Some say that you can’t beat the experience of watching a film at a cinema. For most, there’s no way of replicating the big screen, the sounds and the cinema snacks! While most people leave the cinema happy, sometimes accidents happen in cinemas that can really ruin the experience. This article on claiming compensation for an accident in a cinema will explain your rights if you’re injured as a consequence of the cinema company’s negligence.
We can help clarify your options by offering a no-obligation consultation about your claim. This is where we’ll explain the claims process and answer your questions for free. You could go on to start a claim with a personal injury lawyer from our panel if they think your claim is likely to succeed. If that’s the case, they’ll provide legal representation on a No Win, No Fee basis.
For more information on cinema accident claims, please read on. Alternatively, you can speak to us right away by calling 0800 652 1345.
What duty of care does the operator of a cinema have?
Cinema operators have a legal duty of care to try and keep customers and visitors as safe as possible. This duty is established by the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and other pieces of legislation.
This duty of care means that the operator of the cinema should:
- Carry out regular risk assessments and try to remove any dangers identified.
- Ensure the movie audio is played at safe volumes to prevent damage to hearing.
- Keep stairways in the cinema clear of litter and other trip hazards.
- Ensure any damage is repaired quickly or cordoned off.
- Clean up any spillages in the foyer as quickly as possible.
- Ensure all cinema seats are well maintained and fit for purpose.
- Provide hot food that is cooked properly and stored hygienically to prevent food poisoning.
- Make sure emergency lighting is working and emergency exits are clearly marked.
Failure to meet their duty of care can mean the company running the cinema is liable to pay compensation for any subsequent injuries.
Can I claim compensation for an accident in a cinema?
Our personal injury solicitors will always try to help if they believe you’ve got a realistic chance of being compensated for an accident in a cinema. They’ll assess this during your free initial consultation. Some of the questions they’ll check include:
- Did the company running the cinema act negligently (meaning they breached their duty of care); and
- Were you involved in an accident at the cinema as a result; and
- Did the accident cause you to suffer injuries or become ill?
It’s crucial that all of the above can be proven if you’re to receive compensation for the cinema accident. So, if you’ve had an accident in a cinema and believe you should be compensated, please call to discuss your claim with a specialist.
What types of accidents can occur at a cinema?
Whether you’re in a large multi-screen cinema or a historic, single-screen establishment, there are similarities between the types of incidents that could lead to cinema accident claims. They include:
- Slips and trips. These are common accidents that can occur due to wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, loose carpets, poor lighting, or obstructions in cinema aisles.
- Stairway accidents. Accidents may happen on stairways due to poor maintenance, insufficient lighting, lack of handrails, or uneven steps.
- Seating accidents. Accidents related to seating can occur, such as collapsing or malfunctioning seats, damaged or broken seats or chairs tipping over leading to cuts and lacerations or crush injuries to hands and fingers.
- Food and drink accidents. Allergic reactions can happen due to improperly labelled food items and spilt food or hot beverages on moviegoers causing scald injuries.
- Equipment accidents. Defective or malfunctioning equipment, such as faulty projectors, sound systems, or malfunctioning doors can cause injuries to cinema staff or visitors.
- Falling objects. If objects, equipment, or signage fall from walls or ceilings because of poor fixings etc, cinema staff or patrons may suffer head injuries such as a fractured skull or concussion.
- Projection room accidents. Injuries can occur to cinema employees in the projection room, such as burns from hot equipment, electrical shocks, or accidents related to improper handling of film reels or digital projection equipment due to inadequate training.
If you were injured in the cinema car park or within the complex where the cinema was based, your claim might not be against the cinema directly. However, your solicitor will verify this early on in the claims process so that no time is wasted.
Can I claim if I was injured working in a cinema?
Cinema operators also have a duty of care towards their employee’s safety. A different law is used to establish this duty, though, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
As such, you could claim compensation for injuries while working in a cinema where the accident was caused by:
- Broken or faulty equipment.
- Poor safety training.
- A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) when cleaning for example.
- Staff shortages or a lack of security staff.
If you believe you’ve suffered an accident at work in a cinema through no fault of your own, call 0800 652 1345 to discuss your case with one of our specialist advisors.
How much compensation will I get for an accident at a cinema?
It’s important to say that at this early stage in the claims process, it’s difficult to estimate how much compensation for an accident in a cinema you might be entitled to. Each claim is unique as compensation levels are based on the severity of your suffering.
If you make a successful cinema accident claim, it could include damages to cover:
- Your physical injuries caused by the cinema accident (pain, suffering, discomfort).
- Medical treatment costs and physiotherapy.
- Psychiatric damage (anxiety, depression, distress).
- Lost income.
- The cost of care (if you were supported by someone else while injured).
- Travel expenses linked to your injuries or treatment.
- Loss of enjoyment of any normal activities impeded by your injuries.
- Future lost earnings for longer-term injuries.
- Property replacement costs i.e. phones, clothing or other items damaged during the cinema accident.
- Modification costs of your home or vehicle to help you deal with permanent disability or long-term injury.
Your solicitor will always try to establish the full extent of your suffering before filing your claim with the cinema.
Providing proof for cinema accident claims
At the time of your cinema accident, you might not realise that you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, taking the following steps could help because they could provide the proof needed if you do decide to make a claim:
- Report the accident. Tell the staff at the cinema that you’ve had an accident and been injured. They are legally bound to record the incident in an accident report book and you are entitled to a copy. Having this makes it hard for the cinema to deny the accident occurred.
- Photographic proof. You should take pictures of where the accident happened in the cinema, and the cause if it’s possible to do so. This can help your solicitor to piece together the cause of the accident.
- Speak to witnesses. If anyone else was nearby when you were injured, ask them for their contact details. If necessary, your solicitor will contact them at a later date to ask for a statement about what they saw.
- Ask for CCTV footage. Many areas of a cinema are covered by security cameras. You can legally request a copy of any relevant data but remember that it’s usually only stored for around a month.
- Go to a hospital. If you have any concerns, you shouldn’t rely on first aid for your injuries. By visiting a hospital, your GP surgery or a minor injuries unit, you’ll be examined and treated by a medical professional. Their notes from the appointment could be requested to confirm the extent of your injuries.
- Keep a diary. To help explain how you’ve suffered from the cinema accident, keep a written record of events. This could include days that you couldn’t work, any expenses incurred because of your injuries and activities you had to miss out on because you were injured.
When you call for a free assessment of your claim, please let us know about any proof you’ve already obtained.
How long do I have to make a cinema accident claim?
In general, you’ll have 3 years to start a personal injury claim against a cinema. This period will usually begin on the date of your accident or your date of knowledge (eg from the date noise-induced hearing loss was diagnosed by a doctor).
For cinema accident claims involving children, the time limit only begins on their 18th birthday. That allows parents or guardians to seek damages on a child’s behalf at any time before then.
So that you don’t miss the deadline for claiming, we’d suggest calling us as soon as possible after your accident in a cinema. This should mean there is enough time for your solicitor to investigate the case and find the evidence needed to support it.
Claiming on behalf of your child
As children cannot make their own personal injury claim (until their 18th birthday), you may wish to seek compensation on their behalf before then. The process is slightly different and you’ll need to apply to become your child’s litigation friend.
This is something your solicitor will be able to help with. Once approved by a court, the claim will continue as normal but you’ll make decisions on behalf of your child.
If you’d like help claiming compensation on behalf of your child injured at a cinema, please get in touch today.
No Win, No Fee claims
We believe that you’re more likely to win a compensation claim against a cinema if you’re represented by a specially-trained solicitor. However, we realise that many people are worried about legal fees in personal injury claims so the personal injury solicitors we have on our panel offer a No Win, No Fee service for any claim they accept.
If the claim stands a good chance of success, you’ll receive a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to review and sign. This contract will show you that a success fee will be deducted from your compensation if the claim is won. Legally, the success fee is not allowed to be higher than 25 per cent of your settlement figure.
The CFA will also make it clear that:
- You pay no legal fees at the start of the cinema accident claim.
- There are no legal fees payable if the claim is lost.
Once you’ve signed the agreement, your solicitor will:
- Write to the cinema’s insurers to inform them of your claim.
- Collect relevant proof and information needed to support the claim.
- Argue your case and try to counter any objections raised regarding liability.
- Send you updates so that you’re aware of how your claim is progressing.
- Try to win your claim and secure the highest amount of compensation possible.
You won’t need to speak with the cinema or their insurance company directly as your solicitor will manage the whole case on your behalf.
To see if you could make a No Win, No Fee cinema accident claim, please call today.
Start a cinema accident claim today
If you’ve been injured in a cinema and would like us to check if could claim compensation, call 0800 652 1345 today. One quick call is all it should take for you to know what options you have. A specialist will answer your questions and offer free legal advice.
You’re under no obligation to work with us but if a solicitor on our panel believes you have a strong case, they’ll offer to represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis. As such, legal fees are not payable at any point unless you are awarded compensation.
If you have any extra questions about claiming compensation for an accident in a cinema, you can also talk to an advisor via live chat or claim your free consultation here.