Nightclub Injury Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a nightclub accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a nightclub 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
nightclub injury compensation:
Low light levels, slippery dance floors, broken glass and excessive alcohol consumption, all present significant risk to nightclub patrons. However, club owners and occupiers owe a duty of care to patrons to ensure that the nightclub is safe and fit for purpose.
If you are injured because a nightclub's health and safety measures were inadequate, you could be entitled to make an occupiers liability claim for injury compensation.
From slips, trips and falls leading to bruising, sprains and broken bones, to lacerations from shards of glass or other sharp hazards, compensation can be claimed for many of the injuries sustained in nightclubs, pubs and bars, even if you were intoxicated when the accident happened.
What are the legal responsibilities of a nightclub owner?
Under the Occupier's Liability Act 1957, nightclub owners have a legal duty to ensure that visitors to their premises are kept reasonably safe from harm. This means making sure that club patrons are not exposed to unnecessary or foreseeable risks.
As part of this, owners need to carry out an initial risk assessment, identifying any potential hazards, and then implement sufficient health and safety procedures. This includes having a system in places to ensure that regular checks are carried out and that they are quick to remove hazards.
This regular checking is essential in nightclubs as new hazards can occur on a regular basis. For example, drinks are often spilt or glasses dropped and broken. This can occur anywhere from the dance floor, to the bar, to the public toilets.
Safety breaches that can lead to a nightclub injury claim
If an accident occurs in a nightclub because of an avoidable risk, such as insufficient lighting, slippery stair coverings or broken glass on the floor, a person can claim for personal injury compensation as the nightclub owner failed to meet their duty of care'.
Not every risk or hazard must be removed immediately once identified. However a suitable warning must be in place, such as a wet floor or danger sign.
Common examples of safety failures which lead to nightclub injury claims include:
- Owner/manager did not employ enough staff to adequately clean up drink spills and broken glass
- Floor coverings were unsuitable (not non-slip), poor quality or slippery due to the use of incorrect cleaning products
- Lighting was inadequate on the stairs or around other hazards
- Obstacles, such as tailing cables, were not removed or suitably covered
- Chairs, tables and other nightclub furniture was unsafe due to poor quality or poor maintenance
- Excessively loud music
Other causes of injuries in nightclubs include an assault by a bouncer or member of the public. However these would be classed as a criminal injury. This would entail a claim for criminal injury compensation through the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority), rather than a personal injury claim.
What should I do after a nightclub accident?
When an accident happens in a nightclub the first priority is seeking medical attention and notifying staff. Not only should staff administer first aid or call an ambulance for more serious injuries, but they should also log the incident in the premises' accident book.
Other steps to take which will help build a case for a compensation claim include:
- Photographing the scene of the accident
- Photographing the injuries
- Seeking witnesses and requesting contact details
- Asking for security camera footage that may have captured the incident
If negligence can be proven, the nightclub owner should have insurance in place to cover any claims made against them.
Do I have a nightclub injury claim?
It should be possible to make a nightclub injury claim if you sustained an injury:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else 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 nightclub injury claim on their own behalf.
Can I make a nightclub injury claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a nightclub 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 nightclub 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 nightclub 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 nightclub 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
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.
General damages for a serious head injury can be £30,000
For a more minor wrist injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £2,900.
However, if you have a serious head injury and a more minor wrist injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + 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 nightclub 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 nightclub injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your nightclub 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.
What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?
If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.
Calculate my nightclub injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a nightclub 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 nightclub injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a nightclub injury claim take?
How long it can take to secure compensation for a nightclub accident can vary significantly.
A straightforward uncontested occupiers liability claim might be concluded in a few weeks. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take longer. Typically, an occupiers liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your nightclub 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.
Who pays for this specialist help?
The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee - the facts
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a nightclub injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my nightclub injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once 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 nightclub injury claim?
If your nightclub injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal 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. nightclub 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.
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
Nightclub 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 nightclub injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the nightclub injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your nightclub injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a nightclub 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 nightclub injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a nightclub 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.