Bar and Nightclub Accident Claims
Bars and nightclubs might not strike you as the most obvious place to suffer injury due to an accident that wasn’t your fault. After all, bars, nightclubs, and pubs are places to drink, dance, eat, socialise and relax in convivial surroundings with friends, family or work colleagues.
On the flip side, all the factors mentioned above could just as quickly be a recipe for disaster if the venue’s management is lax in their approach to health and safety.
Busy pubs, bars and nightclubs are full of people out to enjoy themselves, and they should be able to do so without having to worry about coming to harm in any way.
Owners and landlords of pubs, bars and nightclubs owe a duty of care to every member of the public who sets foot on its premises. This duty is described by an Act of Parliament called the Occupiers Liability Act as being:
“to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there”.
When a breach of that duty results in an accident which causes a customer of the bar or club to suffer injury, the person injured may decide to call a personal injury solicitor and make a compensation claim.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a nightclub or bar accident, call Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615 for a free and ‘without obligation’ chat with one of our friendly personal injury lawyers.
What are the most common types of accidents that happen in bars or clubs?
At Mooneerams solicitors, we get asked to act for people injured in all kinds of accidents in pubs or nightclubs. We’ve listed some of the more common types we have come across below.
Slip, trip or fall accidents
Slip, trip and fall accidents account for many personal injury claims brought against pubs and clubs.
Bars and clubs can often be dimly lit, crowded and full of people in good spirits, some of whom may have drunk quite a bit of alcohol; even more, reason that the venue’s owners need to be on their ‘A’ game as far as health and safety considerations are concerned.
Here are some of the more regular types of slip and trip accidents we see where bar or nightclub injury claims are concerned:
- Slips on wet floors caused by drink spillages or broken glass
- Trips or falls on poorly lit or badly maintained stairs
- Slips, trips or falls on uneven floors, paths, or steps
- Tripping over trailing cables from games machines or other electrical appliances
- Trips and falls over objects left in crowded areas of the pub or club
- Trips or falls where fitted carpets or mats have become loose or worn out
- Falls from stairs due to inadequate, broken or worn handrails
- Falls from broken or poorly maintained furniture, such as chairs, tables or outside furniture,.e.g, in a beer garden
Other types of accidents in bars and nightclubs
- Some pubs, bars and nightclubs may be on several floors with balconies overlooking the ground floor of the establishment. Such facilities provide extra room for visitors to enjoy a drink. Still, they bring the additional risk of drinks spilt over the balcony’s safety rail or glasses accidentally dropped onto the floor below, with the obvious risk of causing injury to people on the bottom floor.
- Glass doors and mirrors that are not immediately evident can pose a risk of injury if someone walks into them without realising they are present, and this risk is heightened if the person has had too much to drink.Landlords can avoid the risk of injury from this potential hazard by installing safety-critical glazing that complies with the relevant British Standard kitemark, by marking glass doors to make them self-evident and by ensuring full-length mirrors are not put anywhere they might confuse unwary customers.
- Pubs and bars make up a substantial part of their income from serving food to their patrons. If customers eat food made and served at the pub and subsequently suffer food poisoning, they might take legal advice about starting a food poisoning claim. For the claim to be successful, the customer must prove that the food they ate at the pub or bar caused the food poisoning.
- Burns or scalding from hot drink spills caused by the customer’s own carelessness is not something that would give rise to a successful compensation claim. However, suppose a customer suffers burns or scalding injuries from a hot drink spilt over them by a waiter. In that case, they may have reasonable prospects of pursuing a successful claim against the venue.
Criminal injury and assault claims in bars and nightclubs
Unfortunately, nightclubs, bars and pubs can sometimes be the scene of violence, whether in the form of brawls between customers or violence against, or on occasions perpetrated by, the venue’s door attendants/security personnel.
If you were the innocent victim of an assault in a pub, club or bar, you could make a Criminal Injuries Compensation Claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.
Bar and Nightclub Accident at Work Claims
This webpage focuses on what to do if you get injured as a customer or visitor to a nightclub, bar or pub and want to make an accident in a public place claim.
Employees of pubs and clubs may suffer injury from any of the accident types discussed. Should they do so, they would be entitled to bring employers liability claims against their employers, and reading our accident at work claims page will prove helpful in this respect.
Who is responsible for bar or nightclub accidents?
Not every accident in a pub, bar or nightclub can be blamed on the venue’s landlord.
Equally, just because someone has had a drink doesn’t mean they are at fault if they slip on a spill on the floor that management should have ensured was promptly cleaned up.
Licensed establishments are set up to cater for large numbers of people, with a fair percentage of their clientele on a busy evening likely to be made up of people consuming varying amounts of alcohol. So, the onus is very much on the club or bar owners to take every reasonable precaution to keep their customers safe in their establishment.
Responsible club, pub or bar owners will carry out regular risk assessments, identifying:
- potential hazards,
- who might be harmed,
- what steps are already taken to eliminate or minimise the risk identified, and
- what further steps if any, need to be undertaken.
However, some pub and nightclub owners are much less active than others in carrying out risk assessments and taking steps to reduce the risk of customers suffering injuries from bar or nightclub accidents. For them, should an accident happen, and a claim for compensation be brought against them, it will be difficult to argue they have fulfilled their duty ‘to take such care, as in all the circumstances of the case, is reasonable to make sure that their visitors will be reasonably safe.’
Don’t be put off making a personal injury claim against a bar or nightclub for an accident that happened on their premises because you assume it must have been your fault or because, at the time of the accident, the management of the club or pub seemed disinterested or difficult to deal with.
As soon after the accident as possible, call us here at Mooneerams Solicitors on 029 2048 3615. We are an award-winning firm of personal injury solicitors with bags of experience in all types of personal injury claims, including bar and nightclub accident claims.
We’ll soon be able to advise you on whether we believe you have reasonable prospects of success should you decide to claim against the bar, pub or nightclub where the accident occurred.
If the prospects of bringing a successful claim look bright, you decide what you want to do next. If you’d like us to act, we’d be pleased to do so.
What can I do to help prove my bar or nightclub accident claim?
Claims for accidents in bars, pubs or nightclubs can be difficult to progress initially because often their owners refuse to admit liability. Some will deny knowledge of any accident having taken place. So, here’s what you can do to help your solicitor to prove your claim;
- Your priority after any accident involving an injury is to get treatment. The venue must have an employee who is a trained first aider. Get someone to alert the staff and to find the dedicated first aider. Once that’s been done, the severity of your injuries will depend on what happens next. Whatever the nature of the injury, if you intend to claim, you should get checked over by either a doctor in A&E or your own GP. It shows on record that you sought treatment in the aftermath of the accident.
- It is important that you or someone on your behalf notify a staff member as soon after the accident as possible. Make sure they know you were injured. Get the name of the person you reported it to.
- See if anyone witnessed the accident. In venues like pubs or clubs, it’s rare if no one sees an accident as it happens. Do your best to get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Their evidence is significant, especially if the venue’s insurance company initially denies liability.
- Take some photos of the scene of the accident. If your injuries prevent you from doing this, see if you can get any friends with you at the time of the accident to do this.
- Contact a solicitor as soon as you can, even if you haven’t been able to do all of the above. If you prefer, contact Mooneerams by filling in the form on this page and sending your contact details. We’ll call you back once we have received your online form.
Our top tips for making nightclub and bar accident claims
- Adults generally have three years from the accident or incident to start a nightclub or bar accident claim. For the exceptions to this rule and more on the topic of, ‘How long do I have to start a personal injury claim?’, see our Accident Advice Centre.
- Mooneerams handle most nightclub and bar accident claims on a No Win No Fee basis.
- The type of injuries sustained in nightclub and bar accidents are broad and varied in nature; broken limbs, spinal injuries, lacerations and cut injuries, head injuries, sprains, and soft tissue injuries are some of the more common.
- How much compensation you will receive if your claim is successful will depend on the type of injury and for how long you suffer from the effects. Also, in addition to general damages (injury compensation), you can claim special damages, which include monetary losses you’ve suffered because of the accident and the injuries it caused. Loss of earnings is an example of special damages.