Can you tell me if my mother can claim for walking into an automatic door in a supermarket? She has poor eyesight and walked into an automatic door that failed to open. She suffered a fracture to her hip and cuts to her face when she fell.
Your mother should be entitled to make a claim for walking into an automatic door in a supermarket, provided the accident was not primarily her own fault. Personal injury claims are only possible when an injury has been sustained due to negligence of a third party who owed the victim a duty of care.
A supermarket manager owes customers a common duty of care under the Occupier Liability Act, and should take all reasonable actions to ensure the store can be visited safely, without customers being placed at a high risk of sustaining an injury. Should insufficient actions be taken to protect the health and safety of customers and prevent foreseeable accidents from occurring, the manager will be deemed to have been negligent and a claim for compensation is likely to be possible.
Problems can arise in claims for compensation for walking into a defective automatic door as the duty of care owed to customers is not absolute. It must therefore be established and proven that the automatic door was defective and the store manager was aware of the fault (and failed to take the appropriate actions to prevent customers from walking into the glass), or that the manager should have been aware of the fault with the door.
If there had been no problems with the door prior to your mother’s accident, it is unlikely that a claim for automatic door accident in a supermarket will be possible. If the store manager could not have realistically prevented your mother from having walked into an automatic door in a supermarket, the accident would not involve a breach in a duty of care and the manager would therefore not be deemed to have been negligent.
Proving negligence in a claim for walking into an automatic door in a supermarket should be straightforward if the accident was captured by the store’s security cameras. A copy of camera data can be requested under the Data Protection Act (1998) provided the data still exists. Since the entrance to the store is covered by cameras in a supermarket supermarkets, the data recorded may show the moment your mother walked into an automatic door in a supermarket. If it is clear from the recording that the doors failed to open as your mother approached, and other instances of the door malfunctioning were also recorded, there is a high probability that a claim for compensation for walking into a defective automatic door will be successful. All the major stores have CCTV coverage in at least most of their stores, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Lidl, Aldi, Morrisons, Marks & Spencers.
It is recommended that you allow a solicitor to make the access request to the supermarket to release security camera data, and also to conduct an investigation into the accident. The supermarket staff will be questioned and asked about any previous reports of the door malfunctioning, to establish whether action should have been taken to fix the door under the circumstances.
A solicitor will arrange for other documentation to be collected and for your mother’s injuries to be assessed by an orthopaedic specialist. This will ensure that all aspects of your mother’s injuries can be factored into her claim for automatic door accident in a supermarket.
Since evidence of negligence must be collected promptly while it still exists, you should not delay seeking legal advice on behalf of your mother.