How do I know if I have a valid slipping accident claim?

Lady turning her ankle after slipping down stairs

Being injured after a slip or trip doesn’t necessarily mean you have a valid claim for personal injury compensation. Here we will help you to understand whether or not the circumstances surrounding your accident mean that you are likely to succeed in your claim against the responsible establishment, and that you should make a claim for slip and trip compensation.

Table of contents

Responsibility for the accident

Slipping accidents can obviously take place anywhere, but to claim compensation you need to prove that responsibility for the accident lies with a third party rather than yourself. Shops, restaurants, libraries and business establishments, for example, all have a responsibility to ensure people’s safety. If they fail to do so and accidents occur as a result, they can be found to have been negligent and liable to compensate the injured party.

Some of the most common claims are made by those who have slipped on a shop floor made wet by a spillage, a leaking pipe or freezer unit, or by cleaners mopping. Many other claimants are injured after having slipped on a wet floor at work. or tripping on uneven and broken pavements. But slips can be caused by a number of hazards, and just because they exist does not mean they are at fault.

Clearly, if you slip and fall after running around mucking about or jumping from a high step onto the ground, any injuries you have are going to be seen as being your own fault. You can’t claim personal injury compensation if an accident was caused by your own actions! Therefore, the first question to ask yourself is: Was someone else responsible for the accident?

Hazard warning signs

It’s common knowledge these days that when making a floor wet on purpose, a business or premises will erect a yellow Hazard Warning Sign. This sign gives you the knowledge of a potential hazard and puts you on notice that you need to take extra care. If you have slipped on a wet floor in a shop, restaurant or business and there was no hazard sign erected, you are likely to have a valid claim for compensation. The 3rd party could be seen as liable for your injuries by failing to provide a warning of a foreseeable risk to your safety.

However, in some circumstances, the erection of the yellow hazard sign is insufficient. For example, let’s say a supermarket has a leaking freezer unit in their store. The floor gets wet and they call out an engineer. If they erect the yellow sign, they’ve covered themselves. But if they just erected a sign and didn’t bother calling the engineer and left the unit leaking for weeks and weeks, the sign would become redundant and they would still be liable for not removing a known hazard in a reasonable time frame.

Reporting the accident

So you’ve slipped or tripped and injured yourself through no fault of your own, but what next? The 2nd question you should ask yourself is: Did I report the accident and ensure that it was properly recorded?  Was it noted in an accident book?

As with all accidents that lead to someone wishing to make a claim for personal injury compensation, it’s all about reporting the details of your accident to the right people. If you’ve slipped on a wet floor in a private establishment (a business premises, a supermarket, a cinema, a restaurant etc) you must make every effort to ensure that the party responsible for running the premises is informed. Any location open to the public should have an accident book and a way of recording incidents. By recording the incident, you are providing proof that you fell in their premises and that your injuries were caused on their patch.

Unless you are severely injured and incapacitated, you should report your accident and injuries immediately and ensure that they are noted in an accident book. If the 3rd party tell you they don’t have an accident book, or won’t let you have access to it, there are things you can do. If this is the case, look for a witness and get their details.  If you can’t do that, take photos or send a letter by recorded delivery (keeping a copy for yourself with proof of postage) reporting the incident to the business or establishment.

If all this seems a bit complicated, or you haven’t done any of the above, don’t worry – if you contact us we can talk you through it and help you to complete the necessary steps.

Are your injuries serious enough?

The 3rd question to consider is: Were you sufficiently injured to seek medical treatment from a hospital or your GP?

But alas, it’s not enough to just be injured, the injury has to be severe enough to provide a sufficient level of quantum to enable the claim to be placed. Quantum is the posh Latin term for value of the claim used in the legal world. To ensure that the injury value is sufficient, it is usually the case that an injured client will need to have suffered from their injury for a period of at least a few weeks. Therefore, if you sprained your ankle mildly and recovered within a fortnight, you would struggle to bring a claim. But if you sprained your ankle badly, tearing the ligaments and spent 6 weeks on crutches and then had 5 physio sessions, your claim would easily pass the quantum test.

For the sake of a claim, its always best to ensure that your GP is made aware of any ongoing problems with an injury. To put it bluntly, if you suffer in silence and don’t return to your GP, you won’t be able to claim compensation for the ongoing injury. You could miss out on a substantial sum of what you are actually entitled to receive.

If your injuries don’t settle and you notice discomfort a few weeks or months later, or if you’re not sleeping or feeling depressed because of your injuries, make sure it’s on your medical records.

If you haven’t had medical treatment, it is likely that your injuries will not be seen as sufficiently serious to warrant a claim as medical evidence is needed to support your claim. If you have been suffering in silence and haven’t seen the GP, you still can. If the GP is happy to note that your injuries are consistent with those suffered in a slipping on a wet or dangerous floor surface, you can then prove your injuries and pursue a claim.

Making a successful slipping accident claim

These are the main criteria you need to check to see if you can claim:

  • Was the accident someone else’s fault?
  • Do you know the identity of the liable party (business name and address etc)?
  • If not, did you report the incident to the police or local authority?
  • Have you sought medical treatment from your GP or hospital?
  • If not, are your injuries still presenting symptoms that your GP can diagnose?

If you can answer the above positively, you may well be entitled to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation on a No Win No Fee basis. Our solicitors will claim for the following on your behalf:

  • The pain and distress caused to you by the injuries sustained (the value of the injury element of the claim will be determined by medical evidence and a review of your medical records.)
  • Associated costs and losses (special damages) – such as lost income if you are unable to work as a result of the injury or damage to personal items – such as your spectacles or mobile phone and property.
  • Restrictions on your ability to fulfil your usual activities and social life.
  • Whether or not you have required any post accident care.

The five tips below will help you to succeed with your claim and receive the maximum amount of compensation available:

  1. Reporting. Make sure that you report your accident at the earliest opportunity. Ideally, you should report your accident, any injuries and definitely the cause of your slip immediately. The details should be recorded properly within an accident book or other similar incident reporting system. Make sure you note the cause of your slip and the lack of hazard warning signs etc.
  2. Witness details. If you slip in a public place, it is embarrassing. However, people are caring and will want to help you. If anyone helps you because you have been injured in a slipping accident, please get their name and contact number if you can. This will greatly help your claim and provide additional evidence to support your claim.
  3. Photographic evidence. We realise that this might not be possible. If you are in serious immediate pain and discomfort, you’re unlikely to be thinking about taking a photograph of a wet floor, a spillage or a loose item on the floor. However, if you can take a photo or two, it may be really useful in forcing the 3rd party to admit liability.
  4. Doctors & Hospitals. Make sure that you see your GP, or attend A&E at the earliest opportunity. As soon as you are aware of any injury that is not simply a minor bruise, you should seek medical attention. To have the best chance of succeeding with a slipping accident claim, it is important to be able to provide the medical evidence needed to support your claim. A lack of medical evidence may undermine your claim for injury compensation.
  5. Expenses. Keep a record of any expenses you incur as a result of injuries caused in a slipping accident. When claiming slipping accident compensation, you will be able to make a claim for lost income and other expenses which is known as a special damages claim. If you have receipts for costs such as prescriptions, taxi fares, parking costs, care or any other cost you have incurred, you may be able to claim those costs back. If you are unable to work because of your injuries and do not receive sickness pay, you may well be able to reclaim any lost income alongside a settlement to cover the pain and discomfort caused by your injuries.

How Direct2Compensation can help you claim

Whether you need information about us, the solicitors we work with, the claims process, or advice as to how to go about making a claim for slipping accident compensation, we’re ready to help.

Not only will you find our website a great resource for information about claiming personal injury compensation, but you’ll also find that our team of staff are personally knowledgeable, friendly and supportive.

We work with some of the very best personal injury compensation solicitors around and will find the right one for your particular situation. We offer a caring approach and are able to answer your questions in simple layman’s terms. And because we’ve worked so hard to take the stress out of claiming compensation, you can forget about worrying and concentrate on recovering.

If you have any questions about whether or not your accident scenario warrants a claim, or if you wish to discuss the No Win No Fee claims process with us, please call our team on 01225 430285 or use our contact form. We know your rights and can help you to understand them. We’ve successfully helped many clients claim compensation for slip and trip injuries and we’d love to help you, too.

Filed under Slip and Trip Accidents

129 questions   ASK YOUR OWN

  1. Hi

    I went into a newsagent shop to buy some groceries, on the floor there was cardboard box covering the floor, as I walked across that my leg went through the floor. It took a three or four minutes for my leg to come out. My leg was bruised and gashed. The person working there said boss was not there. My leg is paining and I am going to doctors to check out bruise. I took video and photos of shop etc. Do I have a claim on this?

    1. On the basis of your description, my immediate view is that you have a very strong claim for personal injury compensation here. The newsagents have completely failed in their duty of care by leaving a hole in the floor covered only with cardboard. This area should have been completely cordoned off and signs erected to warn of the hole in the floor.

      If you would like to pursue this claim further, we would be very happy to link you with one of our expert personal injury compensation Solicitors. Please email your contact details to us at: [email protected] and we’ll contact you. We’ll make a quick call to speak with you and to take a little more information about your accident and injury. Then we’ll place your claim with the right specialist compensation Solicitor who would run your claim for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

  2. I was rushing to catch a train when I stepped onto it I slipped on excess rain water and no foot grips or nothing I fell in a splits motion and torn ligaments in my ankle and now suffer with sciatica die to accident in same leg because I was rushing I’d my claim valid or not

    1. The fact that you were rushing to get the train wouldn’t prevent you from succeeding with a claim for compensation, but it could be seen that the act of rushing has contributed to the fact that you slipped. In some claims for personal injury compensation, the claimant has to accept some level of responsibility for their accident and in rushing for the train, the defendant will likely argue that you were late for the train and had to run and that running or rushing is inherently less safe than walking. I am not saying that this will happen in your case, but you may have to accept a certain level of liability yourself – perhaps 25% or so. For more informationabout claiming compensation when liability is in dispute, read this article. Much will depend on what evidence is available to support your claim and what was recorded in any accident book or incident report that was made following your injury.

      Claims for slipping accident compensation that arise after slips on the wet floors of trains, buses and other public transport are harder to succeed with than similar claims when someone slips on a ‘fixed’ floor such as a shop or building as it is far harder for wet floors to be avoided and cleansed. However, it may well be possible to succeed with your slipping accident compensation claim if it can be demonstrated that the floor of the train had been wet for sometime and that as such, a hazard sign at least should have been erected.

  3. I slipped over in a shopping centre because the floor was wet. The centre had their roof windows opened and it had been raining. There was quite a lot of windows open and a lot of water had been pooling on the floor. After I fell, staff were busy putting hazard signs out, but there were none erected where I fell. The details were put in the accident book. As a result of the fall, I have hurt the top of my leg, shoulder and neck.

    Have i got a claim?

    1. On the basis of your description of the accident my initial view is that you have a strong claim for slipping accident compensation. The lack of hazard signs being erected prior to your fall would indicate that you have good prospects of succeeding with a claim for compensation here.

      Please email your phone number to me at [email protected] and I will call you to take some further information ahead of getting a specialist slipping accident Solicitor to pursue this for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

      If successful with your claim, you will receive compensation for your injuries (and you should make sure that you get them seen to and noted by your GP) and recover any costs or losses by way of a special damages claim.

  4. I slipped when l entered a Bank. A small signage was placed -caution slippery floor as the weather was wet outside. The tile flooring is very shiny. I only put one foot off from the secondary mat when l slipped and fell on my knee. Accident book was filled in. I had to go to A&E as knee started to swell. No permanent damage. I have photos of my leg, Hospitals record, photo of my shoe that I was wearing. I also draw out the plan where I fell. No contact was made to me or when asked to be contacted via website complaints dept. no one has called. Do you think that a claim is justified?

    1. The Bank have clearly attempted to provide a warning that there is a slipping hazard by erecting a hazard warning sign. However, simply erecting a hazard sign does not in and of itself absolve an establishment from responsibility if someone then goes on to slip and sustain an injury. This article gives a little more advice on hazard signs and how they don’t always prevent success in a slipping accident compensation claim. The hazard sign in this instance does indicate what defence the Bank and their insurers will use should any claim arise. We have

      However, there may well be grounds to pursue a claim here and we would be very happy to get one of our specialist slipping accident compensation Solicitors to discuss the possibility of a claim for compensation with you. Please email your contact details to us via [email protected] One of our team will then make a quick call to obtain a little more information so that they can then get the right specialist slipping accident Solicitor to contact you to discuss things in detail.

  5. I had dinner with work friends at a local restaurant – as I was leaving I slipped on water that had gathered under a mat by the rear exit. I have deep internal bruising on my right shoulder and slight swelling on my right elbow. An accident form was filled out. I went to hospital next day as I also have a prolapsed disc which has been aggravated by the fall. I was also unable to work for 2 days and have my arm in a sling whilst at work. I am also right handed. Is there a case?

    1. Christina

      The details you describe would lead me to think that there is definitely a case here and that you have a decent claim for slipping accident compensation.

      We’d be very happy to investigate your claim for you and get one of our specialist slipping accident compensation Solicitors to work on this for you. Please email me your contact details to: [email protected] so that I can call you to take a little more information. Alternatively, please call us on 01225430285.

  6. Hi,

    I basically had 2 injuries back in the middle of Feb in the gym – the air con wasn’t on which caused the entire corner to become humid&damp which resulted in me slipping (even after I had wiped the area on the floor with tissue) while I was on the smith machine with weights on my back. I had major discomfort and tear to the groin area & part of the hamstring(which grew worse as the days went on) & felt extreme pressure on my left lower back&hip. I contacted my GP making an emergency appointment a few days or so later because I had symptoms of sciatica & I couldn’t sleep, & when I did eventually sleep I would wake up with a completely numb back&stiff painful groin area. I became depressed over the following months as I was someone who was training 5-6x a week to 1-2x a week (not able to do anything other than upper body and even then I had to be very careful). I tried to explain to personal trainers at the gym what had happened but no one really helped or reported it or anything. I was still in pain even after I was prescribed naproxen and cocodamol to help with the sciatica , so went back to see my GP who sent me for an emergency MRI where the results shown I had minor bulging disks and tear to the muscles across the lower back/lumbar spine. I went back again the following few weeks to see what the doctor could do for me as I was still experiencing back pain & still am today. He told me there wasn’t much he could offer & suggested I stretch (he printed a sheet out) & continue to take naproxen and medication as necessary & get physio.
    However as I have been a student over the past year I don’t have the finances to pay for physio. Months later the groin and hamstring area healed with consistent cold/heat therapy at home & careful stretching however my left lower back and hip has never fully healed and is still a problem for me till today. I still feel depressed from losing a lot of size/muscle & want to know if it is possible to put a claim through or not at this stage.

    Sorry for an inconveniences.


    1. Amaani

      Did you report the slipping accident in the gym to the staff working there? Do you have any witnesses to the slipping accident?

      You could attempt to pursue a claim against the gym for any injury caused by the slipping accident – if it can be demonstrated that the area was wet and that no sign was displayed, you would have decent prospects of succeeding.

      It would be a good idea for us to speak with you to find out a little more so that we could properly advise you as how any future claim may go.

      You can either email your number to us via [email protected] or go to the ‘start your claim’ page of our website and send us some contact details that way.

  7. last week my 7 year old grandaughter was walking into the school hall after lunchtime with the teacher and the other children when she slipped on the wet floor cutting her chin.There was no wet floor sign out. She had to go to hospital where she had to see a facial surgeon as the cut was so deep it was down to the bone she required stiches inside and also six outside and will have a scar. They said she was very lucky she did not fracure her jawbone or receive dental injuries. School are doing a full investigation with health and safety and county council involved and have admitted no sign was up. can my daughter make a claim on behalf of my grandaughter.

    1. Elaine

      Thank you for visiting our website. I am really sorry to read about your Grandaughters injury. It sounds very distressing for her.

      Your Daughter can definitely pursue a claim on behalf of your Grandaughter. Please email contact details to us at: [email protected] and we’ll call to take some further information so that we can help get this claim started.

      Yours sincerely


  8. I slipped on a supermarket floor that had custard spilt there was no yellow sign. Accident book was filled out by staff. I have recently recovered from major shoulder surgery (torn muscle repaired using metal anchors) and am having treatment on my other shoulder at present. I felt vulnerable when I fell. I have bruising to arm and hip and attended a&e where I had an x-ray which showed I have low bone density. As my injuries directly linked to my fall are bruises could I claim?

    1. Dear Mrs. Steele

      Thank you for sharing your situation with us. I am very sorry to read of your injuries and can appreciate why you felt vulnerable. I do hope that you make a full recovery.

      You do have the right to pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries – even if they are of a soft tissue nature. You mention that x-rays showed no fractures and that you are instead suffering from numerous deep bruises. Such injuries can form the basis of a claim for compensation.

      In the incident you describe, it is good to know that an accident book entry has been completed as this provides evidence of the injuries being sustained in the way you state. You also mention a spillage of custard with no hazard warning sign. Such circumstances can give rise to a claim for compensation and whether or not your claim will succeed will come down to what defence the supermarket in question can mount.

      We are keen to help you further with this claim and would like to try and pursue this with our specialist solicitors for you. To this end, please send your contact number to us via [email protected] and we’ll call you to discuss the claims process, explain your rights and confirm our No Win No Fee guarantee.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

  9. I was running for a train yesterday morning and tripped on a raised piece of concrete, and fell over seriously cutting my hand open. My car keys fell out my pocket and got lodged under train, and my phone was also smashed . Am i able to claim for the damage to my phone and a replacement key?

    1. Martin

      If it is just the phone and car key that you wish to be compensated for, you will need to pursue the defendant yourself. You cannot instruct a Solicitor to act on a No Win No Fee basis if the damages are below £1000 in value.

      You may well be able to pursue a personal injury claim for the hand injury and then also look to seek damages for the loss/repair of your phone and car key by way of the special damages element of your claim.

      Please forward your contact number to our claims team on [email protected] and we’ll call you to discuss things in greater detail.

  10. My wife was unloading her trolley at a well known high street food retailer. The carpark is built on a slight slope meaning any trolleys full of shopping naturally start to roll unless holding the trolley permanently! On this occasion as my wife unloaded the trolley on top of the sloping carpark it started to roll, my wife tried to retrieve it but slipped on the wet, uncleaned and uneven surface (the carpark surface is made with house bricks which have slightly sunk, but only slightly). My wife broke her ankle and had to have 9 pins inserted but to this day walks with a limp. Both my wife and I were denied the opportunity to fill in the accident report book but I did take photos. When I rang the Supermarket head office about the accident they said they had no knowledge of the incident at that time, but have since acknowledged the incident and reported it the hse (although this would not include any statements from my wife). I have been advised the store has a risk assessment for the suppermarket but go quite about a risk assessment for the carpark. I have been advised the carpark cctv footage shows the trolley rolling and her slipping. I have also been advised that as this is the first incident to happen like this in the supermarket carpark, the chances of winning this case is slim and when I mention there is no car park risk assessment or recent clean downs I have been advised this does not matter (which I find hard to believe). Please let me know your views if there are grounds for a case, as this has been a life changing experience for my wife. Thank you

    1. Darren

      Thank you for sharing your wife’s story with us. From what you have said, it is clear that her ankle injury will have a permanent element of damage with it and as such, I think you should definitely let our Solicitors investigate this matter for you.

      It is not a great phrase, but it is true – you have nothing to lose – by pursuing a claim for compensation with us. All work done by us/our Solicitors is done so on a No Win No Fee basis so if a claim is either not pursued because it is unlikely to succeed or if it is pursued and fails, the claimant pays nothing whatsoever.

      We have succeeded with very similar claims over the years on some occasions and I would very much like to see the photographs you have in relation to where she slipped as the strength of the claim will rest on the condition of the surface where she slipped. Please forward these photographs to me by email so that I can view them, assess them and then provide a further view to you.

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