Restaurant Injury and Illness Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an injury, we can help.

Whether your injuries were caused by a slip or trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will then identify who is legally responsible. Based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses they will also work out how much money you can claim.

We can help you make an public place accident claim, on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

All restaurant operators owe duty of care to ensure that both guests and restaurant staff are safe and not exposed to unreasonable risk of sustaining an injury or illness.

If a restaurant has failed in this duty, and you have been injured as a result, you may be able to claim compensation.

Empty restaurant

Do I have an injury claim?

You should be able to make an injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Claim eligibility - Common questions

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 an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

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

  • the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

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.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

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

What is the average injury compensation for an 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 an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the restaurant injury and illness injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:

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  • Instant accurate calculation
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  • Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
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How long does a restaurant injury claim take?

The length of time needed to process a restaurant injury claim can vary considerably.

A simple liability accepted public place accident claim could be settled in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take substantially longer. Normally a public place accident claim should take 6 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.

Injury in a restaurant

The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 states that an occupier of premises has a common duty of care to all his visitors to ensure that they are reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes "for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there".

If a restaurant's management fails to ensure that all spillages, breakages and obstructions are removed and the premises are not maintained in a sound state of repair, there may be a risk of injury to the public and to staff.

Anyone sustaining an accident due to this negligence may be able to bring an occupiers liability claim or work accident claim for injury compensation.

Some of the most common restaurant accidents include;

Accidents may also occur in a car park or entrance way for which the owner or occupier of the restaurant has responsibility.

Making a claim for an injury or illness in a restaurant

It is important that any accidents are reported to the restaurant's management and recorded in their accident book.

In many cases, it is still possible to claim even if no record has been made, but notifying the management will provide valuable evidence if you decide to claim and enables the restaurant to reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future.

Photographic evidence of the failings that caused the accident may be useful in making a claim, as well as statements from any witnesses.

Illness from eating in a restaurant

The Food Safety Act 1990 states that food businesses have a responsibility to ensure that food is not treated in any way that would be damaging to the health of the people eating it; that food must be of the nature, substance or quality which consumers would expect, and that food is labelled or presented in a way that it not false or misleading.

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) (and equivalent regulations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) also set out the basic hygiene requirements for all aspects of a food business, from the premises and facilities to the personal hygiene of the staff.

To reduce the risk of contamination with harmful bacteria restaurants must follow good hygiene practices. The kitchen, utensils and preparation area should be regularly and thoroughly cleaned and food appropriately stored and subsequently prepared. Staff must be properly trained and made aware of the risks.

If these practices are ignored and a guest contracts food poisoning as a result of eating in a restaurant then the restaurant may be liable for the illness.

An allergic reaction claim may be made if a restaurant fails to inform or incorrectly informs a guest of the presence of a known allergen in a menu item when asked.

Claiming for illness

To bring a successful claim against a restaurant a claimant must prove that his illness was due to neglect or fault on the part of the restaurant.

Determining the cause of the infection may be difficult as food poisoning can be contracted from several sources and there is sometimes a delay in its onset, and this can sometimes make claims for food poisoning while on holiday difficult to prove.

Allergic reactions are generally instant and a restaurant may be found negligent if it has presented food in a way that is false or misleading.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

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

No win, no fee

'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees at all. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is an agreement between you and your solicitor.

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.

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
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

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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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

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?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor