club accident claim

Club Accident Claim: Compensation For Injuries In Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs

In this article – we set out how to claim compensation for the most common types of accident and assault you might experience as a customer, visitor or worker in a bar, pub or night club.

Table of Contents

What is a club accident claim?

Many different types of injuries can be suffered in drinking establishments such as nightclubs, bars and pubs. If the injuries are caused as result of legal fault of another – a club accident claim for compensation can be made most usually from the nightclub and its insurer.

What types of accident can customers claim compensation from the club itself?

There are many different types of accidents that can cause injury to customers in clubs, pubs and bars. Some relate to the consumption of alcohol and the nature of late night venues.

Slipping accidents due to spillages

Slipping accidents most frequently occur due to drink spillages on the dance floor or bar area – from other customers or members of staff.

Cuts from broken bottles and glasses

Glasses and bottle may be defective or breakages may not be cleaned up by the club staff. Broken glass will present a real hazard when you are enjoying a late night venue with lights that are typically dimmed. Common injuries include cuts and scarring.

Damaged or inappropriate flooring

Flooring may be damaged or dangerous over a tripping hazard. This might include lino that has turned up ends or inappropriate moveable matting that slips when stood on.

Injury from such a hazard would likley lead to a successfult club accident compensation claim.

Toilet leaks and unsuitable dooring

Nightclub goers will often frequent the toilets and here you might find a leaky toilet or sink – leading to dangerous accumulation of water and an accident waiting to happen.

On other occasions – unsuitable dooring may be used that closes with too much force and speed leading to fingers and other body parts becoming trapped and injured.

Can customers claim for assault by staff working at the club?

Assault by door staff

Door staff, informally known by the term “bouncers”, should be properly selected employees, such staff are regulated to ensure they do not have any criminal convictions, etc. It is a common complaint by customers that over zealous door staff have man handled them or assaulted them.

If you feel you have been subject to assault by door staff at a nightclub, bar or pub you might have a claim from the owners of the drinking establishment or alternatively from the criminal injuries compensation authority.

Legal tip – the government provide guidance as to what door staff can and cannot do.

Assault by workers in the club

On occasion members of staff working in the nightclub might themselves assault a customer. Should this assault occur in the club whilst the staff member is at work – it is likely the club itself will be held responsible for any injuries you might receive.

Can a claim be made if one customer assaults another customer?

If you are attacked by someone else in a bar, club or pub – this is technically not an accident, but a deliberate act and as such a crime of violence.

Criminal injuries compensation

You must inform the police promptly of the incident, so that they can investigate and view the club’s CCTV evidence. You should assist the police in their investigations and cooperate in any potential prosecution of the offending individual.

If the police are satisfied that a crime of violence occurred, and your injuries fall within those set out by the CICA – you should be entitled to claim criminal injuries compensation.

Liability of the nightclub, pub or bar

Generally a club, pub or bar will not be liable for an assault by one customer on another.

Aggressive behaviour or individuals tolerated

However, there are some exceptions. Imagine aggressive behaviour of customers being tolerated without intervention by door staff (or security) or a known banned trouble causer being allowed into the club. Should you be assaulted by one of these individuals you may have a claim from the club.

Serving of drinks in glass for certain types of event

On occasion – certain types of event (for example, viewing contentious football matches) – may require a special licence with a condition that drinks should not be served in glass drinking vessels as the risk of problems may be foreseen. In these instances, should a customer be injured by another throwing glass – there is a possibility that the club, pub or bar may bear some liability.

cocktail drinks bar accident
Cocktail Drinks Bar Accident

Can you claim if you are injured in an accident whilst working in club, bar or pub?

If you work in a club, bar or pub – your employer should protect you from accidents by keeping the work environment safe.

Types of work accident in clubs, pubs and bars

Accidents at work in a club, bar or pub might include: slips on spillages or injury from other work equipment including dangerous club fittings or sharp glass wear, etc.

If you work in a bar you will also be exposed behind the scenes to other work equipment, including dish washing and glass washing facilities and other potentially hazardous equipment.

Claim compensation from your employer for a club work accident

As with any work place an employer must keep employees safe at all times and this duty is very strict.

Should you suffer injury in an accident and your employer is deemed to be legally at fault – you will likley be entitled to make an accident at work claim for compensation.

Can you claim if you are assaulted by a customer whilst at work in a club?

If you work in a bar or club there is quite often a risk of physical or sexual assault from drunk customers.

Employers duty to keep you safe at work

As you are in your work environment a duty is owed by your employer to keep you safe – even from the risk of criminal acts which might be common in your job.

Criminal injuries and employers liability claims

If a criminal act does occur – as well as there existing a potential claim from the criminal injuries compensation authority, you might well have a claim from your employer.

Time periods to claim for criminal injuries and from your employer

You have two years from the date of an incident to commence a claim with CICA and three years from the date of an incident to make a club accident claim from your employer

Proving legal responsibility for a club accident claim – will depend on the type of accident or incident that caused you injury.

: accidental injury to workers, assault or other act of violence and customer accidents.

Showing liability for customer accidents

Customer slipping accidents and accidental injuries in bars are classed as occupiers’ liability or public liability claims.

Duty to keep visitors safe

As a lawful visitor to a club, bar or pub the business owners of the club and the owner of the building (if different) in which the club is housed owes you a duty to keep you safe at all times, whilst on the premises.

System of inspection to clean up spillages

This will include ensuring that any spillages are cleaned up immediately and that surfaces on which you are walking or dancing are not overly slippery.

An employer should also have in place a system of inspection to quickly identify any spillages, to cordon them off to ensure you are not exposed to the risk whilst cleaning is in progress and have members of staff ready to clean to ensure your safety.

Should a club not have such a system and spillage is left for an extended period of time – it is likely you will succeed in a club action claim for compensation should you suffer injury.

Inspection of glassware

Glassware should be inspected to be safe and if faulty drinking vessels are supplied which are cracked or damaged in some way, which can cause you injury it is likely that the owners of the bar will be held legally responsible for your injuries.

Showing liability for work accidents

See our accident at work claim article to see how to show liability for injury to employees and other workers in the workplace, including nightclubs, bars and pubs.

Criminal injury compensation authority payment for assault

See our criminal injury article to see how to make a claim for criminal injury compensation or an act of violence.

How much is your club injury claim worth?

The amount of compensation your club injury is worth is based upon the type of injury you suffer.

Compensation payouts for injury to customers and workers in an accident

For all types of personal injury claim classed as an accident and for some types of assault (only when the club is found liable) – see compensation amounts article for details of the payout amounts you can claim by body part (and psychological injury).

Payout amounts for assault

If you suffer injury as a result of a crime of violence – the amount of compensation you can claim is lower than for personal injury claims. Your payout is determined by a tariff as set out by the CICA.

The tariff lists all the types of injury you can claim compensation for – with exact amounts for each type of injury (as set out in the tariff).


In this article we set out the most common ways you might suffer injury in a club; we explain how you show legal fault and describe how you can calculate the amount of compensation various different types of injury will attract.

See our free legal online and telephone solicitor help options – you can ask an online question or speak direct to our solicitors to discuss your options should you be considering making a club accident claim following injury in a nightclub, bar or pub.