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Nightclub Injury Claim

If you’ve been injured in a pub, bar or nightclub and it was someone else’s fault, you could claim compensation for your injuries.

Most of us have been to a pub or nightclub at some point in our lives and expected to have a good time socialising on a Saturday night or after a hard day at work.

However, bars, clubs and nightclubs can be risky places – not only for visitors but also for workers, such as waitresses, bartenders and door stewards. The combination of alcohol, dimmed lights and high spirits means there’s a real risk of slipping on a spilled drink, falling on broken glass and tripping over obstacles or uneven flooring. If our senses are impaired because we’ve had just a little too much to drink, the opportunity for a bar or nightclub accident increases.

These types of accident can cause injuries ranging from cuts and bruises, broken bones, head and back injuries and soft tissue injuries. Drink-fueled emotions can also lead to physical assaults and other criminal offences. Unfortunately, the reality is that working or having a good time in a pub, bar or nightclub can end in injury.

If you’ve fallen over or tripped or slipped in a bar or nightclub, you may be able to make a no win no fee personal injury claim to compensate you for your injury and the effects it’s had on your life.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to be assaulted by someone in a bar or a nightclub, it may well be possible to claim criminal injuries compensation.

For more information about the no win no fee nightclub injury claims process and to find out whether you could sue a bar, pub or nightclub – or even an individual – you can get in touch with a trained legal adviser for a free consultation on 0800 234 6438.

If you were drunk when your injury happened, it’s likely you can still start the nightclub injury claims process, although your own conduct could affect the amount of compensation you receive. Your lawyer will talk this through with you in time.

DID YOU KNOW: There were roughly 46,800 pubs operating in the UK in 2020 and fewer than 7,000 registered nightclubs in 2021.
SOURCE: Statista
DID YOU KNOW:According to the Health and Safety Executive, slipping and tripping is the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces, and the most reported injury to members of the public.

What’s ‘no win no fee’?

No win no fee is a cost-effective, risk free way to make a personal injury claim. Essentially, you’ll enter into a conditional fee agreement with your solicitor and, if your claim is successful, you’ll receive your compensation and can spend it however you choose.

Under this no win no fee agreement, you’ll need to pay your solicitor’s success fee as a percentage of your compensation – but this success fee will only be a small portion of your claim (and never more than 25% of the money you receive).

And if your claim does not succeed, your no win no fee agreement will mean you have no legal fees or costs (or success fee) to pay out.

Do pub and club owners have a legal duty to keep customers safe?

No one should look forward to going out for a drink or a night out at a club and expect to come home injured and facing the prospect of needing to make a nightclub injury claim.

Any business in the hospitality sector – whether it’s a nightclub, pub, bar, restaurant or hotel – must comply with strict duties under health and safety laws to minimise the risk of injury and harm to pub and nightclub employees and to customers.

If they fail to take reasonable measures as required, and someone is injured as a direct result, it’s only fair that the injured person should be allowed to make a claim against the business owner/operator.

The law relevant to making personal injury compensation claims are different depending on whether you were a visitor to the club or bar (eg a customer or delivery person) or an employee working on the premises.

How can I make a nightclub injury claim as an injured customer?

When you visit a bar for a pint with a friend or go to your favourite club for a night out, the bar and nightclub owners owe specific legal duties to you as a visitor to its premises. This is known as ‘occupiers’ liability’.

The law relating to occupiers’ liability imposes a duty on pub and bar operators and nightclub owners to take reasonable steps to keep their visitors reasonably safe from hazards. Visitors are individuals who have permission to be on the premises – whether that’s express or implied permission; as well as those who have a lawful right of entry to the property. This includes customers, delivery drivers, police officers, rubbish removal firms, environment health personnel and workmen.

The operators of bars and pubs must exercise an even greater level of care where it can be expected that children may be on the premises – or face the prospect of nightclub injury claims.

In some cases, this duty of care even extends to trespassers on the property. Any individual who is owed a duty of care but the duty is breached, resulting in the individual being injured – even if they do not have permission to be on the premises – may be able to claim personal injury compensation on a no win no fee basis.

What steps should bars and clubs take to protect customers and visitors?

Pub and bar operators and nightclub owners are required 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’ (S2 of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957).

If they fail in these duties and someone suffers subsequent injuries, they should not be surprised to be on the receiving end of bar or nightclub injury claims for compensation.

For example, these businesses should take on enough staff to clean up broken bottles and spilt drinks within a reasonable time; and make sure appropriate hazard signs are put out to warn customers of the risk of slips, trips and falls, eg if maintenance work is being carried out in an area either internally or externally, such as car parks and walkways.

The business operator should also make sure floor surfaces are safe from the risk of injury. An initial risk assessment should be carried out and unnecessary or foreseeable risks identified and either remedied – or warning signs erected.

For example, typical risks in pubs and clubs floor surfaces include frayed or uneven carpeting; holes in the carpet; loose and trailing electrical cables; obstacles placed on the floor and spillages.

Furniture can also pose a health and safety risk: sharp corners, protruding nails and rotting wooden chairs can cause painful injuries to the unsuspecting. The lighting may also be dimmed to a dangerous level, preventing visitors from being able to see sufficiently where they are going.

Lack of staff can directly lead to a higher risk of injury: a busy inner city nightclub whose operator does not recruit enough door stewards to limit admission, or lacks sufficient security personnel to patrol outside the premises could be held responsible if altercations escalate and someone is injured. Cutting costs should not come at the risk of health and safety.

Food safety legislation in the UK is also strict and must also be complied with by bar and club operators. So anyone who believes they’ve suffered food poisoning after eating or drinking on the premises may be able to bring personal injury claims for their pain and suffering.

If you’ve been injured due to a slip, trip or fall in a bar, or on a piece of furniture that was not safe, we know it’s very easy to blame yourself – particularly if you’ve have a lot to drink or the lights were dimmed.

However, if the business operator followed the right safety measures, a lot of pub and nightclub accidents can be avoided. If you think your injury might have been caused because of their negligence, an expert personal injury solicitor can help you on the road to making a claim.

I was injured while working in a bar or club – can I make a claim?

Working in a pub, bar or nightclub can be enjoyable if hard work. It’s physically demanding, typically involves working into the small hours and there’s the risk of dealing with difficult customers who have had too much too drink. It’s not hard to see how nightclub and bar workers are, at times, at greater risk of injury – whether that’s a criminal assault or slipping or falling.

But you still have the right to expect to go to work and do your job, interacting with customers, and leave the premises to go home safe from any injuries. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to suffer an injury while working in a bar or nightclub. Yet, employee safety should always be at the top of any employer’s priorities.

Thankfully, your employer has strict legal duties to ensure your safety as an employee. Their duties also apply to workers including those working under zero hours contracts. If the business operator breaches their legal duties and a bar or nightclub accident occurs, they should be held to account for any injuries caused to workers.

Employers’ general duties are set out in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. These include:

  • Carrying out risk assessments and acting promptly if any risks to health and safety are identified. Eg, unsafe flooring and loose wires
  • Implement proper training and ensure workers are effectively supervised. Eg workers must be properly trained in using equipment safely, including how to clear them free of risk
  • Making sure there are appropriate and visible hazard signs to minimise the risk of injury
  • Implement adequate controls, such as installing visible CCTV as a deterrent to difficult customers and to provide reassurance

Importantly, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) imposes a duty to carry out appropriate assessments so that hazardous substances, whether that’s cooking fumes, carbon monoxide or beer line cleaners, are dispelled/used and stored properly.

Businesses also need to identify whether, for example,  personal protective equipment (PPE) such as food-grade protective gloves, aprons and eye protection should be provided for certain tasks.

The risks inherent for those working in bars and nightclubs can be reduced to a minimum if the business operator takes its legal duties seriously and implements appropriate measures and controls. If they fail to take appropriate steps to keep you reasonably safe from the risk of injury while at work, the law is there to protect you.

If you’ve been injured while working in a pub, bar or nightclub and it wasn’t your fault, get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice about making an accident claim. They’ll be able to let you know whether you could make a no win no fee claim.

Alternatively, you can complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss the pub or bar accident claim process.

What if the pub or club argues a third party was to blame?

It’s not unusual for a third party to organise and/or hold functions in a pub, bar or nightclub. For instance, there could be a DJ on the premises who brings their own equipment; a book launch party may be held in a pub; or a children’s entertainer is booked to appear for a child’s birthday party.

Sometimes, accidents can happen and this third party is to blame. However, the business operator should at least have ensured the third party holds appropriate public liability insurance to protect against the risk of a claim.

The third party should also have carried out their own risk assessments to reduce the risk of visitors and customers being exposed to unreasonable risks. Even so, the pub should still have carried out its own risk assessment, whether or not the third party did so.

Where an accident does happen, it can be difficult to know what you can do to claim your rightful compensation. However, if you explain the background to a solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims, they can identify who should be held liable.

In the majority of cases, it’s easiest for your solicitor to make a claim against the actual business operator (as you would if they had caused the accident itself). They, in turn, would claim against the third party.

Get in touch with a trained legal adviser on 0800 234 6438 for free legal advice about making your claim where a third party was responsible. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss the accident claim process.

What will I have to prove in order to win compensation?

If you have a strong enough case, your specialist solicitors will discuss the claims process to you. They will explain that so long as the bar or club operator owed you a legal duty of care, they were negligent and breached that duty of care and this resulted in your injuries – you can bring an injury claim.

If you decide to go ahead with a claim, your accident claims solicitor will look to prove that your accident wasn’t your fault, such as by showing that the premises were unsafe and that your injuries happened as a direct result of their failure to uphold their legal duty of care to you.

Your solicitor will need evidence to prove negligence and will explain what they will need to build a strong case. Your lawyer will talk you through this in due course.

Making a claim for a slip, trip or fall

How can I start a bar/club injury claim?

To start a bar or club compensation claim, you can get in touch with a specialist personal injury solicitor, who’s experienced in injury claims, for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438. They’ll ask you some questions about what happened and will then be able to let you know whether they think you can make a case.

You’re not obliged to take your claim any further at this point, but if you decide you’d like to go ahead the adviser can pass you on to one of their specialist no win no fee claims solicitors straight away. They’ll then get in touch with the bar, club or pub responsible for your injury to let them know of your intention to claim.

Throughout the injury claims process, your solicitor will be able to do most of the work on your behalf – you’ll need to do some paperwork, but they’ll be on hand to support you with this and answer any questions you have along the way.

All about choosing an injury lawyer

What to do if you’ve been injured in a bar or club

We know the prospect of making a personal injury claim following a good night out, or a quiet drink in the pub, can be daunting. But if you’re able to gather as much evidence as possible it can help when it comes to starting your compensation claim further down the line. It will be useful to know that your solicitor will welcome things like:

  • Contact details of any witnesses
  • Photographs of the hazard which caused your accident
  • Photos or a drawing of the area where it happened
  • The name and contact details of the business owner/operator
  • Whether there was CCTV in the area where the incident happened
  • Details of any entry into the accident book on the premises

Also, you should see a doctor or go to a hospital as soon as possible after your injury – they’ll be able to examine and treat you if needed – it’s possible you’ve suffered worse injuries than you initially thought. Importantly, the medical notes and records from getting medical treatment will be crucial evidence for your case.

If you were injured while working in a bar or nightclub, make sure the incident is reported and recorded in the accident book. This will ensure there’s an official record of your injury happening.

If you’re the victim of a physical assault – whether as a worker or a customer or visitor – it’s important you report it to the police. The police incident number will be important for your case – and if the perpetrator is eventually convicted of an offence against the person, any ongoing injury compensation claim will be made stronger.

If you think the accident was caused because of somebody else’s negligence, you should get in touch with a solicitor for no obligation advice to find out how you can make a no win no fee claim.

Telephone for a free initial consultation on 0800 234 6438 or, if you prefer, complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss the pub or bar accident claim process.

Can I claim following a bar or nightclub attack or assault?

The last thing you expect when you’re on a night out at a club or bar is to be attacked by someone else. ‘Glassing’, for example, has become an increasingly common form of attack in bars and clubs and involves the attacker using a glass bottle or glass – or even broken glass – to assault someone else. It’s not hard to imagine how horrendous the resulting injuries can be.

If this has happened to you, we know it can be a very traumatic experience which can have a psychological impact as well as causing potentially serious injuries and severe pain. Permanent scarring is, of course, a significant possibility.

An assault can cause a criminal injury that can stop you from being able to get on with your everyday life. You may have had to take time off work while you recover, putting you under unnecessary financial pressure and making family life more difficult.

The attack may well have been preventable if, for example, bar staff had refused to serve the attacker more alcohol or if there had been an adequate number of door stewards to prevent a drunk person entering the premises. In this type of case, you should still be able to bring a claim against the business operator.

But what if the operator was not to blame? Or where do you stand if you don’t even know who attacked you and the perpetrator is never identified?

Thankfully, you may be able to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation following an attack which was not the result of negligence or a breach of duty on the part of the pub or nightclub.

The law enables you to win compensation not to punish the attacker but to help you as you recover physically and financially. The most important thing you can do is to get in touch with a specialist solicitor to find out how you can claim compensation following an attack in a pub or nightclub.

Telephone for free advice on 0800 234 6438 or simply complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss your claim.

DID YOU KNOW: According to the 2018 Crime Survey for England and Wales, 561,000 cases of violence were reported in which the victim believed their attacker was drunk.

Am I entitled to claim compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)?

It is incredibly traumatic to be attacked and injured while visiting a pub or nightclub, but it’s particularly distressing if you never find out who attacked you.

If the perpetrator hasn’t yet been identified or is never arrested, charged or found guilty – that does not necessarily prevent you from making a compensation claim.

Thankfully, it’s possible to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – a government-run scheme which makes payments to innocent victims of violent crime – even if the attacker has not been identified.

The scheme also pays out for sexual attacks as well as fatal attacks. For detailed information about the CICA scheme, see our guide here.

To be eligible to claim under the CICA scheme:

  • You must start a claim as soon as practical
  • The attack must have been reported to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable

Compensation awards from the CICA are different to injury compensation awarded through the courts: CICA awards are prescribed tariffs for specific injuries, for example:

  • A minor head injury causing a brain injury lasting at least 28 weeks (£1,500) or minor head injury causing permanent brain damaged £6,200).
  • An eye injury causing permanent but slight blurred/double vision (£2,400) or serious blurred/double vision (£13,500)
  • Loss of at least one front tooth requiring crowns (£1,000) or loss of four or more front teeth (3,500).

Your personal injury solicitor will be able to explain what the best course of action is for your specific case and will help you make your claim on a no win no fee basis.

How long do I have to claim?

For any personal injury claim, you have three years from the time of your accident to start legal proceedings, otherwise your claim might be ‘time barred’. For that reason, it’s important to get started as quickly as possible while events are fresher in your memory.

If you’re claiming criminal injuries compensation following an assault, this ‘limitation period’ (as lawyers call it) is tighter. First, you must apply as soon as it is ‘reasonably practicable’ for you to do so – do not delay unnecessarily. Second, you have two years instead of the normal three, to claim CICA compensation.

Seek legal advice as soon as you can about making a claim, to avoid any risk of being ‘out of time’. Call for free on 0800 234 6438 for no obligation advice or complete our online contact form and request a call back to discuss your claim.

How much compensation could I receive?

The amount of compensation you receive will reflect the nature and extent of your injury and the impact on your life. Your solicitor will find out as much as possible about what happened to you, so they can make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Personal injury compensation normally comprises ‘general’ damages which is an amount that compensates you for your actual injuries and the impact on you. You can also claim for any financial losses, which are known as ‘special damages’.

General damages

The size of your compensation award will depend very much on your injury, your recovery and the effects on your life. A minor injury may take little time to heal but a more serious injury may need further ongoing treatment, such as physiotherapy or plastic surgery in the case of severe scarring.

In rare cases, an accident happened in a bar or nightclub and the victim suffers further physical damage when the medical treatment they receive is substandard. If this has happened to you, you may be able to make a separate claim for medical negligence against the NHS trust or health provider. Your solicitor will be able to advise you if this is a potential route for you.

Helpfully, there are formal judicial guidelines which help lawyers calculate what someone could be entitled to by way of compensation.

For example:

  • Head injury depending on seriousness – £12,300 to £322,060
  • A fracture ankle requiring surgery and metalwork – up to £47,000
  • Forearm fracture – £37,424
  • Open head wound – £34,800

These examples shows what a huge range of compensation is available, making it difficult to estimate early in the claim how much you’re entitled to. Your solicitor will be able to give you a more accurate picture of how much compensation you deserve.

Special damages

If you’ve had to have time off work and lost out on earnings as a result of your injuries, you can claim for your lost earnings, as well as other financial losses directly related to the accident.

Your solicitor will ask you for detailed information about the financial impact, such as travel costs if you’ve been unable to drive; and prescription and other medical costs.

So do make sure you retain any receipts and any invoices and pay slips that can be used to prove this element of your compensation claim.

Could I receive interim compensation payments?

If your injuries are more serious, you maybe able to obtain interim compensation to help you before your claim finally settles. For example, you may have been left unable to work and earn; or you need funds to help in your recovery.

However, interim payments can only happen if the bar, pub or club operator has admitted liability. If they do take responsibility, an interim compensation payment can be made to enable certain costs to be met. This will then be deducted from the final settlement once agreed.

It is important to discuss the possibility with your solicitor early on and they can discuss your immediate and short-term needs with you and negotiate an interim payment if possible.


Pub ‘glassing’ – where drinking glasses and bottles are used to deliberately injure people – has risen by 10% across the UK in the past 20 years, with up to 80,000 incidents a year.

SOURCE: Independent


A man who ‘glassed’ another man in the face in an Oxford nightclub was convicted of assault and ordered to pay his victim, who need stitches, almost £1,500 in compensation

SOURCE: Oxford Mail


According to the Health and Safety Executive, bars and pubs have four times the amount of slip, trips and falls compared to other industries, causing 9 out of 10 of injuries to either workers and customers in pubs and bars


Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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