. The two female e-scooter riders did not stop at the scene of the accident, and French police have opened an investigation into “murder, aggravated by failure to stop”.

E-scooters are becoming a common sight in towns and cities including London, which launched a 12-month rental trial earlier this month. Pilot schemes have taken place in more than 40 locations across the UK, as the government considers legalising their use on UK roads. E-scooters are popular among the young (the minimum age to legally ride one in 14), commuters, tourists and those looking for an ecological and quick way to get around urban areas. The main problem is the risk they pose to other road users, particularly pedestrians, as the recent tragic case in Paris illustrates.

While it is illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on roads, cycle lanes and pavements, rented electric bikes and scooters can be used on roads and cycle lanes. This is just one example of the confusion surrounding their use. The speed limit for e-scooters in the UK is 15.5mph (25km/h), but many are available to buy which can travel much faster, and it is also relatively easy to increase their speed using a conversion kit. Earlier this year, French police stopped a man riding an e-scooter at 61mph (98km/h), which shows the scale of the challenge in enforcing the law.

Many e-scooter riders are unaware of the rules regarding their use or else simply disregard them. A trial scheme in Coventry was suspended after five days due to riders using e-scooters in pedestrianised areas, including on pavements and in shopping centres. E-scooters are clearly fun to ride leading to irresponsible use among a minority, while rented e-scooters are often hired by tourists and others who are not regular riders, and are therefore unable to use them safely or unaware of where they are permitted to ride them.

If you are a cyclist or pedestrian and have been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists, and have many years of experience with all types of cycling accident claims.

A Journey Through Time

Liverpool’s World Museum houses the Ancient Egypt gallery, the second largest gallery of ancient Egyptian antiquities and artefacts in the UK after the British Museum.

The collection of objects from ancient Egypt and Nubia covers a timespan of over 5,000 years of human life in the Nile Valley, with highlights including one of Egyptology’s rarest discoveries – the Ramesses Girdle – a wonderfully well-preserved item of royal clothing originally worn by Pharaoh Ramesses III (1186 – 1155 BC).

The evolution of the collection began in 1852, when goldsmith Joseph Mayer opened his Egyptian Museum in Liverpool. Many of Mayer’s objects came from the same sources as those now in the British Museum and the Louvre, and there is no doubt that Liverpool’s status as a port city, supplying cotton from Egypt to Lancashire’s cotton mills, helped him build such a substantial and diverse collection.

In 1867, Mayer donated the collection to The Liverpool Free Library and Museum (now World Museum), establishing it as the most important public collection of Egyptian antiquities outside London. 3,000 objects were destroyed when the museum was bombed in 1941, but the collection subsequently increased in number by 10,000 over the next 40 years, and currently stands at around 20,000 objects – 1,2000 of which are showcased in the current ancient Egypt gallery.

Apart from the world famous Ramesses Girdle, the collection includes a gold ring that belonged to King Amenhotep II, a four-metre long Book of the Dead illustrated papyrus, and ‘Papyrus Mayer B’ – a unique account of a tomb robbery in the Valley of the Kings. The exhibition tells the story of how the collection came into being, and Liverpool’s connections with archaeological digs in both Egypt and Sudan.

As we regularly highlight, our friends and partners at National Museums Liverpool are the custodians of some of not just the UK’s, but the world’s most famous art and antiquities. Following the reopening of NML’s museums and galleries on 17th May, we encourage both locals and visitors to explore these free venues, including taking a ‘journey through time’ at World Museum’s magnificent Ancient Egypt gallery.

Solicitors That Take On Car Accident Claims

On 31st May 2021, a new regime came into force for road traffic accident victims, with the small claims limit for RTA claims increasing from £1,000 to £5,000. This means that legal costs for personal injury claims with a value of under £5,000 can no longer be recovered. Instead, unrepresented claimants will have to run their own claim via the Official Injury Claim online service:

The controversial new system will be run by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, with the reforms expected to save insurers £1.2 billion or £35 for every motorist, savings which the government and insurance industry promise will be passed on to motor insurance policyholders. 

The government is aiming to reduce the ‘unacceptably high’ number of whiplash claims made in the UK every year, which the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC has condemned as ‘greedy opportunism’. It is targeting the so-called ambulance chasing claims management companies and lawyers who are seen as assisting dishonest whiplash claimants.    

For obvious reasons, road traffic accident lawyers (including Bartletts Solicitors) strongly disapprove of the new system, feeling that innocent victims will not get the compensation they deserve. Claimants will receive significantly less compensation than before due the new fixed tariff for whiplash injuries, while the 64 page guide to making a claim under the new guidelines has led to concerns about whether they will be able to navigate the portal and handle a claim in their own best interest. 

There are also serious doubts as to whether the savings from the reforms will actually result in lower premiums for ‘honest’ policyholders. The system was designed and will be operated by the MIB, an organization that essentially represents the interests of its member insurers. Fundamentally, victims of road traffic accidents caused by the carelessness and negligence of a third party have the same right to legal advice and compensation as any other claimant. This can therefore be viewed as a human rights issue.

There are two exceptions to the new rules. Children and ‘protected parties’ are exempt from the new small claims limit for whiplash claims arising from road accidents, while for ‘vulnerable road users’ (or those whose claims have other complicating factors), the small claims limit for personal injury claims arising from road accidents remains at £1,000. Children and protected parties are also classed as vulnerable road users for the purposes of this second exception, where there is no whiplash injury. Both categories of claimants will still be able to recover the cost of legal advice and representation. Specifically, these are:

Exception one:

Children aged under 18 at the date they make their claim
Others unable to manage their legal affairs (protected parties)

Exception two:

Vulnerable road users (because a collision with a car is likely to cause more serious injuries):

Pillion/sidecar passengers
Pedal cyclists
Horse riders
Mobility scooter users
Children and protected parties

If you have suffered a car accident with multiple injuries, including whiplash, contact Bartletts Solicitors for free legal advice and to get started making a No Win No Fee car accident claim.

Bartletts Solicitors in Walton Vale

Bartletts Solicitors’ Walton Vale office was opened in 1984 with the aim of creating a good out of town office to match the best in the City Centre and service the entirety of Liverpool and Merseyside.

We take on claims in several different areas of the law which our other offices do not handle, one such area being injuries abroad. Many people do not know that it is possible to claim compensation for a holiday injury or illness if the trip was bought through a UK registered tour operator. Furthermore, if a holidaymaker is injured during an activity organised by the operator, then it is also possible to claim compensation in the UK. Slips and trips in hotels, food poisoning and road accidents on touring packages are some of the injury abroad claims we see most frequently. Find out more:

Our Walton Vale office also specialises in criminal injuries claims. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authorities (CICA) is a government-run scheme offering compensation to victims of violent crime in England, Scotland and Wales. It is possible to claim criminal injury compensation from CICA for both physical and mental injuries, provided the injury is worth over £1,000 (there is a preset scale of compensation awards). While claims can take one to two years to process, the scheme deals with more than 30,000 applications every year and has a high satisfaction rating of 95% from applicants (2018/19). Find out more:

Hit and run traffic accidents is another area in which our Walton Vale office has significant experience. These accidents can be made complicated if the driver is uninsured, drives off without leaving their details or gives false details. We use the DVLA and an enquiry agent to attempt to trace the driver, otherwise we can submit a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), an organisation set up to provide compensation for victims of uninsured and untraced drivers. Find out more:

Bartletts’ Walton Vale office also handles claims for accidents at work, including back injuries from lifting and industrial diseases; slips, trips and falls in public places like shops and shopping centres; injuries sustained at hairdressers and beauty salons; and claims on behalf of tenants injured in unsafe rented accommodation.

Over the years, we have championed many causes and supported clients back to full health. Many claims lead to things being changed for the better, as well as compensation. We have grown by recommendation and the loyalty of our clients.

We are happy to conduct home or hospital visits as and when required. We are here to listen, easy to talk to, provide free advice and are always ready to act. All claims are handled by fully qualified solicitors who are experts in the field of personal injury claims to ensure the best results.

Decorative Art At The Walker

While the Walker Art Gallery is renowned for its beautiful collection of paintings and sculptures, it also houses a unique collection of British and European decorative art including pieces dating back to 1300. There are around 100,000 items in the Gallery’s collection, including ceramics, glass, metalwork, jewellery, furniture and musical instruments.

Apart from works by major UK and international makers and designers, the collection also features objects commissioned by local patrons, commemorative pieces, and other items designed, made or decorated in and around Liverpool.

Highlights include a collection of 10,000 British and European ceramics, featuring medieval pieces and a comprehensive collection of Liverpool-made ceramics from the period 1700-1850. 18th century wine glasses and stained glass windows dating from the medieval period are represented in the vessel glass collection, while the metalwork collection comprises around 1,300 precious metal, silver and gold objects, including a collection of silver items crafted by Liverpool silversmiths.

The jewellery collection features a large number of finger rings, some dating back 700 years, as well as a growing assortment of modern jewellery dating from the 1980s to the present. Items of furniture by acclaimed Liverpool-based designers and makers such as George Bullock and Herbert Macnair are among the roughly 300 pieces displayed in the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House. The textile collection, meanwhile, numbers around 10,000 items, including embroideries, lace, woolwork, quilts and household furnishings.

This brief overview gives an idea of the vast range of unique, quirky and special objects on display in the Walker Art Gallery’s decorative art collection. Beauty and functionality are the essence of decorative art, and the Walker’s stunning collection, now open to the public once again, offers an excellent introduction to this important and historical art form.

Reopening Excitement Builds

Excitement is building ahead of next Tuesday 18th May, when most of National Museums Liverpool’s venues will reopen in line with the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Walker Art Gallery, World Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Lady Lever Art Gallery and Sudley House will all be open from next Tuesday, while the Planetarium is due to reopen in June, and the Aquarium is expected to reopen in time for the summer holidays.

Opening hours for NML’s museums and galleries are Tuesday to Sunday from 10am – 6pm (all venues will be closed on Mondays, except bank holidays). Free e-tickets for timed entry slots must be pre-booked on NML’s website:

Visitors to the Walker Art Gallery will be able to view the 67 artworks shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize 2020, including the first-prize winner, Kathryn Maple’s stunning large-scale work The Common.

While Kathryn was the jurors’ winning choice, we can all still place our votes for the Visitor’s Choice Prize, sponsored by Rathbones. Voting has now been extended until 13th June, allowing people to vote after seeing the exhibition in person. A virtual tour is also available:

We are all looking forward to the reopening of the Walker Art Gallery and all of NML’s other venues, and wish these great national institutions and their wonderful staff all the very best for the weeks and months ahead!