Supermarket accident compensation claims are made as a result of various unfortunate accidents that occur while we are out shopping at a local store or at a shopping centre. When we do our shopping, we do not consider this to be a particularly risky activity. We understand that no one wants to be involved in an accident at any time of day, let alone when we are quietly going about our daily/weekly shop for everyday items.
The retail psychology employed by modern supermarkets means that we are bombarded by soothing music, and various strategies are used to make us relaxed while strolling up and down the aisles in the pursuit of our favourite products or the best bargains on offer that day. The last thing we expect is to find ourselves lying on the floor, having slipped on some liquid or food, feeling somewhat embarrassed by such a predicament, but also feeling the pain of an injury caused by a fall. This could have been avoided if the supermarket staff had been more vigilant, and cleaned up the hazard, or at least cordoned off the area in question.
What can I claim supermarket accident compensation for?
If you have been injured as a result of a slip or trip in a supermarket in the last 3 years, you may be entitled to make a supermarket accident compensation claim for the following items of damages:
- Pain and suffering with regard to your physical and psychological injury - personal injury compensation. Your solicitor will possess the requisite knowledge, in order to accurately assess how much compensation you should be awarded, based on your injuries and the prognosis given by a medical expert;
- Loss of amenity – this is compensation for any activities that you are unable to perform because of your injury - such as playing sports, interaction with your family, going to the gym, etc;
- Loss of wages for unpaid absence from work – written proof of your loss of earnings from your employer will be required in order to claim this element of compensation. If you are self employed, you will need to provide evidence of your loss of income by way of your recent accounts and/or invoices, contracts, etc., which you were unable to fulfil as a result of your injury;
- Costs of care – this is an award of compensation based on the amount of time that a friend, neighbour, or member of your family has taken to look after you, due to the constraints of your injury, when performing daily tasks such as, cooking, domestic chores, etc.
- Rehabilitation fees, e.g. physiotherapy fees, etc;
- Any personal items damaged in the course of your accident, e.g. ripped clothing, damaged shoes, etc;
- Any out of pocket expenses, e.g., travel expenses relating to medical appointments, etc.
How long will my supermarket accident compensation claim take?
From the moment that you seek specialist legal advice, when you instruct an experienced personal injury lawyer, your supermarket accident compensation claim will be made against the insurance company of the relevant supermarket. The supermarket's insurance company will liaise with the manager at the store in question, in order to ascertain what happened at the time of the accident. On receipt of the answers to their enquiries, the supermarket's insurers will consider if their insured was responsible for your accident. If a supermarket accident occurred after 31st July 2013, the supermarket and their insurers have 40 working days to admit or deny responsibility for an accident, as set out in the pre-action protocol for public liability personal injury claims.If they accept that the supermarket was liable for the accident, the insurers will confirm this, and you will merely need to prove your losses, i.e. attend a medical examination and disclose a copy of your medical report to the store's insurance company. This process usually takes around 6 months to finalize. However, if liability for your accident is disputed by the supermarket’s insurers, your supermarket accident compensation claim may take longer, and you should discuss these time-frames with your solicitor.
Making a supermarket accident claim - the law in England and Wales
Under the terms of the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, all owners/occupiers of premises, namely a supermarket business, must make those premises reasonably safe for all visitors entering therein. This principle is called a legal duty of care owed to all of their customers. This applies to owners of all supermarkets and shops, and those people who shop at their premises.
Supermarkets and shops must have in place a reasonable system of cleaning and inspection in operation within their premises. For example, if a tomato is dropped by a customer, and you slip on it and injure yourself - if the supermarket cannot show that they have a reasonable system of inspection and cleaning in place - i.e. each 30 to 60 minutes, a member of their staff performs checks of all the public areas on the premises for spillages, or anything that may constitute a danger to members of the public - you will be able to make a supermarket slip compensation claim.
However, if a supermarket business can prove that they operate such a reasonable system, you may not be able to make a supermarket slip claim. The supermarket in question must disclose valid copies of all documents relating to inspections of the shop floor, and cleaning systems in operation in the supermarket public areas. These documents must clearly show the frequency and integrity of these tasks, as performed by staff at the supermarket.
Will I need to go to Court?
If an accident occurs in a supermarket because of a dangerous environment, and the supermarket in question cannot show that its staff showed "reasonable skill and care at the material time", you can make a successful accident claim against a supermarket.
In the absence of an agreement between the parties, sometimes it is necessary to issue proceedings at Court, so that a judge can hear all of the evidence and decide if the supermarket was at fault for an accident. Most supermarket accident claims are settled relatively early after your solicitor notifies the other party of your claim, but there are a small number of accidents in supermarket claims that do proceed to a final hearing. These cases usually involve the question of what systems of inspection and cleaning the supermarket had in place in their store at the time of an accident. The Court of Appeal, by way of two judgments, has given some guidance when deciding whether a supermarket is liable for an accident which occurs on their premises.
Some case law
If you are interested in reading about how the Courts apply the law in supermarket accident compensation claims, we have set out below the references for the two Court of Appeal cases referred to above.
- Ward -v- Tesco  1 WLR 810;
- Dawkins -v- Carnival Plc  EWCA Civ 1237.
Our free legal assessment and advice about making a supermarket accident claim
We are one of the UK's leading companies dealing with supermarket accident compensation claims . Our team of legally trained advisers have over 18 years' experience in helping 1000s of people make successful supermarket accident compensation claims. If you have sustained an injury while on the premises of a UK supermarket, or when walking in one of their car parks, you may be able to make a compensation claim for the pain you have suffered, due to the negligence of the business in question - namely, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi, Marks & Spencer, etc.
A supermarket injury can be caused by the negligence of the owners or employees of the shop or supermarket in question. As a general rule of thumb, if the accident occurred due to an obviously unsafe situation, e.g. a leaking fridge, a spillage or an item left unattended for too long, a falling object or an employee's reckless deportment and, as a result, you were injured, you should be able to make a supermarket accident compensation claim.
Our team of advisers will take the time to listen to you when you explain how the supermarket injury occurred. Our experience in dealing with compensation claims of this nature allows us to be able to provide leading, expert advice when you are considering making a supermarket accident claim.
Our service is totally free, so you have nothing to lose by making an enquiry. We provide honest professional advice, without legal jargon.
Making contact with us is easy: request a call-back, submit details of your supermarket accident injury and we will call you, or you can chat to one of our team via our live online chat service.
Will I have to pay anything to instruct a no win no fee solicitor?
You will not have to pay a solicitor that we recommend to you, in order for them to act for you. There is nothing to pay upfront towards your own solicitor’s costs. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay any of your solicitor’s fees. If your claim for damages is successful, your solicitor may require a contribution towards their costs from the compensation you receive.
Your solicitor will discuss with you what percentage of your compensation will be used in this regard, when you first speak with them by telephone, so that this is agreed at the outset.
Will I need to do anything to start my supermarket accident claim?
After establishing that you can make a successful supermarket accident claim , one of our advisers will request your permission to proceed with your claim. Only when you have provided your consent will we recommend you to one of our panel of supermarket accident lawyers. You can speak with a solicitor by telephone, free of charge, in order to discuss your accident in a supermarket claim in more detail. They will want to take all the particulars of your case, with a view to being in possession of an accurate account of the accident. It is also important that they discuss with you the type of injury you have sustained.
At the conclusion of your telephone conversation with one of our panel of personal injury solicitors, they will confirm if they will act on your behalf under the principle of “no win no fee”. If you are happy for them to deal with your accident claim against a supermarket, they will send some paperwork for you to complete, sign and return. On receipt of these papers, your solicitor will commence your claim against the supermarket in question. You will be notified by post/email of an appointment to see a doctor in your locality, so that a report can be prepared by the medical expert.
Therefore, you will see that for the most part, your case will be dealt with by telephone, post and/or email. In most cases, you will only need to attend a doctor’s appointment for a medical examination. There is no need to meet with your solicitor, unless you express a wish to do so, when the solicitor will be happy to schedule an appointment to see you at their office.
If you are unsure who was responsible for an accident or you have any questions about making a supermarket accident compensation claim , please contact us as soon as possible, as any delay may prejudice your supermarket compensation claim.