A Man Walks into a Bar – Ouch! Accidents in Restaurants, Pubs, Clubs and Bars

16 Jan 2012

A recent study suggested that four times as many slips and trips are suffered in the food and drink industry than in other industries, with wet floors accounting for a staggering 90% of such accidents. Often such slips and trips have significant consequences with 95% of those incidents reported causing broken or dislocated bones.

Accidents can occur in bars or restaurants for a variety of different reasons:
–  The area may be poorly lit.
–  The flooring or other parts of the premises (such as a play area in a pub garden) may be poorly maintained.
–  There may be obstacles such as trailing cables.
–  There could be broken glass or spilt liquid on the floor.
–  People under the influence of alcohol could become violent.

Any of these factors risk accidents and injuries occurring, particularly if staff do not follow appropriate health and safety policies.

As with any premises bars and restaurants have a duty to make sure that visitors are reasonably safe. Whether this duty has been complied with will depend on the circumstances, such as how long such liquid had been on the floor or whether any warning signs were visible.

If a person is assaulted in a bar there may be a claim either against the owners of the bar or through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (a government body which provide compensation for victims injured as a result of violent crime).

James Braund, Solicitor with Trethowans LLP, says "People are often mistaken in thinking that if they have been drinking and suffer an accident which is not their fault they cannot make a claim. Whilst the amount of alcohol consumed may be a factor, it does not automatically prevent someone bringing a claim. Whether or not a claim can be pursued will very much depend on the circumstances of each individual case and as a result it is important that anyone who thinks they may have a potential claim seeks expert legal advice."