A guide to making a No Win No Fee pub or bar accident claim
Injuries sustained in bars, pubs and nightclubs leading to occupiers liability compensation claims are all too common. What should you do if you sustain an injury in a bar or pub?
Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to attacks or fights which can result in injury. Incidents of this nature would be considered a criminal matter;
Being the victim of a violent crime is often a frightening and distressing experience and the physical and psychological effects can remain for a long time after the incident. If a claimant is attacked in a bar, it should be reported to the police as soon as possible.
The 'Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme' (CICA) is a government funded scheme designed to compensate blameless victims of violent crime in Great Britain.
The scheme means that it is not necessary to wait for a trial to happen. CICA uses the legal basis of "balance of probabilities" meaning what is the most likely version of events, not the criminal court test which is "beyond reasonable doubt".
Compensation can be claimed for pain and suffering experienced as a result of the attack. If the attack has made a pre-existing medical condition worse, a claim can also be made. Travel expenses, further medical costs and loss of earnings can also be claimed for.
A claim can be made up to two years after the attack, although the CICA encourages individuals to make a claim as soon as possible.
Accidents also occur as a result of company or occupier negligence.
If an individual is injured in a bar through staff or company negligence, it may be possible to make a claim.
As a lawful visitor to a pub or club, the business owner and the owner of the building have a duty of care to ensure that patrons are kept safe whilst on their premises.
Failure to abide by this duty of care could lead to very serious consequences.
As with all claims, in order to be awarded compensation the Claimant would have to prove that someone else was to blame for the accident.
The amount of compensation available would be dependent on the type and severity of the injury. Compensation can also be claimed for further expenses such as travel and medical bills.
How can Quittance help if you have been injured in a Bar or Restaurant?
Quittance's panel of solicitors have assisted in occupier liability and negligence cases that include slipping on an unmarked wet floor and an individual receiving serious cuts from glass that was not disposed of correctly.
If you have suffered as a result of an accident in a bar, Quittance offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your options and advise you if you have a claim.
Call us on free phone 0800 612 7456 or complete an online form and we will call you back at a convenient time for you.
Following an accident how soon should a claim be started?
A person who has sustained an injury in an accident that was not their fault that took place within the last three years could be entitled to claim for personal injury compensation. Many Claimants concentrate on treatment and recovery first prior to starting a personal injury claim, and a claim can commence whenever the Claimant is ready until the three year period has elapsed.
Unless a settlement can be reached with the three years, and Court proceedings have not commenced, a claim for an accident becomes restricted from doing so, or 'statue-barred', meaning that an injured party is unable to make their compensation claim. By commencing a claim earlier, the Claimant and their solicitor can negotiate a better settlement.
What is the position if there is uncertainty over who is to blame for a pub fall?
In order to assess if there is a valid legal claim the claimant and solicitor will be required to determine that the defendant was responsible or to blame and causation i. e. a breach of duty leading to actionable damage on the part of Defendant.
Blame is not always clear cut - it may be that multiple parties share an apportioned liability for the incident, or that the injuries sustained resulted from the negligence of more than one party . Generally shared liability cases will be concluded on the basis of a proportion or ratio of the full pub fall compensation. For instance if it is estimated that the Claimant is 75 percent responsible for the pub fall , then the Claimant will get 75 percent of the total payout that would have been awarded if the Defendant was entirely at fault .
Can you make a claim for compensation?
You may be entitled to make a claim for your injuries provided that the accident took place within the previous three years and was due to someone else. Quittance's network of solicitors have successfully made injury claims against parties including employers, retailers and local authorities.
A solicitor must prove that, on the balance of probabilities, your injuries resulted from the accident and the other side was responsible for the accident to succeed in claiming for compensation.
You may be able to claim for your injuries if the accident was caused partly by the actions or negligence of both sides. Such claims are generally resolved with a split liability agreement.
How will compensation help you?
One of the purposes of compensation for personal injury is that it should try to put injured parties back in the position they would have been in had the accident or illness never occurred. With respect to providing to an injured person sufficient compensation financial compensation can only ever go so far.
Courts in England and Wales acknowledge that a pub fall can have a life-altering impact. Compensation may be awarded:
- for any pain and suffering
- to reimburse any medical expenses such as physiotherapy
- to reimburse any other expenses or damage to personal property
- to cover any loss of earnings including those anticipated in the future
What compensation could you receive?
Calculations for settlements and Court awards will be based on the type and seriousness of the injuries sustained as a result of the accident or illness.
Upper and lower figures are recommended by the Judicial College guidelines (formerly the Judicial Studies Board guidelines).
Courts will use the Judicial College guidelines to determine compensation awards, and insurers will consider the guidelines when making an offer.
Sometimes an accident may exacerbate an existing injury but compensation claim may still be possible.
Damage to personal possessions, travel expenses (such as for physiotherapy sessions) and the cost of treatment may be claimed for in many cases, and are called special damages.
How long will a pub accident compensation claim take?
Some injury claims are relatively straightforward where compensation is agreed without delay. Complex cases can take a longer amount of time to resolve. Certain factors can only prolong the claim - such as when the Defendant alleges split liability.
As every case is different, it is very difficult to predict how much time will be needed to get to a settlement or award . Sometimes it can even benefit the Claimant to hold out for a higher offer as this strategy can result in a larger award.
You can get a more accurate prognosis of how long your pub, bar or restaurant accident claim will take, speak to an expert personal injury solicitor on freephone 0800 612 7456 or by obtaining a bespoke Compensation Report.
What is the chance of a claim being successful
The 3 tests involved in demonstrating liability in a personal injury claim are:
- duty of care
- breach of duty
Generally speaking, this means "Were the injuries caused by the Defendant "
If it has been admitted by the Defendant that they are at fault you likely have a very good chance of succeeding.
If liability is contested or only partly accepted it may be more difficult to win.
Several actions can be taken to help make a better claim. The below steps should be taken as soon as possible:
- gather witness statements, including names and addresses
- report the incident (e.g. in an accident book if injured at work)
- if you have been injured in a public place such as a shop, report the accident to the owner, management or local authority
It is worth taking into account the above even in cases where months or years have passed.
No Win, No Fee agreements for pub or bar injury compensation claims
No Win, No Fee agreements, technically referred to as Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), are a key component of the vast majority of claims.
The CFA sets out the service delivered by your solicitor and the "success fee" that will be deducted from the award after your claim is successful.
By choosing a Quittance personal injury lawyer, you will have peace of mind with the knowledge that that there will be absolutely nothing to pay at the outset.
Get a free Compensation Claim Report
It can be a challenge to get the detail you need to make an informed decision. The Compensation Claim Report (CCR) has been created to help provide those answers.
A CCR is a free report based on the details of your case, that reports on:
- what can affect the likelihood that your claim will succeed
- what can cause delays
- what determines your compensation amount
The CCR helps you decide if and when to make a claim.
We recognise that you will have questions before deciding on whether to start a claim.
For comprehensive answers to questions about how the injury claims process works, e.g. "How does No Win No Fee work ", see our FAQ section
What to do next
A free Compensation Claim Report (CCR) will consider factors from how much compensation might be awarded to how long the claim could take to process, and the chance of success.