Many kitchens, restaurants, bars and cafeterias in the catering industry are extremely busy so there is a significant emphasis on employers to protect all employees. Failure to do so could allow you to claim compensation for your injuries. This article on catering accident claims will look at what types of accidents might entitle you to compensation and the way the process of making a claim works.
We are here to help if you decide that it’s time to act. If you call our claims team today, one of our friendly advisors will consider your options with you. After they’ve established whether a claim is likely to succeed, we could connect you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel. If they take your catering accident claim on, it will be conducted on a No Win, No Fee basis so you don’t need to pay any fees unless you are awarded compensation.
For more information, please continue reading. To discuss a catering accident claim with a specialist advisor right away, please call us on 0800 652 1345 today.
Can I claim compensation for a catering accident?
Catering accident claims are a specific type of personal injury claim. As such, you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria before one of our lawyers will agree to represent you. If you can answer yes to all three of the questions listed below, we may be able to help you start a claim:
- Did your employer’s action or lack of action breach their duty of care towards your safety?
- Did a catering accident occur as a result?
- Were you injured in that accident?
As you may know, employers always owe their staff a duty of care in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In catering, other laws like the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 may also be relevant.
If you call to see if you have a valid catering accident claim, your solicitor will check which law is relevant to test if you have the grounds to proceed. Once a duty of care has been identified, the rest of the claims process will be based on how you were injured and why your employer was responsible.
What sorts of negligence could lead to a catering accident?
As part of their duty of care towards your safety at work, your employer needs to take reasonable steps to try and prevent catering accidents from happening. This can include:
- Ensuring you are trained (and re-trained) on the latest health and safety regulations.
- Securing dangerous equipment, products and ingredients safely.
- Conducting regular risk assessments.
- Ensuring kitchen equipment is fit for purpose, well maintained and repaired when faulty.
- Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary. This can include gloves, aprons, hats and safety goggles.
- Allowing staff proper rest breaks to avoid tiredness.
- Providing tools to make moving difficult or large loads easier.
- Keeping the kitchen as clean and tidy as possible.
If you’ve been injured in a kitchen because your employer failed to try to protect you, a catering accident claim might be possible.
Common accidents in the catering industry
There are numerous ways in which you could be injured in the catering industry – some more serious than others. In this section, we’ve listed some examples of accidents that could lead to catering accident claims:
- Slips, trips and falls. Falling in a kitchen can result in any number of injuries. If you slipped on a spillage, food waste or a leak that was not cleared up swiftly, a compensation claim might be possible.
- Faulty equipment accidents. It is important to ensure that kitchen equipment is PAT-tested and safe to use. An example of when you might be able to claim is if you lost a fingertip because a safety guard was missing from a bread cutter.
- Spillages. Scalds and burns are an inherent risk in a kitchen so care must be taken to reduce the danger. For example, you could be compensated if you were asked to move a container of hot fat before it cooled and was burnt in the process in a restaurant accident.
- Accidents involving knives. With the number of sharp implements in a kitchen, it’s important that they are stored correctly to try and avoid injuries. As such, if you were cut by a knife that had been left on your workstation rather than put away, you could have grounds to make a claim.
- Cleaning accidents. You may be able to make a claim for any injuries sustained whilst cleaning. For example, you could claim for exposure to a hazardous substance if a cleaning product was not stored properly. Similarly, you could claim for chemical burns if you’d not been trained on how to mix the product properly.
If you have sustained injuries in a kitchen or other catering environment and would like to find out if you have a claim, please call our team today for free legal advice.
What injuries could I claim compensation for?
Some of the typical injuries that a catering accident claim could be based on include:
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Amputations (including partial finger amputations).
- Broken bones.
- Back injury.
- Strains, sprains, tears and other soft tissue injuries.
- Bodily scarring.
- Skin conditions or infections caused by irritants.
If you’ve been involved in a catering accident, you could seek compensation for essentially any injury (if your employer caused the accident in some way), so please ask our advisors if you’d like to discuss your options.
Can I get the sack for claiming compensation from my employer?
You should never be threatened or harassed into not claiming for an accident at work. Legally, you have the right to seek damages for any injuries your employer caused. Additionally, they can not bully you, fire you, demote you or treat you any differently for making a claim.
If you have been fired because you’ve claimed against your employer, a solicitor could represent you in a constructive or unfair dismissal case in addition to your catering accident claim.
How much compensation for a catering accident claim?
When seeking damages following an accident in catering, a settlement would be calculated by establishing how badly you’ve suffered and any associated costs (general damages/special damages).
If your catering accident claim is successful, it could include compensation for:
- The physical pain and suffering your injuries have caused.
- A psychological injury such as anxiety, depression or distress caused by the accident.
- The cost of repairing or replacing personal items such as clothing damaged because of the accident.
- Loss of income and future losses too for longer-term catering injuries.
- Private medical costs including the cost of physiotherapy if needed.
- Care costs when somebody else had to spend time helping you while you recovered.
- Travel costs linked to your injuries.
- Modifications to your vehicle or house if you’ve sustained a long-term disability.
General damages are based on how severe your injury is. As such, the claims process requires claimants to have a medical assessment. This meeting is nothing to worry about and is usually held locally. An independent specialist will assess your catering injuries and discuss the impact they’ve had on you. Once the investigation has finished, your prognosis will be documented in a report and sent to your employer and solicitor.
Your solicitor will use that report to calculate how much compensation you will claim. In all cases, they’ll get an overall understanding of how you’ve suffered to try and make sure you are fully compensated.
Providing proof for your compensation claim
Following a catering accident, there are some steps that could be taken to try and improve your chances of being compensated if you do go on to make a claim. They are:
- Attend a hospital. It is vital that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. If you decide to claim compensation for a catering accident, medical records can be requested to help prove your injuries.
- Report your accident. Having a copy of an accident report form makes it almost impossible for your employer to deny that the accident happened. As such, you should make sure to inform your employer about the accident ASAP.
- Speak to witnesses. If a colleague or customer saw your accident occur, ask them for their contact details. For a catering accident claim, witness statements can sometimes be used to help prove what happened.
- Take photographs. Try to capture the accident scene as soon as possible on your phone. If you can, take the pictures before anything is moved. Also, pictures of any visible injuries can also help.
- Request CCTV footage. If your kitchen accident was recorded on CCTV, request a copy of the recording from your employer. Remember that this is usually not stored for longer than a month.
- Record your expenses. If you incur any costs relating to your accident or injuries, keep hold of any receipts or bank statements if you would like to claim them back.
If you’re unsure whether you have enough proof to substantiate your compensation claim, please get in touch.
Catering accident claim time limits
The time limit for a catering accident claim for personal injuries in the UK is 3 years. In many cases, this will begin on the day you were injured in a kitchen. However, this could be later if your injuries were not diagnosed until a later date.
In some cases, where your employer accepts liability early, interim payments might be paid to help you deal with lost earnings or to cover other immediate expenses relating to your claim. For that reason, it’s worth beginning the claims process as soon as possible.
An early start can also make it much easier to secure important proof and medical records to substantiate your claim.
No Win, No Fee claims
Taking legal action can be a daunting prospect, especially when considering the legal fees associated with the claim. For that reason, our personal injury solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for any catering accident claims they handle.
Knowing that you don’t need to pay legal fees unless you have been compensated will typically take a lot of pressure off of the claims process.
If your claim proceeds, your solicitor will look to:
- Manage the whole claim from start to finish.
- Collect proof to support the claim.
- Arrange for an independent medical assessment of your injuries.
- Deal with your employer so you’re not asked any awkward questions whilst working.
- Maximise the level of any settlement you are offered.
The only time you’ll have to pay the fee for their work is if you are compensated. If that happens, a success fee would be deducted from the settlement to cover the time and effort your solicitor has put in.
Start a catering accident claim today
We hope this article has proven useful and that you’ve decided what to do next. We’re ready to help if you wish to make a catering accident claim so simply call us on 0800 652 1345 today to start the ball rolling.
Any claim that is taken on will be processed on a No Win, No Fee basis. As a result, you won’t pay any legal fees upfront or at all if the claim fails.
Please feel free to take advantage of the live chat service if you need any more information about the process of making a catering accident claim.