A Guide to Claiming Catering Injury Compensation

In this guide we explain everything you need to know about making a successful catering accident compensation claim.

Introduction

Working in the catering industry comes with inherent risks. Kitchens, restaurants, cafeterias, bars and canteens are fast-paced environments. People handle hot food and drinks, sharp objects like knives, and operate ovens, hobs and other potentially dangerous equipment every day.

It is easy to see how, if health and safety is not managed properly, accidents can happen in the catering industry.

Do I have a catering injury claim?

It should be possible to make a catering injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

If these two points don't apply to you, a compensation claim may still be a possibility.

To get a definitive answer, you can speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.

A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. You will be under no obligation to start a claim with Quittance.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

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Who can make a catering accident claim?

Any person who works in the catering industry and has suffered an injury as a result of someone else's negligence may be able to make a claim. Chefs, cooks, waiters, bartenders, assistants, and any other staff members can make a claim for an injury that happened at work in the catering industry.

Common kitchen hazards

  • Hot surfaces
  • Hot food and drinks
  • Boiling water, oil and other liquids
  • Trip and slip hazards like wet floors and poor storage
  • Potentially hazardous machinery like slicers, blenders and naked flame hobs

Common injuries suffered by catering staff

  • Burns and scalds
  • Lacerations
  • Back injuries
  • Bruising and fractures from slipping and tripping

Who can make a claim?

If you have suffered an injury while working in the catering industry, you may have a case for a compensation claim if you can prove that the accident was a result of someone else's negligence.

While it is difficult to completely eliminate risks in the catering industry, the employer has a duty of care to ensure that all risks are minimised as far as possible. The employer can do this in a number of ways:

  1. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons and heat-proof gloves.
  2. Training employees on the correct and safe usage of dangerous tools such as slicers.
  3. Ensuring that all floor surfaces are kept clean and clear, and that all spillages are cleared as soon as they are spotted.
  4. Training staff on the correct way to lift and carry heavy objects to avoid back injuries.

If you believe that your employer has failed to ensure any of the above, which resulted in an injury, you may have negligence case against them. Your claim will be examined to assess how much compensation you are entitled to.

The amount of compensation awarded will be determined by taking into account factors such as: the pain caused at the time of the injury; the time taken for the injury to heal; the impact the injury has on quality of life; and any financial losses incurred as a result of being incapacitated.

How much compensation can I claim for a catering injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your catering injury will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your catering injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your catering injury case from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

No win, no fee, no risk

No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a catering injury claim with:

  • no upfront legal fees
  • no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
  • a success fee payable only if your claim is successful

No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a catering injury compensation claim.

What do I pay if I win my catering injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my catering injury claim?

If your catering injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about how no win, no fee works

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Catering Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert