With there being thousands of supermarkets across the UK, an accident which leads to a claim for compensation for falling over a broken tile in a supermarket is a situation which will inevitably arise from time to time. Supermarket accident compensation is not awarded for every accident which occurs in a supermarket, and in order to claim for compensation you must prove that the store was negligent to the point that you suffered an injury.
Regardless, if you have slipped, tripped or fallen in a supermarket because of neglect or carelessness by the management or staff of the supermarket, and sustained an injury as a result, you may be eligible for accident compensation. This guide will provide an outline of the process to claim compensation from a supermarket; however if you believe you have grounds for a claim, you should speak with a solicitor at the first available opportunity in order to have your claim for falling over a broken tile in a supermarket assessed in relation to your own personal circumstances.
How to Determine Whether an Accident or Negligence has Occurred
Whether you are eligible for compensation for falling over a broken tile in a supermarket depends how the tile came to be broken and how long it had remained a hazard. Supermarkets do not have an “absolute” duty of care – meaning that they cannot be held responsible for accidents which cannot be avoided.
For example, if you slipped on a grape in the supermarket which had just fallen out of the trolley in front of you, and your arm was broken in the subsequent fall, the supermarket cannot be held responsible for your injury as they could not have “reasonably” been expected to deal with the hazard in the very small amount of time available to them.
The same principle would apply if the broken tile over which you had fallen only recently became a hazard, and you will only be able to claim supermarket accident compensation if it can be demonstrated that the broken tile had represented a risk to health and safety for an unreasonable amount of time – something that can be established by CTVV, supermarket staff and store cleaners.
Prioritising your Health after a Supermarket Accident
Before considering seeking compensation for falling over a broken tile in supermarket, your immediate priority should be your health. Even though most accidents which occur in supermarkets cause nothing but brief embarrassment for the victim, you should undergo a medical examination at the hospital or your doctor´s surgery as a safeguard and not rely on any first aid administered at the supermarket.
Accidents which occur in supermarkets may produce injuries may not display symptoms for several days or even weeks. You should receive a medical examination not only for the sake of your health, but also to deflect the possibility that the supermarket´s insurers contest your supermarket accident compensation claim on the grounds of contributory negligence. This can occur if you allow your condition to deteriorate before being treated, and worsening your injuries because of your own negligence. This would, if proven, have an effect on your potential compensation amount for supermarket accident.
Regardless of whether you receive supermarket accident compensation, neglecting to undergo a professional medical examination will never make up for any disability from which you may suffer for the rest of your life and could have been prevented by receiving adequate and prompt attention. If your injury was not serious enough to call an ambulance, you should attend the Accident and Emergency department of your nearest hospital, or make an emergency appointment to see your GP at the first opportunity.
Next Steps in Seeking Compensation for Falling over a Broken Tile in Supermarket
After your injuries have been treated, your next step in claiming compensation for falling over a broken tile in supermarket should be to report the accident in the “Accident Report Book” of the supermarket in question. Your report should be as detailed as possible, and if possible include the contact details of witnesses to the accident. A copy of the report should be maintained for your solicitor to strengthen your accident compensation claim.
The supermarket will possibly oversee an inquiry of their own into the reason behind the accident. If the accident was particularly serious, the Health and Safety Executive may carry out an inspection of the store. The conclusions of this inspection can be of great assistance to any claim for injury in a supermarket, making the report in the “Accident Report Book” crucial.
Occasionally you may be contacted by the store or their public liability insurers before you have a chance to seek supermarket accident compensation and offered an unsolicited compensation amount for your supermarket accident. You are advised to decline any such sum until a full assessment of your claim — along with a compensation estimate — has been provided to you by your solicitor.
What is the Compensation Amount for Supermarket Accident?
The compensation amount for a supermarket accident will be determined by a number of individual factors which your personal injury solicitor will relate to your personal circumstances. First there is the magnitude and seriousness of your injuries, as well as the length of time it is expected to take to recover from these injuries. Your accident compensation settlement should also take any “loss of amenity” into account. Your “loss of amenity” being any inability to partake in everyday or leisure activities because of your accident.
Psychological injuries can also be included in your supermarket accident compensation figure. Embarrassment over your accident may not count as emotional damage, although any depression or anxiety you may have experienced while you were in the process of recovering from your injuries may be included, provided a qualified psychiatrist acknowledges that a psychological injury has taken place.
Your compensation amount for supermarket accident may also include expenses which you have incurred because of the accident in the supermarket, provided they are evidenced with receipts. Supermarket accident claims can also cover the financial costs of medical expenses, loss of income, if injuries have left you unable to drive the cost of alternative travel arrangements and the legal costs of pursuing your claim.
How Contributory Negligence Can Affect your Compensation Amount for Supermarket Accident
The settlement of compensation for falling over a broken tile in supermarket can be reduced if you are judged to have been negligent yourself. Contributory negligence occurs if you are — to some degree — responsible for the injuries which you sustained due to negligence for your own well-being. A supermarket may argue the defence that a claimant could have prevented their accident and injury “with reasonable care”.
In the case of a trip on a broken tile in a supermarket the argument of “reasonable care” should not apply — as this would be akin to the store admitting that they do not try to make the products on display as eye-catching as possible to grab the attention of the shopper — but there are various ways in which contributory negligence can occur which can reduce your compensation.
The failure to pursue medical attention immediately after an accident can sometimes be determined to be contributory negligence, as can the scenario where the claimant has suffered a fall after ignoring a warning sign alerting shoppers to the presence of a hazard. This again can result in a reduction of your compensation amount for a supermarket accident.
Offers of Supermarket Accident Compensation from Insurers
As previously mentioned, if the store or their public liability insurers extend to you an early offer of compensation for falling over a broken tile in a supermarket, it should be referred to a solicitor. Insurers are eager to reduce the premium cost for their major clients such as supermarket chains, and this is only achievable by saving on other costs. Due to this, in cases where liability is beyond doubt, you may be offered a settlement which is far lower than the compensation amount for a supermarket accident to which you could otherwise be entitled to.
While an immediate settlement to your financial worries could be tempting if you are concerned about your financial situation, you will not be able to return to the insurance company if it transpires that the compensation was insufficient to cover medical treatment or provide for your family. Your personal injury solicitor will make a full assessment of your compensation claim in order to ensure that your settlement amount is fair. The insurance company will not dedicate as much time and resources to analysing your claim as your solicitor will, and are presumably guessing how much supermarket accident compensation your injuries are worth.
It should also be noted that many supermarkets will be equipped with CCTV cameras for security reasons. There is a possibility that your accident was caught by the cameras and, if this is the case, the insurance company will know that their client is liable for your injuries. If this was not the case, they would not have made the compensation offer. When an insurance company makes an unsolicited offer, this at least indicates that they acknowledge that their client is responsible for your injuries and they are willing to negotiate with your solicitor.
Further Information on Compensation for Falling Over a Broken Tile in Supermarket
Some potential claimants consider that their claim of compensation for falling over a broken tile in supermarket may not be worth their while to pursue or they are wasting the time of a solicitor by inquiring about a supermarket injury. An offer of compensation from an insurance company is, however, only one justification for consulting a solicitor about your accident claim at the first opportunity. If the accident has involved a child, or you have only just become aware of an injury linked to a past accident, the procedure to claiming compensation may differ.
As no two accident claims are exactly alike, it is crucial that a legal representative is consulted in order to determine not only if you are entitled to compensation, but also the amount to which you could be eligible to claim. Most solicitors offer a free initial consultation to establish whether you have a supermarket accident compensation claim which is worth your while to pursue and, depending on the strength of your claim, you may also qualify for “No Win, No Fee” legal representation – meaning that the pursuit of compensation for falling over a broken tile in a supermarket could be completely free of charge.