Generally, a trip to a restaurant is a safe experience where you’ll eat your meal and go home without incident. Occasionally, though, accidents in restaurants can ruin your visit and lead to quite serious injuries. If you’ve been injured in a restaurant because the staff or owner was negligent, you might be entitled to claim damages. Our guide on claiming compensation for an accident in a restaurant will explain when that might be possible and review the types of injuries you could claim for.
If you’re thinking of making a claim, our solicitors can help. To start, we offer a no-obligation initial consultation to discuss how you were injured. You’ll be given free legal advice and a member of our team will answer any questions. If your claim appears to have merit, one of our personal injury solicitors may offer to represent you. All accepted claims are dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis so you don’t have to risk any money on legal fees if the claim is unsuccessful.
To talk to us about a restaurant accident claim right away, please call 0800 652 1345. Otherwise, please read on to learn more about your options.
Types of accidents in restaurants you could claim compensation for
Effectively, any accident in a restaurant that causes you an injury could lead to a personal injury claim. We can’t list each and every type of restaurant accident here but we have included a few common examples below:
- Food and drink accidents. You could claim compensation if hot food or drink was spilt over you because a member of staff was carrying too many items.
- Slips, trips and falls. If you’ve fallen in a restaurant and injured yourself, you might be able to claim if the accident was caused by negligence. For example, you could claim if you tripped on something in a poorly lit corridor on the way to the toilet. Another example might be if you slipped on wet flooring because of a drinks spillage that had not been cleared up quickly enough by staff.
- Furniture accidents. Restaurants should ensure that chairs, tables and other fixtures and fittings are well maintained and fit for purpose. You could therefore be compensated if you cut yourself on a broken edge of a table or if you hurt your back after a damaged chair collapsed.
Even if we’ve not listed the type of restaurant accident you were injured by above, we could still help you to begin your claim if you can prove someone else is liable which we shall look at next.
Can I claim compensation for an accident in a restaurant?
Legally, a restaurant operator has a duty of care to try and keep all customers, visitors and staff as safe as possible. This is established by legislation such as the Food Safety Act 1990, the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
As a result, you could be entitled to claim compensation for a restaurant accident if:
- An act of negligence meant the restaurant breached its duty of care towards you; and
- That negligent act caused an accident or incident; in which
- You sustained an injury or were made ill.
To make a successful personal injury claim, you’ll have to prove that all three criteria were met. As such, later on, we’ll look at what proof you could use to support your claim.
Can I sue my employer if I was injured working in a restaurant?
If you are employed by a restaurant, your employer must try to keep you as safe as possible. That means that they should:
- Train you on how to do your job safely.
- Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary.
- Allow adequate rest breaks to avoid tiredness.
- Ensure all equipment is properly maintained.
- Keep the kitchen and other work areas as tidy as possible.
If you have been injured while working in a restaurant and believe your employer was to blame, speak to us today about your chances of claiming compensation.
What types of restaurant injuries could I be compensated for?
Some common injuries sustained by both staff and customers in restaurant accidents that could be compensated for include:
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Scalds and burns.
- Soft tissue injuries (muscles, ligament and tendon injuries).
Our solicitors can help you to claim for any type of injury even if we’ve not discussed it in this article. As such, please get in touch and let us know how you were injured and we’ll explain your options for free.
Food poisoning in restaurants
As a food business, a restaurant will have an obligation to provide food that is safe to eat. That means that it must buy food that is fit for human consumption and within its ‘use by’ date and store food correctly. They should also ensure food preparation areas are hygienic and cook food at the right temperature.
If standards are not adhered to, food can be contaminated by bacteria including E.coli, salmonella and viruses like norovirus. These can lead to illnesses with symptoms including nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, fever and a loss of appetite.
According to the Consumer Protection Act 1987, you could claim compensation for food poisoning even if the restaurant didn’t do anything wrong. So long as you’ve been diagnosed with food poisoning by a doctor and it can be linked to the restaurant, you could be entitled to compensation.
A good way to verify the cause is to speak to other diners to see if anyone else was made ill on the same day.
Allergic reactions in restaurants
Allergic reactions to food can result in mildly annoying symptoms like rashes and itchy skin. However, they can also lead to a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. As a result, laws are in place which means restaurants and other food businesses must advertise the presence of some allergens such as peanuts, eggs, gluten and molluscs to try and protect customers.
You could be entitled to claim for an allergic reaction in a restaurant if:
- The restaurant didn’t advertise where you could find out about allergens present in its food.
- If a member of staff gave incorrect information about allergens in your meal.
- If your meal was cross-contaminated with an allergen because of poor hygiene standards.
- The wrong ingredients were used in your meal.
Where possible, you should try to take pictures of the menu and any noticeboards inside the restaurant if you suspect that the wrong allergen information was displayed.
If you or a loved one has suffered an allergic reaction in a restaurant and would like to claim compensation for your suffering, please call our team today.
How much compensation for an accident in a restaurant can I claim?
If you sue a restaurant following a personal injury or illness, it is important to think about how your injuries have affected you physically, emotionally and financially to include all aspects of your suffering. As such, when making your claim, you should consider claiming for:
- Your physical pain, discomfort and suffering.
- Any distress, anxiety, depression and other forms of psychiatric harm.
- The income you’ve lost because of your accident in a restaurant.
- The impact your injuries have on your normal hobbies and activities (loss of amenity).
- Medical costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Care costs if you needed support whilst injured.
- Property replacement costs if personal items were damaged during the restaurant accident.
- Future loss of earnings.
- Quality of life improvements to your home to help you cope with any permanent disability.
If you work with one of our personal injury lawyers, they’ll review all of the above with you before you file your claim.
Providing proof of negligence in a restaurant
If you’re injured in an accident in a restaurant, your first thought won’t be about preserving evidence in case you decide to claim compensation. However, it is important to collect proof of negligence as soon as possible to improve your chances of winning your claim. As such, after a restaurant accident, you should:
- Report the accident to a member of staff. This will mean the incident is recorded in the restaurant’s accident report book. This will make it easier to prove the date, time and location of your accident.
- Go to a hospital or GP surgery to have your injuries examined and treated. Later on, a copy of any medical notes, test results or x-rays could be requested to prove your injuries.
- Speak to witnesses if anyone else saw your accident happen. Witness statements might be gathered by your solicitor to try and prove your version of events.
- Take photographs of the restaurant accident scene to try and prove what happened. Ideally, pictures should be secured before the cause of your accident is removed, repaired or replaced.
- Ask for any CCTV footage if the restaurant has security cameras. You are legally allowed a copy of relevant footage of yourself but you should request it quickly before it is deleted.
As well as everything we’ve listed, you may want to write down what happened as soon as possible to help you recall events when speaking to your solicitor.
Don’t be too concerned if you’ve not gathered all of the information detailed above yet. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will work hard to gather any information they need to support your claim.
No Win, No Fee restaurant accident claims
We strongly believe that using a specialist solicitor when claiming compensation can make the claims process easier, improve your chances of success and lead to a fairer settlement amount.
If your claim is accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll reduce your financial risks by working on a No Win, No Fee basis.
You’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to read at the beginning of the claims process. Once it has been signed, your solicitor’s main goals are to:
- Start working on your restaurant accident claim right away.
- Collect any proof needed to prove what happened.
- File the claim with the restaurant and liaise with their insurers.
- Attempt to counter any objections by providing additional proof where needed.
- Send you regular updates about your claim.
- Try to make sure that any compensation offer covers your suffering in full.
When claiming on a No Win, No Fee basis, you:
- Don’t pay legal fees upfront.
- Don’t pay legal fees if the claim fails.
- Do pay a success fee to pay for your solicitor’s work if compensation is received.
The success fee is legally capped at 25 per cent of any settlement you receive. The percentage you’ll pay will be listed in your CFA.
Please get in touch if you’d like us to check whether you can make a No Win, No Fee restaurant accident claim.
Restaurant injury claim time limits
As you may already know, you have 3 years to start a personal injury claim in the UK. For restaurant injury claims, this will usually begin from the date of your accident.
From experience, we know that it’s usually easier to gather proof to support a claim if you begin the process sooner rather than later. In addition, starting your claim early could be a benefit if your injuries are affecting you financially. That’s because, in some cases, you might be entitled to receive interim payments before the claim has been resolved. These could help you to cover any loss of earnings or medical expenses.
If a child is injured in the restaurant, their 3-year limitation period does not begin until they turn 18 years old. As a result, parents and guardians or someone else responsible acting as a litigation friend can claim on their child’s behalf at any time before then.
Start a compensation claim for an accident in a restaurant today
If you’ve been injured or made ill in a restaurant and believe you should be compensated, call us on 0800 652 1345 to discuss your options. If you do, one of our advisors will review what happened and check whether you could receive compensation for your suffering.
There’s no obligation to start a claim when you speak to us but if you do decide to, we could appoint one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors to represent you. That means that you would only have to pay their legal fees if the restaurant agrees to compensate you.
We’re available on the phone or on live chat if you have any further questions about restaurant accident claims.