Cinema Accident Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a cinema 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 cinema accident compensation:


According to the UK Cinema Association, there were approximately 176 million admissions to film screenings in 2019. This number fell drastically during COVID, but is expected to rise again in 2021. It is estimated that around 21,000 people work in cinemas.

Due to inherent hazards of the cinema environment, including inadequate lighting or low-light conditions, steep steps and crowds, cinemas must maintain particularly high safety standards to reduce the risk of accidents. Where these standards have not been observed, and someone is injured as a result, it may be possible to claim compensation.

Cinema screen

Do I have a cinema accident claim?

A cinema accident injury claim should be possible if you sustained an injury:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Injury 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 cinema accident claim on their own behalf.

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

Common cinema accident claims

The most frequent types of accident in a cinema result in?slip and trip claims. These claims often involve one of the following hazards, and both customers and staff may be affected:

  • Wet floors
  • Obstructions on the stairs
  • Poor lighting
  • Damaged seating

Injuries arising from this type of accident can range from cuts and bruises to hand, wrist and ankle sprains, broken bones and concussion.

Injuries affecting cinema staff

Burns and scalding injuries can be caused by the hot catering equipment used to prepare hotdogs, popcorn and other snacks and drinks. Hearing loss and tinnitus can also arise due to sudden or prolonged exposure to high-decibel sound.

Health and safety legislation

Like any public venue or workplace, cinemas are required to follow UK health and safety legislation, ensuring that the premises are safe for both customers and staff.

If applicable regulations are not followed, and someone is injured as a result, the owner or operator of the cinema could be held liable for the accident. In such a case, the owner or occupier of the venue has breached the duty of care' owed to the injured employee or visitor.

For customers this duty of care is imposed by the Occupier's Liability Act 1984. For employees, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 may apply. Legislation requires that cinema owners undertake a full risk assessment of the cinema and then implement measures to remove or minimise any hazards identified during this assessment.

The cinema management may also be liable for an accident if it can be proved that the accident resulted from the management's failure to:

  • Carry out routine sweeps to identify wet floor and spillages (or to use appropriate warning signs if it was not cleaned up immediately)
  • Carry out routine checks of corridors and stairs to identify potential trip hazards
  • Install and maintain adequate floor lighting for visibility in dark screening rooms
  • Provide staff with sufficient health and safety training, including the use of hot catering equipment

Useful evidence to prove negligence in a cinema accident

A member of the cinema staff, or the management, should be informed of the accident as soon as possible. The incident should then be recorded in the cinema's accident book.

If possible, it is recommended that photographs are taken of the scene and of the injuries. The names and contact details of any witnesses should also be noted.

Your solicitor can advise on other potential sources of evidence, such as CCTV footage from the cinema or the venue's health and safety records.

CCTV footage is often quickly erased for storage reasons. Solicitors recommend that you start a claim as soon as possible, to ensure as much evidence as possible can be gathered in support of your claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a cinema accident?

The amount of money you could claim for your cinema accident 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 cinema accident 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

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 a cinema accident? (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

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious ankle injury can be £35,000

For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.

However, if you have a serious ankle injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £35,000 + a reduced percentage of £2,900.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a cinema accident 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 cinema accident will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your cinema accident 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.

Will I have to pay tax on my cinema accident compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a cinema accident injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Calculate my cinema accident compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a cinema accident 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 cinema accident claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a cineman injury claim take?

The length of time needed to get compensation for a cinema accident can vary significantly.

For example, a straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim can settle in a few weeks. If the responsible party denies liability, a compensation claim can take longer. Typically, an occupiers liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your cinema accident 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.

How does no win, no fee work?

'No win, no fee' means that if your cinema accident claim is not successful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your cinema accident injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my cinema accident claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only 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 cinema accident claim?

If your cinema accident 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.

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?

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:

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Cinema accident 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a cinema accident claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a cinema accident 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 cinema accident compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

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

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor