Kitchen Equipment Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a defective kitchen equipment accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a defective kitchen equipment accident 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
kitchen equipment injury compensation:
According to the Food Statistics pocketbook published by DEFRA, the catering industry employs more than 1.6 million people in almost 450,000 sites. A further 400,000 work in food and drink manufacturing in around 10,000 locations.
Food preparation areas are busy environments and full of potential hazards; workers in the accommodation/food services sector have statistically higher than average accident rates.
The kitchen and catering industry is the third highest sector for injury reports, after the agriculture and construction industries.
Do I have a kitchen equipment injury claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a kitchen equipment 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.
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 kitchen equipment injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I make a kitchen equipment injury claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a kitchen equipment injury claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
The amount of money you could claim for your kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your kitchen equipment 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a kitchen equipment injury injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Calculate my kitchen equipment injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a defective kitchen equipment injury claim take?
How long it can take to get compensation for a defective kitchen equipment accident can vary considerably.
For instance, a simple uncontested product liability claim could be settled in a month or two. If liability is denied, however, it could take considerably longer. On average a product liability claim should take 6 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your kitchen equipment 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 are the main hazards?
Injuries caused by defective equipment in kitchens
Overheated liquid may boil over, spilling onto workers and surfaces, or jets of steam from ovens may leak when the oven door is opened. Scalds can also result if poorly maintained vessels leak steam.
Indicator lights on hotplates and griddles should display when the surface is hot. When these indicators fail, the risk of burn injury significantly increases. Faulty jets on gas rings and grills can lead to sudden flares and faulty thermostats can also cause fires.
In addition to maintaining equipment, the owner or operator of the kitchen must install and maintain appropriate fire extinguishers in place to control any fire. Evidence of a failure to adhere to health and safety regulations may indicate negligence on the part of the employer.
Deep cuts and other injuries
Deep cuts and lacerations to hands and fingers may be sustained if guards on food processing equipment are faulty or missing. A kitchen worker may sever the ends of his fingers on slicing and chopping machines where the guard is not properly installed.
Compensation claims have also been made on behalf of kitchen staff who have sustained injury from defective electrical equipment that causes electric shocks and burns, and in some cases, electrocution.
All portable appliances should be PAT tested; cables and flexes should be tested for static equipment and any faults reported and repaired. Adaptors should not be overloaded as they may cause fires.
Employees injured by defective kitchen equipment
If a chef, cook or other kitchen worker has sustained injury through using defective kitchen equipment then he or she may be able to claim compensation.
Using work equipment includes starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning that equipment.
The employer has a duty to provide work equipment that is suitable for the job, and to ensure it is properly maintained and safe to use.
A claimant does not have to show that the employer was at fault for the defect, only that the defect existed. This is known as strict liability.
Any employee also has a duty of care to himself and his colleagues - for example he should wear or use the appropriate protective equipment and ensure that proper guards are in place before using slicing equipment. He should never clean any electrical equipment without disconnecting it from the power supply.
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 is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a kitchen equipment injury claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making a kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my kitchen equipment injury claim?
If your kitchen equipment injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. 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. kitchen equipment injury 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.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
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
Kitchen equipment 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 do I have to make a kitchen equipment injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the kitchen equipment injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your kitchen equipment injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a kitchen equipment 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 kitchen equipment injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a kitchen equipment injury 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.