Cinema accident claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

According to the UK Cinema Association, there were approximately 158 million admissions to film screenings in 2014. In addition, it is estimated that around 21,000 people work in cinemas.

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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?

If you were injured in a cinema accident in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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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.

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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 Lliability 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
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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.

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How much compensation can I claim for a cinema accident?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Accidents at work - Claims against your employer

Every year, 600,000* employees are injured in accidents at work. If you have suffered an injury or illness at work, you may able to claim compensation.

Find out if you can claim cinema accident compensation from your employer: Read more about work accident claims

*Source: 2016/17 Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report

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Meet the QLS team

Our national network of solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Our lawyers are chosen on the basis of their years of specialist experience and their track record in recovering compensation.

Click here to meet more of the Quittance Legal Services team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
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.

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