Thousands of supermarket accidents occur in the UK each year, in spite of strict health and safety legislation applying to UK stores. The most common supermarket accidents are slips on wet floors, trips and falls over hazards left in aisles and from improperly placed or dangerous instore displays. Spillages represent major slip hazards in supermarkets and products falling from shelves can hit customers and can cause serious injuries to be sustained. It is not just supermarket shoppers who are at risk of sustaining injuries in supermarket accidents, and employees can all too easily be injured – especially in warehouses and delivery areas. A claim for accident injury compensation may be possible for supermarket accidents which have occurred anywhere on the premises, including the supermarket car park, provided that the supermarket accident was caused by a failure in a duty of care owed to the customer or member of staff who was injured.
Eligibility to Claim Compensation for Supermarket Accidents
Supermarket owners are required by law to ensure that their premises are free from hazards and visitors are not placed at risk of sustaining an injury. The supermarket premises must be routinely inspected for potential risks of injury, and all reasonable efforts must be made to reduce any risks to supermarket staff or shoppers to the minimum possible level. When a supermarket manager or member of staff does not fulfil all their legal responsibilities to maintain a safe environment for shoppers or employees, it is termed the failure in a duty of care and constitutes negligence. A claim for supermarket accident injury compensation will be possible should a member of staff or visitor to the store sustain an injury as a direct result of that negligence.
There are many reasons for making claims for supermarket accidents compensation, the most common of which are listed below. These examples are not exhaustive, and if the cause of a supermarket accident is not included below it may still be possible to make a personal injury claim. You should always speak with a supermarket accident solicitor to confirm your eligibility to make a claim for compensation for injuries sustained in supermarket accidents.
- A slip injury caused by spillages, leaks or wet floors
- Trips and falls caused by floor hazards
- Trips and falls due to poorly maintained or dangerous supermarket car parks
- Electric shock injury caused by poorly maintained electrical equipment
- Cuts, bruises and lacerations caused by damaged or falling displays
- Supermarket accidents caused by products falling from shelves
- A slip on a grape or debris on the floor
- Burn injuries sustained in a supermarket cafeteria
- Manual handling injuries sustained by supermarket staff
Attend to Your Injuries Following Supermarket Accidents
Whenever a member of the public or supermarket employee comes to harm in supermarket accidents, the first priority is to ensure that injuries are attended to promptly by a doctor. First aid may be provided in the supermarket by a qualified first aider; however this is no substitute for a visit to an emergency room or doctor’s surgery. Not only is it vital that a personal injury sustained in an accident in a supermarket be thoroughly assessed by a doctor so that treatment can be started immediately, but a record of any injuries sustained in supermarket accidents must be made in the victim’s medical records. If there is no official record of an injury, it will not be possible for supermarket injury compensation to be claimed.
Supermarket accidents may result in injuries being sustained which are not immediately apparent, or which are not thought to be serious enough to warrant a visit to a doctor. However, should an injury deteriorate and a claim for compensation be necessary at a later date, the delay in seeking treatment could affect the outcome of a supermarket accident claim. When immediate medical attention is not sought after supermarket accidents, the defendant’s legal team may claim that injuries have deteriorated as a direct result of the delay or that the injury was not in fact sustained in the supermarket accident. This could see any compensation award for supermarket accidents reduced considerably, or may even affect the chances of making a successful accident injury claim.
Procedures to Follow Before Claims for Supermarket Accidents are Attempted
There are a number of procedures which must be followed before a claim for supermarket accidents compensation can be initiated in the UK. Failure to follow the correct procedures might prevent victims of supermarket accidents from receiving their full entitlement of personal injury compensation. However, these procedures should only be followed after personal injuries have been attended to by a doctor.
It is a legal requirement of a supermarket to hold and maintain an ‘Accident Book’ onsite. In order for compensation for injuries to be claimed, a record of the accident should be detailed in the supermarket’s Accident Book. An accident injury solicitor will use the accident report as proof that supermarket accidents have occurred on the premises.
The police will not need to be notified about supermarket accidents– except when fatal injuries have been sustained or criminal negligence applies – however the Health and Safety Executive must be informed of any supermarket accidents involving staff when they result in a period of absence from work in excess of seven days or supermarket accidents involving members of the public who are taken to hospital in an ambulance. It is an employer’s responsibility to notify the HSE whenever necessary; however a supermarket worker should check that this step has been completed by an employer.
In order to present the strongest possible claim for supermarket accident compensation, evidence of negligence of the supermarket manager or staff must be collected. Contact details of any eye witnesses should also be noted, as their written testimony of how the supermarket accident occurred will be important to help substantiate a personal injury claim. If possible, photographs should be taken of any hazard in the supermarket or car park which caused your accident, as these will assist your solicitor when proving negligence of the supermarket staff. Even a quick snap taken with a mobile phone can be used as evidence of negligence or – if the supermarket has captured your accident on a surveillance camera – your solicitor may be able to use this evidence to support your claim for supermarket accidents compensation.
Making Claims for Supermarket Accidents in the UK
Claims for supermarket accidents in the UK are possible without the assistance of an accident injury solicitor; however the majority of UK compensation claims for supermarket accidents are pursued with legal assistance from a qualified solicitor. Even supermarket accident claims which involve clear cases of negligence of supermarket staff have potential to become highly complex. A supermarket operator may deny liability for an accident or may contest the damages which are being pursued. The insurance company of the supermarket operator may also seek to reduce the level of compensation which is being claimed due to any contributory negligence of the supermarket accident victim. The legal advice provided by supermarket injury solicitors together with their experience in pursuing supermarket accident compensation claims, can make a substantial difference to the outcome of the case.
A supermarket accident claims solicitor will be able to prepare the strongest possible case against a negligent supermarket operator, and will ensure the maximum entitlement to supermarket accident compensation is claimed. Supermarket accidents claims tend to run more smoothly when a personal injury solicitor is used, and usually result in compensation being paid more quickly by the supermarket operator’s insurance company.
Once eligibility to claim for supermarket accidents is confirmed, a personal injury solicitor will prepare a Letter of Claim which will be sent to the supermarket operator, outlining why liability for the accident in the supermarket is deemed to be his or her responsibility. The supermarket operator usually has twenty one days in which to respond to the letter and three months in which to either accept liability or contest the claim. Negotiations can then commence with the supermarket operator’s insurance company in an attempt to reach an acceptable settlement for damages. If this is not possible, the injury claim will proceed to the UK courts and a decision on a compensation award will be decided by a judge.
Free Legal Advice about Compensation Claims for Supermarket Accidents
A supermarket accidents claim is a one time opportunity to recover personal injury compensation, and it is therefore in your best interests to ensure that the strongest possible claim is prepared and filed. Eligibility to make a compensation claim should always be assessed by an experienced supermarket accident solicitor, and you must also be advised of the timescale for making a personal injury claim, in accordance with the UK Statute of Limitations. To make this as simple as possible; we have created a supermarket accidents helpline offering legal advice, which is available totally free of charge.
By calling our claims helpline you will receive specific legal advice relating to your claim and can have all you questions answered about making personal injury claims for supermarket accidents. Our claims helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as we appreciate that contacting us during normal working hours is not always possible. However if it is not convenient to call us immediately, please take advantage of our call back service. One of our experienced supermarket accidents claims solicitors will call you back at the requested time to discuss your compensation claims for supermarket accidents.