We don’t think of cafes and restaurants as risky places to visit; generally, they aren’t. However, you may take a different view if you arrive at this page because you were injured in a café or restaurant accident.
Whether you are here to find details of a personal injury solicitor who can help you make a restaurant accident claim or want to learn more about various restaurant or café accident claims, you are in the right place.
Accidents in cafes and restaurants involving customers are said to be accidents in public places. Most cafes and restaurants are privately owned but are open to the general public.
Café and restaurant owners owe their customers a duty of care
The owners of cafés or restaurants depend on people coming to their venues to eat, drink and enjoy the experience enough to want to return. However, the restaurant management’s starting point is to ensure their customers come to no harm whilst they are on their premises.
In legal terms, the owners or occupiers of a cafe or restaurant owe all lawful visitors to their establishment a duty of care. This is set out in the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
The duty of care covers customers coming to eat or drink at the café or restaurant and anyone else who has a right to be at the venue.
In a café or restaurant setting, the owners and management of the business can go a long way to making sure they do all they reasonably can to keep visitors safe by;
Carrying out a thorough risk assessment of the venue, identifying potential problems, and then taking action to remove or manage the hazard.
Making sure their employees receive sufficient suitable training to enable them to carry out their duties effectively and safely
Ensuring spillages of food and drink are cleaned up promptly
Keeping aisles and passageways free from tripping hazards
Maintaining restaurant furniture and repairing or replacing damaged or worn items.
If the restaurant or café has a car park, checking the lighting is adequate and that the parking area is free of potholes and other trip or fall hazards.
When can I claim compensation for a restaurant injury?
If the owners or management of a restaurant or café:
Are negligent and breach their duty of care to you whilst you are a visitor to their premises
The consequence of their negligence is an accident you become involved in
You suffer injury as a direct result of your involvement in the accident
You may be entitled to make a personal injury claim on a No Win No fee basis against the café or restaurant owners, a claim that, if successful, will result in a compensation payout to you from the public liability insurers of the restaurant or café.
Even if you get injured due to an accident in a restaurant or café, you still have to provide evidence of the injury and, most importantly, prove that the accident was the owners’ fault.
It’s worth pointing out here, too, that when we talk about an accident caused by the restaurant owners or management, we do not necessarily mean that an individual owner or manager was responsible for the accident.
Many café and restaurant accidents happen due to something a member or members of staff did or did not do. For example, if a waiter accidentally spills coffee down your back whilst serving you at a table, you would claim against the restaurant or café as a company, not against the waiter.
An employer is responsible for the careless actions of staff members as long as those actions took place during their employment. Personal injury lawyers call this ‘vicarious liability’.
Call Mooneerams, the Personal Injury Solicitors, now on 029 2048 3615 to find out if you have reasonable prospects of making a claim.
What types of Café and Restaurant Accidents are there?
Many common types of accidents in cafes or restaurants result from failures of management to take reasonable precautions to prevent incidents that result in injuries to their customers.
Here are some of the more common types of café and restaurant accidents:
Slips, trips and fall accidents are probably the most common accidents in public places, not just cafes and restaurants. However, during a busy day, in eating and drinking establishments, there’s always a risk of food or drink spilling onto the floor, putting customers and other visitors at risk of slipping on the debris if it is not quickly cleaned up or isolated with signage boards, as a hazard to avoid.
Trips and falls over items cluttering gangways or walkways in cafes and restaurants pose a danger to visitors. These may be items left by other customers while sitting at a table in the café/restaurant, boxes, or electric cables left strewn across walkways.
Falling over poorly fitted or worn carpet or floor tiles. Some restaurant and café accidents are caused by the poor condition of the floor inside and outside the building. Tripping over worn carpet, which is curled up at the edges or on broken floor tiles, can cause nasty falls to unsuspecting visitors.
Many restaurants have car parks for their own patrons. The risk to visitors from tripping and falling due to poorly maintained floors of restaurant car parks can be significant, especially if the lighting in the car park is poor too,
Inadequate lighting on walkways, stairs, and the outside areas of cafes and restaurants can lead to trips and falls due to customers due to customer not being able to see where they are going.
Injuries caused by faulty furniture. Café and restaurant furniture gets plenty of use, and as a result, it is likely to wear down much more quickly than the furniture we use at home. If not regularly checked for faults, chairs, in particular, are prone to collapsing when sat on.
Serious back injuries may result from an unexpected fall from a chair. If the chairs were checked regularly for wear and tear, the furniture would be identified and could be replaced.
Burns and scalds. One of our worst nightmares in a café is the prospect of accidentally having a hot drink poured over us by a staff member who was perhaps not concentrating fully on the job they were supposed to be doing.
Can I make a food poisoning claim?
Suppose you’ve eaten something that has made you ill after eating in a café or restaurant. In that case, you may be able to bring a food poisoning claim against the responsible establishment if you can prove the food you ate there caused the illness. We have a webpage dedicated to food poisoning claims, and you can find it by clicking the link here.
What types of injuries are caused by café and restaurant accidents?
How do I start the claims process for a café or restaurant injury claim?
Before anything else, the first thing to do is ensure you get treatment for your injuries. You may need to go to A&E immediately, depending on the type and severity of your injuries. If not, get an appointment with your GP for treatment and advice from your doctor.
On the day of the accident, soon after, make sure you report the accident to a staff member at the place of the accident happened.
Try and take some photos of where the accident took place. Get pictures of the defect or any other cause of the accident.
Take down the names, addresses and phone details of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Ask if there are CCTV cameras in the place where the accident happened. If so, ask that the footage is preserved and a copy sent to you or your solicitor.
Contact an experienced personal injury solicitor with expertise in claims for accidents in public places.
Mooneerams only act for the injured victims of accidents, never for insurance companies and handle most café and restaurant accidents using No Win No Fee arrangements. Call Mooneerams now on 029 2048 3615 for a free and confidential chat about your prospects of bringing a successful injury claim. Alternatively, you can contact us via our online form on this page or here.
The amount of compensation we recover for clients who have asked us to help them pursue café and restaurant accident claims varies in each case, depending on the type and severity of the injury sustained.
You can find a rough guide to the compensation awarded for different injuries sustained in accidents by visiting our Compensation Calculator page (for guidance only).
Remember to start a café or restaurant claim within three years of the date of the accident. There are exceptions to the three-year rule for children under eighteen and persons with a disability. To find out more, visit our Accident Advice Centre.
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