If an injury at work has set you back, we'll help you move forward

Waiter and waitress injuries commonly include slip and fall accidents, burns from hot dishes, or cuts from broken glassware in the food service industry.

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an accident at work, we can help. Whether your injuries were caused by a slip, trip, fall or other incident, you may be entitled to claim compensation against your employer.

You can make a No Win, No Fee compensation claim for an accident in a public place with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

2.5% of food service workers are injured every year - you are not alone

The accommodation and food service industry is the third most dangerous working environment after farming and construction. In the 2022/23 period, there were 2,500 non-fatal reported injuries per 100,000 workers (hse.gov.uk).

Poorly managed kitchens pose a risk to staff, especially waiters and waitresses unfamiliar with kitchen equipment like ovens and knives. Employers are responsible for safeguarding all employees and customers from accidents.

If you decide to make a waiter and waitress injury claim, your personal injury solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

Am I eligible for injury compensation?

You should be entitled to waiter and waitress injury compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

What if I was partially at fault?

Personal injury claims where both the defendant and claimant share some responsibility are relatively common.

In our recent 2024 Public Liability Injury Claimant Survey, 17.45% of respondents thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.

You can often still claim compensation even if you were partly to blame, as cases with shared fault usually settle with a split-liability agreement.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long after a waiter and waitress injury do I have to claim compensation?

In most cases, you have up to 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to start a claim.

For an injured child, the three-year limitation period begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until they are 21 to start a claim.

How much compensation can I claim for a waiter or waitress injury?

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.

Waiter and waitress injury compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated July 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your injury. Compensation can include lost wages, bonuses, benefits and other perks, damage to clothing, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.

These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as pain medication and psychological support.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

The impact of psychological injuries

Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.

Our 2024 Public Place Injury Claimant Survey highlights that 29.03% of claimants reported they had suffered a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.

Injuries sustained while working in food service can lead to anxiety in similar work environments and impact future career choices.

A specialist solicitor will consider psychological harm when calculating your compensation. Psychiatric injuries are recognised in the official guidelines for compensation, and the cost of treatment and other mental health support should be included in your compensation award or settlement.

Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.

Accidents sustained by waiting staff

Waiters and waitresses may be exposed to a variety of hazards in the workplace. Injury compensation claims made on behalf of wait staff range from those relating to burns, scalds and lacerations to sprains, strains and broken bones.

The most common accidents include:

Slips and falls

Slips, trips and falls are the primary cause of injury in cafes and restaurants. Wet floors, grease and spillages are hazardous and should be cleaned away quickly to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

See also:

Slips, trip and fall injury claims

Scalds and burns

Waiters and waitresses are often tasked with preparing hot drinks and carrying them across a busy restaurant floor. Spillages can cause serious scald injuries. Restaurant equipment, such as ovens, grills and fryers also pose a burn injury risk.

To reduced the risk of accident, employers are expected to provide the appropriate safety training as well as issuing suitable Personal Protective Equipment where it is appropriate to do so.

See more:

Burn and scald injury compensation claims

Manual handling injuries

Working in a restaurant often requires a reasonable amount of lifting, pulling and carrying. Injuries arising from this activity, such as muscle pulls and strains, can occur if the waiter is not given training in the proper handling techniques and may result in a manual handling claim.

Cuts and lacerations

Knives, graters and industrial slicers are all features of the modern commercial kitchen.

By law, dangerous machinery must be fitted with the proper guards and other safety mechanisms to reduce the accident risk, and waiters who operate any dangerous tools and machinery should be trained on how to do so safely.

Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees from injury in the workplace. As part of this duty, they must observe various pieces of health and safety legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.

Any employer that fails to implement safe working practices may be liable to pay compensation if the waiter or waitress is injured as a result. This will be a type of work accident claim brought against the owner of the restaurant and their insurance company.

See also:

Making a work accident compensation claim

Accidents caused by waiting staff

Some of the most common preventable accidents involving restaurant customers include:

  • The waiter or waitress spilling hot drinks or food on a customer, causing scald injuries
  • Being struck by the objects the waiter was carrying, such as a plate, tray or other heavy item. Injuries typically include bruises, lacerations and concussion injuries
  • Colliding with a member of waiting staff
  • Being handed a hot plate, causing burn injuries

Anyone who has been involved in an accident with a waiter, waitress or other member of restaurant staff may be eligible to claim compensation for their injuries.

See also:

Cut and laceration injury claims

Concussion injury claims

Vicarious liability

Ordinarily, the claim would be brought against the restaurant owner and not the waiter or waitress directly. That is because the waiter's actions are the responsibility of the employer. This mechanism is referred to as vicarious liability.

As with all personal injury claims, the claimant would have to prove that someone else was to blame for the accident in order to be awarded compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help gather the appropriate evidence and make a robust case.

What happened?

Claiming compensation depends on the cause of your waiter and waitress injury. Click the icons below for read more:

No win, no fee waiter and waitress injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim waiter and waitress injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to an injury specialist about your claim?

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Call 0800 376 1001

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Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor