Supermarket Accident Claim: Solicitor sets out how to claim for customer injury
Supermarket accident claim solicitor explains 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.
What is a supermarket accident claim?
A supermarket owes a duty of care to keep customers (who are considered lawful visitors) safe. If you suffer injury (and the supermarket can be shown to have breached their duty of care) you could be entitled to claim compensation.
For example – if you are in a supermarket and suffer injury in an accident, from a defect in the supermarket or from the negligent acts of a supermarket employee – you might be able to recover compensation in a supermarket accident claim.
Typical accidents, include: slips on spillages; being hit by falling objects; injury from employees using work equipment whilst working in the shop; trips on a defective supermarket car park, accidents whilst using the petrol station facilities.
There are also other instances when a supermarket might have liability for customer injury not on the supermarket premises – such as food poisoning claims when products are consumed at home after purchase. Remember, in such instances, to retain your purchase receipt, the product packaging and any remaining product itself.
Please note – 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 practical steps should you take if you suffer injury in a supermarket?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – but remember once you settle your supermarket accident claim, it will be in full and final settlement and you cannot then later contact a solicitor to try to recover more compensation should your injuries be worse than suspected.
Be careful – often a seemingly cooperative insurer is merely trying to pay you as small a sum as possible, so it is always sensible to speak to a solicitor to help you decide the best approach before deciding whether to accept.
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 (notable exceptions include children) 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 see our detailed article: the three year limitation period for personal injury with exceptions.
Please note – 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 claim (giving you the best chance to recover larger amounts of compensation); critical evidence may still be accessible if liability is disputed (such as CCTV evidence); witnesses will have a better recollection of accident circumstances (more accurate witness statements will help support your claim).
In short – a claim is easier for your solicitor to prove the closer in time you are to the accident events.
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:
1. What are your physical and psychological injuries?
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.
Remember – your injury will be set out in a medico legal report by an independent medical expert instructed by your solicitor having had access to your GP & hospital notes. Your record of symptoms will prove very valuable in ensuring this report is as accurate as can be.
2. What are the expenses and financial loss you have incurred and are likely to incur in the future?
The basis of your supermarket accident claim 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 article calculating financial loss and expense in a personal injury claim.
If you are uncertain whether to make a supermarket accident claim – what should you do?
We recommend that you speak to one of our specialist solicitors either direct by phone or online as to your best way forward and the options available to you when making a supermarket accident claim.
See our free online & telephone specialist solicitor help options to select a service you would like to use.