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.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
restaurant injury and illness compensation:
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.
Do I have a restaurant injury and illness claim?
You should be able to make a restaurant injury and illness injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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 a restaurant injury and illness claim on their own behalf.
What if there is no evidence?
Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a restaurant injury and illness claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.
The amount of money you could claim for your restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness? (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 restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your restaurant injury and illness 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.
Calculate my restaurant injury and illness compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness claim could be worth now:
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?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your restaurant injury and illness 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.
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.
Some of the most common restaurant accidents include;
- Slipping on wet or greasy floors caused by spilt food and drinks where proper cleaning procedures are not in place
- Fall accidents due to faulty floors, poor lighting or badly maintained staircases.
- Slipping in wet or flooded restaurant toilets
- Burn injuries from spilt food or hot drinks
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.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if your restaurant injury and illness 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 a restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness claim?
If your restaurant injury and illness 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.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. restaurant injury and illness claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Restaurant injury and illness 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 do I have to make a restaurant injury and illness claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the restaurant injury and illness to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your restaurant injury and illness claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a restaurant injury and illness 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 restaurant injury and illness compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a restaurant injury and illness claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
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.