Restaurant Accident Claims
Going out for a meal at a restaurant is a pleasure enjoyed by couples, families and friends across the UK. Whether you want Chinese, Indian, Italian or British cuisine, the UK has thousands of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.
Regardless of whether you enjoy the food and service provided, the vast majority of restaurant visits are at least safe. Laws are in place to protect consumers by ensuring that all restaurants meet health and safety and hygiene standards.
Restaurant owners owe a duty of care to all of their customers, visitors, and staff members, and this means that there should be no unreasonable risk of harm. Restaurants who breach this responsibility may be liable for claims for compensation from you if you have suffered an illness or injury as a result of their negligence.
Whether you have suffered from food poisoning, slipped on a wet floor or been burnt by a clumsy waiter, you could be entitled to make a no win no fee restaurant accident claim.
If you would like to speak to a friendly legal adviser to find out if you could be entitled to compensation, call free on 0800 678 1410. Alternatively, if you would prefer somebody to give you a call, enter your details into our online claim form, and a legal adviser will be in touch asap.
Can I make a restaurant accident or illness claim?
You should be eligible to make a restaurant accident or illness claim if:
- the accident or illness happened within the last three years, and;
- somebody else’s negligence caused it, and;
- that person or company owed you a duty of care.
If you can answer yes to each of the above statements, there is a good chance that you would have a valid restaurant injury compensation claim. But don’t worry if you are unsure, as you can receive a free case assessment with an experienced legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410.
What type of injuries are caused in restaurants?
The law sets out how a restaurant must operate to ensure that they are safe environments for both visitors and employees. The specific legislation that governs this area regarding visitors is the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. This details the duty of care that restaurant owners owe to people who visit their premises, which includes customers, employees and visitors.
If the management of a restaurant fails to observe their duty to provide safe premises, they may be liable for a personal injury compensation claim. Some of the most common causes of injuries sustained in a restaurant include:
- Trips and falls due to wet floors, spillages or obstacles
- Spilt hot food and beverages causing burn injuries
- Food poisoning
- Food containing foreign objects such as glass
- Unsafe premises and facilities
- Falls caused by poor lighting, badly fitted flooring or staircases that have not been maintained properly
- Car park accidents caused by poorly maintained areas, slippery surfaces or neglected grounds.
The above are just a few of the potential restaurant accidents and scenarios that could result in an injury or illness. But no matter what type of accident you have had, if you have suffered an injury or illness and feel that a restaurant was at fault, you could have a valid restaurant injury claim.
Can I claim for illness caused by eating at a restaurant?
The standard of hygiene and the methods of storage, preparation and service can be the cause of illnesses in a restaurant. If the legal guidelines of food management are not followed correctly, food poisoning can quickly occur. Depending upon the severity of the poisoning and the health of the victim, the consequences can be severe.
The Food Safety Act 1990 sets out the laws that restaurants must follow regarding how food should be handled, stored, and prepared. The legislation aims to protect restaurant customers by detailing the risks of food contamination and preparation and establishing the practices that all restaurants must adopt relating to hygiene and food safety.
Similar legislation appropriate in restaurant management and practice includes the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, which helps to detail the roles of various staff members in a restaurant and communicates the potential risks of certain food groups and possible allergens.
If a restaurant falls below the expected food hygiene and safety standards causing you to suffer from food poisoning or any other illness, you may be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.
For a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back using our online claim form. In as little as 10 minutes, you can find out if you have a valid claim and also ask any questions you may have about the claims process.
How to make a restaurant accident claim
The first step you should take following an accident or injury in a restaurant is to have the event recorded in the accident book of the premises. Details should be taken by the management and recorded in their accident book in order to comply with their legal obligations.
This record will be requested by your solicitor and used as evidence during the negotiations for injury compensation at a later date.
It is usually possible for you to make a claim even if the event was not recorded. However, the record and report to management serve as valuable evidence for a future claim.
Your solicitor will request a detailed account of the accident from you. This will include the time, date, location and circumstances of the incident. To help strengthen your claim, you should try to gather as much evidence as possible.
Evidence that can be used to support your restaurant accident claim could include the following:
- Medical reports.
- Photographs of what caused your injury or illness, such as damaged flooring, foreign objects in food or meat that has not been cooked properly.
- Witness statements from anybody who saw your accident or who also suffered from food poisoning when eating at the restaurant.
- Receipts for expenses related to your claim, such as medication costs and transportation costs to doctors or hospital appointments.
The more evidence you can provide to support your claim, the stronger your case will be and the more likely you are of making a successful claim.
Making a claim for restaurant induced illness
To make a successful case against a restaurant for an illness that was suffered because of a breach of the duty of care owed to you, it must be proven that there was a fault on the part of the defendant (the restaurant).
It can be challenging to prove that an illness such as food poisoning was caused by a restaurant, as there may be several possible sources of the illness. For example, as the symptoms of food poisoning may not develop for several hours after you eat the offending food, you may have eaten something else beforehand. It can therefore be difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused the illness.
Hospital investigations may help prove the cause of the food poisoning or infection, and assessments of the restaurant’s hygiene levels can help confirm the cause of the illness.
If more than one person has suffered the same illness after eating at the restaurant, this can also help establish the root cause of the problem and negligence on the part of the restaurant.
Allergic reactions usually present themselves quickly, and so in many cases, a victim who has suffered from an allergy will know that the food from the restaurant was the cause.
Restaurants that have contaminated dishes with ingredients such as nuts or who do not communicate the potential risk of contamination may be found to have been negligent in their duty of care if it results in somebody suffering an injury.
Is there a time limit to make a restaurant accident claim?
As with most personal injury claims, there is a three year time limit from the date you suffered an injury or illness in a restaurant to make a compensation claim.
This three year time limit is known as the limitation date. If you don’t start your restaurant accident or illness claim before this date, you will no longer be eligible to claim.
However, it is important to note that there are a few exceptions to this rule, which are as follows:
- In some cases, you might not realise you have suffered an injury or illness until a later date. In these situations, the time limit will begin to count down on the date you learned of your illness or injury. This is referred to as the date of knowledge and could be the day a doctor gives you the diagnosis.
- If a child is injured in a restaurant, a parent or legal guardian can make a personal injury claim on their behalf at any point before their 18th birthday. If a claim isn’t made on their behalf, they can start a claim themselves once they become an adult. They would then have until their 21st birthday to start their claim.
- If an adult suffers serious injuries or illness due to restaurant negligence that renders them unable to make a claim, the time limit may be extended. Instead of the countdown beginning on the date of the restaurant accident or illness, it may instead begin on the recovery date. This would be the date that a doctor has certified you as mentally or physically well enough to manage your claim.
Regardless of which time limit applies to your case, it is always best to start a restaurant accident claim as soon as possible after the injury. This can increase your chances of making a successful claim as it is often easier to gather strong supporting evidence closer to the accident or illness date.
If you are unsure if you have a valid claim or would like some further information about the time limits involved, you can request a call back or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a friendly legal adviser.
How much does it cost to make an injury claim against a restaurant?
Legal fees and costs is an important consideration and can often be a barrier that stops people from pursuing a claim for compensation. However, this should not be the case.
If you have a valid restaurant accident or illness claim, your injury solicitor will be able to offer you a no win no fee service. This enables you to make a claim and get the compensation you deserve without worrying about legal fees.
There are no upfront costs to worry about with the no win no fee service. And if your solicitor is unable to win your injury claim, you won’t pay a penny.
You will only need to pay a fee if your claim is successful. This fee will be a pre-agreed percentage that can be no more than 25% of the awarded compensation.
To find out if you have a valid compensation claim, call 0800 678 1410 today for a free case assessment with a trained legal adviser. You can find out within a matter of minutes if you are eligible to make a claim and ask any questions you may have about the process.