Supermarket Car Park Accident: How to claim compensation for injury whilst on supermarket land
A supermarket car park accident causing injury can happen for a number of reasons – find out when you can claim from the supermarket using an example of a defective pavement causing a tripping accident (a twisted ankle and avulsion fracture of the fifth metatarsal) and how your solicitor proves how much compensation your injuries and financial loss is worth..
Supermarket Car Park Accident Victim Question
I was leaving a large supermarket in London carrying my shopping in some bags. The car park area has several pedestrian walkways. The shopping bags were slightly obscuring my view.
As I was walking – I suddenly felt my right ankle twist violently with the force of my full weight and I fell to the right side. I noticed a pavement slab missing in the walkway leaving a hole several inches deep – the vertical drop had caused my foot to twist.
My ankle was in severe pain. Other customers came to my assistance and notified the supermarket staff.
The Customer Service Manager came out with some other staff. He made an accident report and called an ambulance. He apologised, explaining that works were being carried out in the car park due to problems with the pavements.
There were however no warnings of the danger, no barriers or signs warning of danger to pedestrians.
I was taken by ambulance to hospital. X-rays were taken and I was in formed I had a broken 5th metatarsal leading to my little toe and a sprained ankle.
The hospital explained this that the break was known as a 5th metatarsal tuberosity avulsion fracture caused from the force of the tendon when my ankle twisted ripping a piece of bone off.
I am currently unable to walk properly or go to work.
I would like to know if it is possible to make a claim and how any compensation I might be entitled to would be calculated?
Accident Claim Solicitor Response
Whilst you are on the premises of the supermarket – including the car park, the supermarket owes you a duty of care to keep you safe.
Although it is understood that a supermarket might need to do works in the customer car park – for the supermarket to keep you safe appropriate barriers should have been erected not only around the missing paving stone, but also in other areas where there might be a defect or tripping hazard.
It is to be expected that you would be distracted and have your vision obscured when carrying shopping leaving the supermarket, thus a barrier would have been necessary to prevent you from entering the dangerous areas where tripping hazards and missing paving stones exist.
I therefore believe on the issue of liability (legal fault) – you would have a strong supermarket car park accident claim for compensation.
Your solicitor would give the supermarket and their insurers the opportunity to accept liability. If this was not accepted then your solicitor would take the matter to court by issuing proceedings.
Calculating how much your supermarket car park accident claim is worth / quantum
Liability is only one aspect of the claim. The other part relates to proving quantum – in other words how much your claim is worth.
This process is often as involved as proving liability.
Your solicitor will obtain an independent medical report – most likely from an orthopaedic surgeon. This report will set out all of your injuries – here the sprained ankle, metatarsal avulsion fracture and any other symptoms that might have developed. It will also give a time estimate for recovery or a description of any ongoing disability as well as addressing whether any absence from work was reasonable.
The expert when compiling the report owes a duty to the court and comments on the balance of probability.
Your solicitor will then use this report to determine how much general damages you can claim (general damages describe primarily the pain and suffering for physical and psychological injury) by comparing your injuries to judicial guidance and cases decided for similar injuries by the courts in the past.
In addition – you will be entitled to claim financial loss and expense (including lost income so long as considered reasonable) know as special damages.
Your solicitor will rely on you to keep a record of your losses and provide supporting receipts.
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