If a restaurant injury and illness has set you back, we'll help you move forward
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.
You can make a compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
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 claim?
If you've been injured in an accident that was caused another person or organisation in the last 3 years, you will be entitled to make a claim for financial compensation.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Is a claim still possible if I was partly responsible for my injury?
Understanding who is legally at fault for an accident often requires navigating through a maze of legal complexities.
Each year, Quittance carries out a survey of potential claimants. In our 2023 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents felt they might be at least partly to blame for their injuries.
Even if you were partly at fault, you could still be able to claim compensation. 'Split liability' or 'contributory negligence' are terms used to describe these cases.
How long after a restaurant injury and illness do I have to claim compensation?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a restaurant injury and illness?
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.
Restaurant injury and illness
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Updated December 2023
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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 because of your accident. In addition to paying compensation for lost earnings, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as medication for food poisoning, hydration and pain medication.
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.
Restaurant injury and illness claims are usually referred to as public place, or occupiers' liability, claims. Click on the icons below to learn more:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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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.