supermarket accident claim

Supermarket Accident Claim: Compensation For Customer Injury And Worker Accident

Should you be a customer in a supermarket and suffer injury in an accident or a consumer of supermarket products and suffer injury – you may be entitled to make a supermarket accident claim for compensation.

In this article we set out typical types of accident you might suffer in a supermarket; the immediate steps you should take following your accident; the options available to make a claim; how long you have to start a claim before it is too late and what you should do if you are undecided whether to claim.

We also consider supermarket worker accidents and how to claim compensation from the supermarket employer.

What is a supermarket accident claim?

A supermarket owes a duty of care to keep customers (who are considered lawful visitors) safe whilst using their supermarket – whether that be in the store or in the supermarket car park. If you suffer injury (and the supermarket can be shown to have breached their duty of care) you could be entitled to make a supermarket accident claim for compensation.

Examples Of Supermarket Accident Claims
If you are in a supermarket and suffer injury in an accident. For example – from a spillage, a defect in the supermarket (such as a collapsing shelf) or from the negligent acts of a supermarket employee, you might be able to recover compensation in a supermarket accident claim.

Typical types of supermarket accident

Typical accidents, include:

Wet floors and spillages

Supermarket cleaning staff may mop a floor and leave a wet surface (without proper slippery surfaces warning cones) leaving a dangerous slipping hazard. Alternatively, other customers may leave a spillage on the floor that a supermarket fails to clean.

Falling objects

You may be using a supermarket when you are hit by a falling object. This might be due to a failure of a shelf or improperly placed items.

Injury from supermarket workers

You might experience injury from employees working in the store. For example – supermarket staff causing injury to customers from careless use of work equipment.

Defective flooring

The flooring in the shop might be defective- for example loose tiles, raised edges of flooring (presenting a tripping hazard) or temporary mats that can move when stepped on.

Supermarket petrol station accidents

We have looked at accidents at supermarket petrol stations and their shops in our petrol station accident claim article.

Car park defects

The supermarket car park might have defects – such as holes, that can cause tripping accidents. Alternatively, there might be slippery oil spillages – presenting an unexpected slip danger.

Food poisoning

There are also other instances when a supermarket might have liability for customer injury which is not on the supermarket premises. For example – you might have a food poisoning claim when products are consumed at home after purchase.

Evidence You Should Retain To Support A Food Poisoning Claim
Should you suffer food poisoning – remember to retain your purchase receipt, the product packaging and any remaining product itself.

Can supermarket workers claim compensation if they suffer injury at work?

Supermarket workers can be injured in the course of their employment and as such may be entitled to claim compensation. How to claim for worker injury is dealt within our work accident claims section.

What immediate steps should you take if you suffer injury in a supermarket?

Report your accident

It is important to report the matter immediately to supermarket staff – no matter how embarrassed you might feel. The supermarket will keep an accident book and will record the circumstances that surrounded your accident events.

Witness evidence

Your accident may have been witnessed (or you may have been assisted by by another customer) – be sure to make a note of their name and contact number.

The supermarket may well make a record of witnesses in their accident book, but should your accident events be disputed – independent witness evidence could prove invaluable.

Secure CCTV evidence

The supermarket will also examine the cause of the accident and this should be recorded. If there is any CCTV – this will often be viewed to verify how your accident occurred. CCTV will often be vital evidence to support your supermarket accident claim.

Eliminate danger to other customers

A supermarket will often take steps to eliminate the danger, so that other customers are not also injured in a similar manner. For example – a spillage can be coned off and cleaned.

supermarket accident medical assistance
Supermarket Accident Medical Assistance

Seek medical assistance

You should next attend at hospital or the GP (usually if your injury has just occurred you would attend at A & E at hospital) to have your injury diagnosed, recorded on your medical notes and treated. If the injury is serious – the supermarket will call an ambulance to take you to hospital.

Your medical records

The records on your medical notes will later prove invaluable to winning your supermarket accident claim – medical notes are official records helping prove your injuries were caused as a result of the supermarket accident.

See our full article records to keep when making a personal injury claim.

How do you make a supermarket accident claim?

You have primarily two ways to make a supermarket accident claim – either using a personal injury solicitor to help you claim (using, for example, a no win no fee funding arrangement) or making the claim yourself against the supermarket and their insurers.

Making a claim without a solicitor

Sometimes a supermarket insurer might seem to cooperate in a claim and offer to pay you a sum of money for your injuries. If your injuries are small and you are fully recovered – you could consider this approach.

However, once you settle your supermarket accident claim in full and final settlement – your claim is over. You cannot later contact a solicitor to try to recover more compensation should your injuries be worse than suspected.

Be Careful Of The Cooperative Supermarket Insurer
Often a seemingly cooperative insurer is merely trying to pay you as small a sum as possible or run down the limitation clock.

Using a specialist solicitor

It is always best to use a specialist solicitor to help you claim compensation and this is even more so if your injuries are serious. A supermarket insurer is under no duty to gather all the evidence to support your claim; offer you the correct sum of compensation nor even explain to you all the types of compensation you might be entitled to (known as heads of loss).

How long do you have to make a claim?

You have only three years from the date of the accident to have a supermarket accident claim issued at court before it is too late to claim and you are statute barred. There are a number of exceptions (including children who have three years from the date of legal adulthood).

We recommend you speak to a personal injury solicitor to determine how long you have to claim.

Claim as soon as possible

Many steps need to be taken before issue of proceedings at court, so the sooner you instruct a solicitor the better.

The other advantages of acting sooner are that your solicitor will explain the evidence you should keep to support your supermarket accident claim (giving you the best chance to recover larger amounts of compensation). Critical evidence may still be accessible if liability is disputed (for example – CCTV evidence) and witnesses will have a better recollection of accident circumstances.

In short – a claim is easier for your solicitor to prove the closer in time you are to the accident events.

Accurate Witness Statements Win Claims
The closer in time (to the accident event) witness statements are prepared by your solicitor – the more accurate they are likely to be.
The more accurate your witness statment – the better the chance you have of succeeding with your supermarket accident claim,

How does your solicitor calculate the amount of compensation your supermarket accident claim is worth?

The amount of compensation a supermarket accident claim is worth depends on primarily two aspects:

The physical and psychological injuries you experience

You can claim compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity – known as general damages. Each type of injury you might suffer will have been decided by court cases in the past. See our compensation payout calculator to see all manner of injuries and the value of compensation you can recover for each.

The Independent Medico-Legal Expert Report
Your injuries will be set out in a medico-legal report prepared by an independent medical expert instructed by your solicitor.
The expert will examine you and having had access to your GP & hospital notes.
Your record of symptoms (which you can refer to during your examination) – will prove very valuable in ensuring the medical report is as accurate as can be.

Your financial loss and expense

You are entitled to claim compensation for the expenses and financial loss you have incurred (as a direct result of your supermarket accident) and are likely to incur in the future?

The basis of your claim for losses and expenses (known as special damages) will primarily come from you – the records you keep and the receipts you have retained. This might include lost salary, medical expenses (e.g. pain killers), care and assistance in the home, damaged clothing.

The list is long – see our calculating financial loss and expense in a personal injury claim article.

Deciding whether to make a supermarket accident claim?

We recommend that you speak to one of our specialist solicitors free of charge either direct by phone or online as to your best way forward and the options available to you when making a supermarket accident claim.

Specialist Solicitor Free Help

See our free online & telephone specialist solicitor help options to select a service you would like to use.