A Guide to Claiming Pub or Bar Injury Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a pub or bar accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a pub or bar accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
If you have been injured in a pub, bar or restaurant and someone else was to blame, you may be able to claim financial compensation.
The type of personal injury claim will depend on how your injury happened:
Injuries sustained in bars, pubs and nightclubs are all too common. Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to injuries sustained in attacks or fights. Incidents of this nature would be considered a criminal matter.
Being the victim of a violent crime is a frightening and distressing experience, and the physical and psychological effects can remain for a long time after the incident. If you have been attacked in a bar, you should report the incident 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 the UK.
The scheme means that it is not necessary to wait for a court trial. The CICA uses the legal basis of "balance of probabilities". The CICA will take into account the most likely version of events, not the criminal court test which is "beyond reasonable doubt".
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 that occur as a result of company or occupier negligence are known as 'occupier's liability'.
Reduced lighting levels, wet floors, broken glass and over-crowding are also potential hazards for customers.
If you were injured in a bar through staff or company negligence, it may be possible to make a claim.
As a visitor to a pub or club, the business owner and the owner of the building have a duty of care to ensure that you are kept safe.
To be awarded compensation, your solicitor will have to prove that someone else was to blame for the accident.
Accidents at work
Kitchen and bar environments mean that employees are sometimes at even higher risk than customers. If you have been injured working in a pub or bar, you would be able to pursue a claim against your employer.
A claim should still be possible even if you were working as a temp, via an agency or on a zero-hours contract.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
What if there is uncertainty over who is to blame?
Your solicitor will need to determine that someone else was to blame.
However, 'blame' is not always clear cut. It may be that multiple parties share liability for the incident, or that the injuries sustained resulted from the negligence of more than one person.
Generally, split 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 per cent responsible for the pub fall, then the claimant will get 75 per cent of the total payout that would have been awarded if the defendant was entirely at fault.
What if I was partly to blame?
If you were partly responsible for your accident, you could claim a reduced compensation amount, though a split liability agreement.
However, if you were injured at work as the result of an accident you may have caused, you may be able to claim the full compensation amount. Your solicitor will consider factors such as:
- Did your employer provide you with adequate training?
- Were you given suitable protective equipment?
- Did your manager ask you to do something unsafe?
Even if you believe you were fully or partly responsible for your injuries, your employer may still have breached their duty of care towards you.
Do I have a pub or bar injury claim?
You should be eligible to make a pub or bar injury claim if your injury happened:
- within the last three years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:
What are the exceptions?
Even if these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.
It costs nothing to find out - you can speak to one of our experts on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will not put you under any pressure to pursue a claim.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a pub or bar injury claim on their own behalf.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
The amount of money you could claim for your pub or bar 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 pub or bar 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 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a pub or bar injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a pub or bar injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a pub or bar injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your pub or bar injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Can I see the complete judicial college tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common pub or bar injury claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Pub or bar injury compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a pub or bar injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your pub or bar injury claim could be worth now:
How long do I have to make a pub or bar injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the pub or bar injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your pub or bar injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a pub or bar injury after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim pub or bar injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a pub or bar injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I still be able to claim for a pub or bar injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your pub or bar injury claim 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.
What should I do following an accident?
The following steps should be taken as soon as possible after the accident:
- 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
- Report the incident to the police (if criminal)
It is worth doing as many of the above as possible - even if months have passed.
No win, no fee
Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if you do not winn your claim .
Our no win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a pub or bar injury claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my pub or bar injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my pub or bar injury claim?
If your pub or bar injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees.
Can I get Legal Aid?
Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury 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:Call me back
if you can claim
to start a claim
Pub or bar 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.
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.
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*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
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.
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.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
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.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert